Executive coaching is designed to help facilitate professional and personal development to the point of individual growth, improved performance and contentment. Most important, the coach attempts to stimulate the client’s self-discovery by posing powerful questions and/or assigning homework that may take the form of “thought experiments” with written product or “field experiments” which are actions to try in the real world that may result in experiential learning and development of new approaches to situations. Coaches need to have a strong understanding of individual differences in a work place as well as the ability to adapt their coaching style or strategies. It is suggested that those coaches who are unable to acknowledge these differences will do more harm than good. Many executive coaches have a specific area of expertise: sports; business or psychology. Regardless of specific area of focus, coaches still need to be aware of motivational needs and cultural differences.
Executive coaches work their clients towards specific professional goals. These include career transition, interpersonal and professional communication, performance management, organizational effectiveness, managing career and personal changes, developing executive presence, enhancing strategic thinking, dealing effectively with conflict, and building an effective team within an organization. An industrial organizational psychologist is one example of executive coaching