Creative brain

Executive Coaching

Art or Science?

Clients who have undergone good executive coaching describe it as a privilege and a gift. They extol the benefits they have seen and the resulting transformation they’ve experienced in their lives and with their career. Whilst some come to coaching with a specific goal in mind, coaching can also serve as an accelerator for success for those already established in senior leadership positions.

What is it about Executive Coaching that can make it so impactful and are the techniques used by Executive Coaches more art or science?

The impact of coaching

One of the reasons executive coaching can have such an impact in a comparatively short space of time is because it is deeply personal. One-to-one coaching sessions provide a precious opportunity for an individual to reflect, self-evaluate, consider other perspectives and make decisions about what they will do to take positive steps in their lives and their work. 

The most effective coaching provides the winning combination of challenge and support. It helps individuals develop the confidence and skills they need to move out of their comfort zones and achieve more for themselves and their organisation. It enables individuals to set their own goals and focus on developing the key qualities they will need to be an effective leader both now and in the future.

Leadership that creates followership:

Successful leaders demonstrate more than technical excellence and commercial acumen. Coaching helps to develop the self-awareness, emotional intelligence and confidence needed for strong, authentic and courageous leadership. 

Personal Impact:

Great coaches challenge leaders to be true to their personal values and principles whilst appreciating difference in others. Coaching helps leaders to positively adapt their approach and build connections, commitment and collaboration within their teams.


Coaching helps leaders to identify and prioritise the goals that will make the biggest difference. By building on existing strengths and challenging existing limiting beliefs, coaching will deliver both personal growth and commercial success.


Sustainable high performance depends on emotional strength and personal resilience. Coaching helps develop the personal qualities and bespoke strategies needed to withstand myriad pressures of succeeding in a senior role.

What makes a great coach?

On the face of it, all business leaders have similar challenges: they have to demonstrate a relentless ability to deliver both personally and through their teams, regardless of external factors. This is where a great coach can use skilful questioning to help the leader determine meaningful goals, verbalise challenges and concerns and explore options. Neuroscience, positive psychology, solutions focused therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy have all provided scientifically proven tools and techniques to help the coach guide the coachee towards a positive outcome. However, coaching results aren’t solely dependent on empirically proven methodologies.

Finding a qualified and experienced coach is easy. However, even with impressive credentials, the same coach won’t be right for everyone. Research has shown that the critical success factor to any coaching intervention is the relationship between the coach and the coachee: mutual respect, rapport and trust are the key ingredients for creating a safe environment. Personal connections cannot be predicted by scientific formulae and so it is vital for the individual to first meet the coach to understand their proposed approach and assess the potential of the relationship. 

An effective, experienced coach will combine scientifically proven techniques with their own approach and their singular passion for a positive outcome for their client. Great coaches possess high levels of empathy and intuition, and low levels of judgement. Perhaps the necessary skills are best described as a good balance of art and science. 

People are gloriously unique, relentlessly interesting and come to coaching with their own stories and view of the world. With the right match, an effective coaching relationship will deliver positive results immediately and insights from the learning process will help the individual to develop proactive strategies for success long after the coaching finishes. 


DRIVE Success through Executive Coaching

Achieve your goals and accelerate your success by learning how to influence yourself and others more effectively. 

DRIVE’s world class coaches use a range of techniques combining support and challenge to move clients out of their comfort zone to tackle new or bigger goals with confidence. We work with individuals to help them ‘unlearn’ decades of unhelpful behaviours to become even more successful.