The thought of hiring an executive coach provokes multiple questions in most people’s minds. Out of all of them, the most popular (and most crucial) one is: What can hiring an executive coach do for me?

What They Do

“Executive coach” isn’t exactly the most descriptive job title, but their position is by no means over-played or exaggerated. An executive coach is a qualified and professional individual who typically works with executives and/or high-potential employees to assist them in gaining self-awareness and clarifying. They also help with achieving their business and career objectives and, in general, unlocking their full potential in their role. 

In fact, rather than giving advice to their clients, executive coaches most often ask questions about their client’s problem to help them find the solution themselves—thus increasing problem solving skills, critical thinking, and overall confidence.

The role of an executive coach is to challenge their client’s viewpoint and assumptions using a confidential and supportive approach. Moreover, they provide resources to help their client find the right answers and, with permission, they do occasionally provide advice. Above all, they work to give the client clarity over a matter while guiding (i.e. coaching) rather than instructing. An executive coach can also act as a sounding board.

Who They’re For

Many years ago, if your company gave you an executive coach you might have been considered a “poor performing executive” who needed the support and guidance. Today, however, it is quite the opposite. Companies often choose their most highly valued and high potential employees and senior staff for executive coaching. If you’re chosen, then there’s a likelihood your company is putting you on the road to being a loyal and successful partner. They trust your contributions to the business and they likely see potential for you to contribute even more to important decisions and projects.

Individuals chose executive coaching when they want to gain the advantage at work. Coaches help individuals optimize their performance which can result in successfully working through challenging workplace situations, getting noticed for promotions or thinking through options for their career paths.

Today, having an executive coach means that you’ll be put into a streamlined partnership with someone who you can bounce ideas off and use to grow your potential ten-fold. Typically, when you begin working with an executive coach, they will take you through these phases: intake (introduction), assessment (your position and outlook), goal setting (what needs to be accomplished), and then development planning (the long-term, big picture for the company). The longer the partnership, the more the valuable the relationship can be for the individual, as the coach gets more familiar with the strengths and areas for development, the individual’s idiosyncratic needs.

Executive coaches can be a temporary hire or an on-going work process depending on the needs of the employee, however, most engagements last 7 to 12 months.

It’s about balance.

Another huge benefit of having an executive coach by your side is that you get to use all of their business and “business life” experience to your advantage. One of their many tasks will be helping you balance your work and life to avoid burnout. They act like a “brains trust”, confidentially helping with brainstorming, focus, and concentration, making you more productive at work and which should release more non-work time to relax and rejuvenate.


At River Tree Health, the executive coach works alongside medical professionals including a psychologist, providing the individual with access to a full stress management and health plan, should this be required.


John Reed is a highly experienced Executive Coach now offering services in Brisbane’s West End through River Tree Health. For more information call (07) 3036 2744 or email