Executive Coaching: What is it and could it be for you?

Executive coaches from trepwise answer your questions

Executive coaching has gained popularity over the last 10-plus years, and even the greatest CEOs — think Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt and Bill Gates — have all used coaches.

In a time when most people will likely have multiple jobs (if not careers) in their lifetime, the need for continued growth and learning — both personally and professionally — is imperative.

Whether you’re in a stage of career growth and exploration, stepping into a new role at work, or seeking to expand your leadership skills, executive coaching can help you set strategies, prioritize actions, and stay accountable to your personal and professional goals.

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Executive coaching engagements can be effective and successful if there is a good match and the party seeking a coach is open to critique and willing to put in some work.

Though it can take effort to discern quality from quantity, the benefits of finding the right coach can be career (and life) changing.

So, how can you identify a quality coach and what should you expect from your sessions with one? We sat down with each of the seven coaches from trepwise’s Executive Coaching Platform to gain an insight into their approach, how they work with their clients, and what to expect from an executive coaching engagement:

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Who needs a coach? What do they provide?

“Some leaders need a support system to brainstorm solutions while others need an accountability partner to keep them on track with their goals. With changing needs and evolving perspectives, the most important thing that executive clients can learn is how to have a sense of self. This sense results from deep reflection on one’s emotional, spiritual and physical being. With this sense, leaders are empowered with an understanding of the personal context through which they see the world on any given day. Developing a sense of self is like strengthening a muscle; it can be challenging, it takes practice, but is so fulfilling when achieved.” Kevin Wilkins

What should people look for in a coach?

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“People should look for a trustworthy and open relationship with a coach. They need to feel heard, comfortable enough to say anything with no embarrassment. Coaching clients need to feel accepted for where they are now in their process. A good coach will push clients, but with empathy. Coaches do not talk much but rather ask the right questions to help clients understand their assumptions and challenge them when necessary.” Andrea Picou

What is your top advice for executives to transition their mindset from professional to executive?

“I encourage professionals to engage in deep self-reflection that leads to crystal-clear clarity about their motivations as they move into a new role. I would advise the individual to ask themselves: Why do I want to be an executive? Why do I want the responsibility of leadership at this level? Answering these questions as honestly as possible, as if no one else is around to hear, judge, or comment, will reveal where their focus must be regarding preparation for the position.” Judy Ford

What would you recommend as an ideal timeframe (duration and career stage) for a coaching engagement?

“I think coaching is relevant at every stage of a career, but possibly most critical for professionals managing their own team or transitions. I believe a worthwhile coaching engagement should last a minimum of six months.” Katie Sternberg

“The ideal coaching engagement never ends. As you grow, so do the challenges that require coaching. An ideal time for coaching is in the midst of transition, for instance, when beginning a new position, as the learning curve is steepest and you can use all the help you can get. As for a timeframe to experience results, the minimum duration is 90 days in order to experience enough events to evaluate coaching success” Joe Liss

What is a realistic price range for coaching?

“A realistic range is between $150- $225 per session. Clarify with your coach if the sessions last for 60 or 90 minutes, if they provide notes, and if there is access to them between your sessions.” Nancy Fournier

Who is your favorite type of coaching client?

“I have a very diverse set of clients concerning age, race and stage in career. I enjoy those who want to dig in and make change for themselves, others or their organizations. I have the most fun when clients can dig deep while not taking themselves too seriously. We are all fantastic individuals with profound strengths and flaws, and the process should be challenging but fun!” Rayne Martin

“My favorite type of coaching client is one who is ready for, and open to, the coaching process of deep self-reflection. A client must be open to the process of unlearning that which no longer serves them in order to create space for relearning that which will support them in their growth and development. One whose commitment to their personal and professional development allows them to bring their whole self to the coaching process. The ideal client shows up for every session, willing to engage in the work both during the session and in-between, where I feel the real coaching occurs. A great client engages their new skills, learnings and behaviors to navigate opportunities in life. I have found that clients so described make the most significant progress during their coaching engagement and get the most out of the opportunity. As a coach, it is a joy to work with such clients! It is why we as coaches do this work.” Judy Ford


The trepwise Executive Coaching Platform focuses on building leadership capacity for a stronger community. It is a carefully curated selection of coaches with diverse backgrounds and skill sets to bring you the highest caliber of coaches in the city who are invested in building a flourishing New Orleans for all. The coaches in the platform work with individual professionals and executives across management teams and organizations to help guide both personal and professional growth. Their practices combine objective assessment, personalized goal-setting and ongoing support to help clients reach their leadership potential.


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