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What to Expect from an Executive Coaching Relationship

Most often, when an organization hires Benton + Bradford Consulting for a coaching engagement, we partner with the following types of executives:

HIGH POTENTIAL An employee in an above entry to mid-level role who has been identified as a high potential leader for the organization. The individual has some excellent skills and is viewed as executive material but needs to develop additional skills.

STALLED PERFORMER This individual has been a strong performer and contributor, but progress has stopped, or they have gotten off track. The organization wants to help him or her become successful again.

TRANSITIONING LEADER Someone that has been hired or promoted to a higher level of responsibility. They may come from inside or outside the organization but require help to transition into their new role and meet or exceed performance expectations.


The opportunity to work with a coach is a clear sign that your organization is invested in your success.

Each coaching plan is tailored to the unique needs of each individual executive, but some elements of the coaching relationship are universal.

You’ll typically start with detailed assessments to provide insights into your leadership style and personality. You may also participate in a 360-degree survey to obtain feedback from your colleagues. From there, you’ll move into a series of one-on-one sessions with a coach. Here’s what to expect from the coaching relationship:


  • A fresh eye on your personal brand. You may know your strengths well. Or you may learn that you have highly regarded abilities you don’t recognize. Whether you feel well-versed in your capabilities or not, the coaching process gives you great insight into your strengths, development areas and blind spots.
  • Honesty and candor. It may be difficult to talk about challenges you’re experiencing or moments you’re not proud to recount. But being candid and open is essential to learning and growing from past experiences. Prepare to discuss issues you’re anticipating or previous ones to deconstruct.
  • Non-judgmental Feedback. Examining scenarios and choices from a neutral lens allows us to remove emotion and evaluate objectively. Conversations focus on what to do next time and how to get desired results.
  • You’ll do the heavy lifting. While your coach is a guiding force to help you navigate challenging situations or find the correct way forward, you are still in charge of your choices. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water…
  • Coaching is not criticism. For those who fear that coaching will make them feel small, the opposite is actually true. By evaluating strengths and improvement areas, triumphs and failures, you’ll learn new approaches that result in greater likelihood of success. The only person who wants you to succeed more than your coach is you.
  • You’ll get out what you put in. Embrace new ideas. Be willing to try a different method. Take responsibility for your progress. Consider your coach a partner and solicit advice and feedback to improve.

The best leaders continuously seek improvement and new ways to inspire and support their teams. The opportunity to work with a coach to advance your career is a clear sign that your organization is invested in your success. The experience can serve you well in your current role, and those to come.

Are you ready to reach higher levels of leadership? Executive coaching is your next step.