Executive coaching generates results

caroline deruytterExecutive Coaching used to be the domain of an elite few. Today there is more widespread acceptance that an approach which engages the ownership and commitment of the other person helps them to establish goals and asks them great questions leads to better performance in the long run.

According to the International Coaching Federation’s recent Global Coaching Study, today there are an estimated 50,000 professional coaches worldwide, most concentrated in North America, Western Europe and Australia/NZ. And the profession is looking ahead confidently with increased awareness of the benefits and credible date on ROI, coupled with rapid growth in emerging regions like Latin America.

HEADWAY asked Caroline Deruytter, an AHEAD consultant and certified coach, what attracted her to coaching executives...

Coaching is a natural bedfellow to executive search so we have often been asked for it by candidates and client companies. For example, when candidates apply for their dream job, they often realize that certain competences are not well developed and they recognize the need to improve in that area. Besides we stay in contact with our candidates and help to develop them in their future growth. So I see coaching as a complementary activity/service to executive search.

My personal aim is to help the client or ‘coachee’ increase leadership effectiveness to maximize organizational performance.

Coaching generates results. Executive coaching brings insight and reflection. Capabilities are optimized through focusing on all dimensions of the person and their organization.

"This total approach results in changes that are durable."
What can a coach do that others can't?

Well, usually training courses are organized for a larger audience or target group. With coaching you get a truly personal and tailored approach. A coach is 100% focused on his client. The individual is at the hub of your proposition and delivery throughout.

As a coach, you help your client, not by teaching but by inspiring and giving support where needed. By doing this you can stimulate the self-reflection and self-steering capabilities to a maximum.

So what are the main challenges for a coach?

There are various issues that a coach might face, for example:

A lack of direction:
Your coachee is looking for a change but does not really know what and how; the client only has little idea of what he wants to achieve.

A lack of commitment:
Some people find it hard to commit themselves to a certain cause/target. In this case it is up to the coach to build an individual’s drive and motivation. It is important that the client understands the steps they need to undertake and the purpose.

A lack of Pro-action:
Sometimes a client wants to achieve the maximum result without really taking action and putting the necessary effort in. In this case it is very important the coach stresses the responsibility the client needs to take.

Sometimes the goal can seem to be that huge that the client simply cannot move himself into that direction. For the coach it is important to split that goal into sub-goals ie. mini goals, which are more easy achievable.

Can you give some examples of typical scenarios and coachees you have helped?

One client was in a static professional role for 9 years. Within her company, there were no possibilities for promotion. When we first met, she felt rather bored as her job was more or less routine. However the sector she was working in and company she was working for were very important to her. So it was clear to me that she did not really want to leave her current employer.

After some guiding sessions she took the responsibility into her own hands. She began talking to other managers within the company, expressing her need for additional responsibilities. As a result she was assigned to many working parties. In fact, the latest I heard was that she is currently involved in helping to develop strategy too. As a result her self-esteem and enjoyment has been growing.

Typically, I often coach managers and directors who feel squeezed between the board of directors and the team they manage. These people are in a very difficult position. Sometimes they are uncertain about their actions, the company and the market,  ...yet they cannot easily communicate these feelings to the board or within their team. As a coach I take the useful role of a sparring partner.

At the moment I am coaching an Engineering Manager who has been in his technical role for many years and has recently been promoted into a people management role which suddenly presents new challenges.This is not an easy scenario. Until yesterday this person had colleagues. Today he is their manager. How does he need to position himself? How can he best tackle the delegation of tasks he has been dealing with himself?

Another omnipresent issue is that people have difficulties in accepting negative feedback. When people get negative feedback there are 2 reactions very common: they feel attacked (personally) and go in a defense role or they lose their self confidence. Either way they don’t see this kind of feedback as opportunities to develop.

What methodology do you use?

A multi track model, structuring the clients’ development on 4 tracks at the same time. Projects and goals are linked with identity and the development of the bigger whole. ie.working environment, colleagues, family, social network...

  • Track 1: Project track
    What do I want to reach?

  • Track 2 : Self steering
    How do I want to reach it? What actions do I need to undertake?

  • Track 3 : Identity
    Which influence does the development have on me as a person? How can I integrate my standards and values?

  • Track 4 : Environment
    Which impact does this development have on my environment? (work/private).

How does your experience as an executive search consultant help you in your coaching capacity?

As a generalist in executive search with a broad knowledge of sectors, companies and their specific demands, I have a clearer insight into certain needs of my coachees. It is easier to understand their situation.

What feedback have you received from those you have helped?

“A real eye opener”

“She was impartial and created a secure / safe environment to talk about the issues that were very important for me. She never judged. I learned to take off the mask that I wore in my professional environment.”

“At the beginning of the coaching sessions, I had the impression I was riding a tandem with my coach. After a while I noticed I was riding by myself and she was encouraging me.”

And from their employers?

Very positive indeed. They have generally been surprised by the fast results. And by the about the drive their managers developed.

Indeed, coaching generates results. Executive coaching brings insight and reflection. Capabilities are optimized through focusing on all dimensions of the person and their organisation.This total approach results in changes that are durable.

Whether you represent an employer or are a professional looking to develop, please do not hesitate to contact AHEAD’s Caroline Deruytter to explore coaching possibilities. T. 02 223 23 90 or via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


 Or visit our Executive Coaching page for more information.

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