Striking a Balance in Executive Coaching

Executive coaching can be a hackneyed phrase that covers a multitude of offerings. Coaching is generally offered to those at a senior level in an organisation, within an environment of near constant uncertainty. Oh, to have some certainty in one’s working world!

The work Optimum does and has done in this domain attempts to make this transition from uncertainty to certainty as smooth as possible. It is framed with evidence, personal data and a defined system of management.

Our focus is on the evidence (data) we have collected.  We want people to build the changes in their lives in the shortest period. The individuals we work with drive the process, identify what their preferred future will look like and enunciate the successes they have had in the past.

The initial phase of the Program highlights the benchmark and a clear starting point. We then work with individuals to identify how they wish to see their future and what skills and resources they will need to get to the outcome they have chosen.

Optimum aims to be a solution driven coach rather than a problem-solving coach.

The quote from one of Australia’s greatest sporting coaches – Dr Ric Charlesworth helps us explain our approach (in part). The coach he says, “troubles the comfortable and comforts the troubled”. Nurturing and supporting individuals and avoiding complacency are hallmarks of our Program.

A few factors directly impact the coaching process, such as your external environment. It can be uncertain. You can influence your environment even though everyone’s experiences are different. Uncertainty can spread to other aspects of your leadership makeup. However, we work tirelessly to help people inoculate against this uncertainty by working with leading edge data and support systems.

We have found that focusing on a process that thinks broadly yet acts specifically allows people to define what they want with more clarity. Posing questions about what each person wants in terms of change also helps. Do you want some aspects to stay the same? Which ones would you like to be better? Are any suitable for you to achieve a personal best?

Getting individuals to identify their barriers and obstacles to reaching a successful outcome with the coaching process is insightful. These barriers and obstacles may provide an opportunity as a launching pad for change. What are you most concerned about? How do you deal with uncertainty? What can you control? Could this coaching process bring opportunities to the surface?

When we ask people – if this coaching program is to be a winner for you, what is important now? What would be sustainable? The answers give us the focus of certainty and clarity. We can proceed together and during this time we are constantly striking a balance in what people want and expect and what we can deliver and support them with.

Moving constantly between periods of uncertainty and certainty, while gradually decreasing the amplitude of difference between the two situations allows the individual to control what can be done within an Optimum Coaching Program.

If you would like to get your senior team members involved in such a coaching program then we would love to work with you to get the best results within an everchanging business world.


Ratner H, George E and Iveson C – Solution Focused Brief Therapy, 100 key points and techniques, Routledge Taylor and France Group, 2012.

Kruase J –, Episode 2 Resource- Executive Commute

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