Developmental Executive Coaching

Executive Coaching Development in St. LouisAt Clear Focus Solutions, our practical, results-oriented approach to executive leadership coaching and development program is informed by over 2000 executive coaching sessions, advanced training in executive coaching strategies and over 25 years of experience in corporate human resources development.

A typical executive leadership coaching client is a C-level executive, the top leader of the organization or a senior executive who reports directly to the top leader. We also work with high potential mid-level managers to help them prepare for higher level responsibilities or to develop enhanced capabilities in their current role or a prospective new role.

Many of our executive coaching clients have a strong technical background in engineering, science or another technology field. Often they hold doctorate degrees in their field of specialization and have earned an MBA.

Our professional expertise includes coaching individual leaders and their teams across multiple functions in a wide variety of industries including advanced technology, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, marketing and services. Our clients range from Fortune 500-sized companies to smaller locally-owned St. Louis, MO businesses.

Developing Leaders who are Emotionally Intelligent and Self-directed Continual Learners

We believe coaching is a preferred way of helping individual leaders and their teams make significant and sustainable changes in behavior. Coaching executive clients to change, long-term ingrained behavior patterns takes deep understanding of how personal change occurs and the coaching skills to help the client learn to successfully assume the responsibility for changing their own behavior.

We also believe that effective leadership can be viewed in terms of the quality of the relationships the executive has cultivated. Do people want to follow the individual? Do they respect and trust her? Are they willing to give the extra effort needed to obtain the results required, in part because of the executive’s relationship with them?

If leadership is a type and quality of relationship cultivated by the executive leader, then emotional intelligence is central to the quality of that relationship.

We view emotionally intelligent leadership as having four components:

  1. An on-going self-awareness of values, principles and emotions
  2. The ability and willingness to regulate or manage one’s own behavior
  3. The ability and willingness to listen to, observe and understand others and what the other person wants, needs and believes
  4. The ability and willingness to use the insights the leader has acquired about him or her, others, and the situation to create an emotional connection, a resonance, with others who are inspired to follow him or her.

Professional executive leadership coaching is more than management consulting, advice giving, mentoring or simple one-on-one training, nor is it simply being a good listener. It is a developmental relationship focused on helping the individual develop greater awareness of self and how they impact others and the environment; learn to make personally, meaningful changes in mindset and behavior; and develop the capability for ongoing, intentional learning and growth as a person and as a leader from their day-to-day experience.

We use a systematic, evidenced-based methodology to coach for sustainable behavior change. See how here.

Our Systematic Approach to Executive Coaching

We use a variety of models, approaches and techniques in our developmental coaching work with executives, depending upon the unique situation.

Here is our systematic process for executive coaching:

1. Orientation to Coaching:

The initial phase of the process is intended to orient you to the executive coaching process, begin establishing trust and gain your commitment to the process. This orientation is designed to establish the logistics of the coaching process including clarifying expectations, responsibilities and timeline dates. Most importantly this initial phase is designed to initiate a collaborative, working partnership between you and your coach.

2. Developing Context for Coaching:

Coaching in this phase of the engagement builds context for later phases of coaching through reviews of your life and career, with special focus on your role within the organization. Both work-related and outside factors which may affect the coaching process can be identified and planned for. Discussions about your role in the organization provide a foundation for how coaching will facilitate both your individual and organizational development. Understanding the context of your situation, helps both the coach and you better understand your concerns and presenting situations.

3. Fact Finding (Assessment), Feedback, Feedforward and Focus:

Once the context for coaching is clarified and understood, this phase continues with gathering specific information about situations, relationships, and behavior patterns which are relevant to your presenting situation. In addition to enhancing your self-awareness of your behavioral patterns, feedback can provide you with a more accurate understanding of how you are perceived within the organization including both value you bring to the organization and areas needing further development.

In addition to providing feedback, the coaching process is designed to help you clarify, validate and prioritize those areas which will provide the greatest benefit for both you and the organization.

Feedforward involves soliciting suggestions from others for future desired behavior that helps bring focus to the development process.

Once you choose your developmental priorities and focus, you are asked to make a commitment to active, ongoing development in the areas you choose.

4. Development Planning:

Once you make a commitment to developing new behavior patterns in an area of focus, this phase continues with the creation of a written action or development plan. The plan details the behavior you will develop and outlines clear action steps you must take to achieve your development goal(s). Within this phase you will learn practical, evidence-based approaches to systematic behavior change and how to use these approaches as a foundation for planning for success in your development.

5. Coaching to the Development Plan:

Once the focus for coaching has been clarified and a development plan drafted and finalized, this phase of coaching calls for implementing or executing your plan to achieve your developmental goals. The implementation of your development plan calls for daily action and reflection on your actions to learn how you are developing your new behavior, to celebrate successes and find solutions to barriers. In this phase the development of new behavior is associated with impact on others, and possible impact on your key performance metrics.

6. Reassessment and Planning Next Steps:

Toward the end of our executive coaching engagement, we will reassess your progress based on your initial objectives for coaching. We will assess your reactions to coaching, what you have learned that you can use in the future, what impact your new behavior has had on others and your organization’s performance, and other aspects of the value of coaching. If you are ready to continue your development with your next developmental priority, we will plan those next steps based on our learning from this coaching cycle, and you will draft a new development plan.

7. Closure and Evaluation:

As we come to the end of our engagement we will meet once again with your coaching sponsors to review progress, the value you and the organization received from coaching, and next steps. If you have created a new development plan, you will be able to share it with your sponsors to get feedback and support for follow-through with implementing it.

Sometimes team development calls for Team Coaching; sometimes it calls for Team Training; sometimes it calls for Team Building; and sometimes it calls for the use of a trained and experienced discussion Facilitator.

We understand the differences and similarities among these approaches and employ the approach or blend of approaches that is most useful to obtaining the results you and your team desires.

For simplicity sake we refer to all of these as team development coaching and typically implement a systematic approach which includes the following stages.


1. Orientation to Team Development Coaching

Involves initial discussions with the team leader, and possibly team members to determine the scope for the team development engagement.

2. Discovery of Team Issues

Individual interviews with and possible completion of team assessments by team members to understand the strengths, developmental opportunities and desired outcomes for the team.

3. Team Discovery Feedback & Planning Meeting

A face-to-face team meeting is held to review the finding from the background interviews and assessments to set the overall objectives for the team development engagement, including how the outcomes of the team development process will be evaluated.

4. Team Development Coaching

Facilitated team discussions, problem-solving, decision-making and action planning to address priority issues of the team. The team coach observes and helps the team leader and team members to find ways of working together to optimize the success of the team.

5. Individual Development Coaching

Focuses on utilizing observations from the team development coaching phase to coach individuals on their abilities to participate most effectively in the team meetings and to use these skills with their own direct report teams.

6. Reflection and Planning Next Steps

The coach conducts a debrief meeting with the entire team to review accomplishments of the objectives and to chart next steps forward for the team.

7. Closure and Evaluation

Closure meeting with the team leader to discuss ongoing leadership needs for the team.

Our goal is to leave the team with a deeper understanding of what works to optimize their team success and with a methodology for on-going team development.