Dr June Fettes: Executive Coach

Mob : +44 (0)7774 157163

Tel : +44 (0)1738 564330

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Choosing an Executive Coach

It is important to know the questions to ask before agreeing to work with an executive coach. Even if the answers you get are not some arbitrary ideal, you may still decide to go ahead with a particular individual. The list below is not exhaustive but will at least direct you to some industry norms. Also, coaches work in different ways so meeting with a few before making your decision is advisable.

What psychological training does he or she have?

It is simply not a job for the enthusiastic amateur; an executive coach needs to have a significant understanding of human behaviour - and this includes their own. There are different routes to this knowledge; some undertake a specific coaching qualification, while others are trained therapists. Look for appropriate registration and/or accreditation.

What is their theoretical orientation?

An executive coach will operate to an underlying philosophy with implicit core values. Although it is not essential, it is helpful if you and your coach share at least some of these values as values are at the centre of the experience.

What about experience?

Coaching is certainly a growth industry and there are a vast number of coaches in the market place. As with every profession, qualifications are an important part of the whole. If experience is important to you, then it is about looking to the type and depth of the experience a particular coach offers.

What personal development has he or she undertaken?

It may be important to you that your coach has experienced your side of the coach-client relationship. Proven executive coaches have undertaken significant periods of personal development and there will be evidence of continuing professional development - an essential feature.

What about any professional supervision?

A growing industry norm for professional executive coaches is that they undertake regular and frequent independent supervision. This is where the coach works with an experienced fellow professional as part of maintaining ethical practice and as part of professional development. Client details are kept strictly confidential and this is the coach's opportunity to understand any underlying dynamic in the coaching relationship that may be getting in the way of helping the client.


What professional code of practice is followed and is the relevant professional insurance in place?

What happens if you need to complain?

What about membership of professional organisations?

And at the end of the day...

After all is said and done, it is important not to lose sight of substantive research that indicates that the relationship is of primary importance in achieving lasting change.

It is difficult to define specifically what it is about coaching that works but essential ingredients are a relationship based on trust and a client that allows for the possibility of change.

So the big question at the end of your assessment of the field is - does this feel right? And trust the answer.