The paper aims to examine the coaching relationship as a critical success factor in executive coaching. It also aims to set out the characteristics of a successful coaching relationship and how to establish it.
The basic proposition of this article is set out in the introduction – that the coaching relationship is not just a critical success factor, but arguably the critical success factor in successful coaching outcomes. From there, the characteristics of a successful coaching relationship are explored. The link is made to client‐centred counselling and to the influence of “Rogerian” thinking. Key characteristics of the coaching relationship such as rapport, trust, support and challenge are critically examined. Finally, the implications for coach training are set out.
The arguments presented here point to a need to shift the emphasis of coach training more strongly towards the coaching relationship.
A great deal of current literature about executive coaching is focused on models and techniques: this article challenges that approach and reminds the reader of the importance of the coaching relationship as a critical success factor in executive coaching.
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