Executive Coaching: 3 Motivational Principles for Clients

Mark Epp Mark Epp

January 04, 2023 Leadership Development

Series Part: 1 | 2

In part one, we discussed the two foundational principles of coaching — confidentiality and accountability. In this blog, let’s explore how a coach can qualify a potential client relationship or, if you are considering an executive coach, how you can decide if you are ready to take the plunge.

3 Questions To Ask Before You Start A Coaching Relationship

Ask yourself or the potential client these three motivational questions that will contribute to the greatest level of coaching success:

  1. Do you have a specific goal or goals you want (or have wanted) to accomplish but have not succeeded in attaining?
  2. Is this the time, right now, to achieve them?
  3. Are you open to having support from a coach to help you discover how to achieve your goals?

These three objectives are critical to maximize the return on investment for both individuals, client coaching and corporate team coaching.

Coaching Client Success Stories

Here are two of my client stories to illustrate how each succeeded because of their executive coaching:

Client #1 Corporate Director & Single Mom Finds True Identity:

A director-level manager at a large corporation shared her story with me during our first coaching session. Eleven years earlier her husband had died unexpectedly, leaving her to care for her daughter as a single mom. For these eleven years she devoted her entire life to her work and to her daughter. She continually worked three jobs to ensure her daughter was well taken care of. Simultaneously, she received her masters and doctorate to ensure she would advance in her career.

As we started working together, she revealed she had no hobbies, few friends and no self-care outlet. She had nothing personal that she enjoyed doing, no social life and didn’t know what she wanted to do five years from now once she was ready to step back from her current career. She was grateful to be respected as a director and devoted mother, but she had no sense of her own true identify or destiny.

Now her daughter was about to start college and the responsibilities of her daughter’s daily needs would be vastly different. Her goal was to clarify and fulfill her own unique purpose in life. She shared her fear of the unknown and being cautious about not trusting others too fast. Once she decided to go forward, she would go “full in!”

So, we started the executive coaching process to support her discovery of that purpose. Here’s an outline of our session topics.

Session 1 Goal: To Start Golf

Coach: “What’s your initial goal?”

Client: “To learn a new activity — how about golf?”

We ended our first session with her plan, what she wanted to do and how she would accomplish it.

Session 2: Progress Update & New Goal To Start Dance

Coach: “How did your plan go to learn golf?”

Client: “I’ve started classes and I love it! Truly enjoying myself!”

Coach: “Congratulations! What’s your goal for session two?

Client: “Get into a social activity that would include others — how about dance?”

We ended the session with her plan, what she wanted to do and how she would accomplish her goal.

Session 3: Explore Fears

Coach: “How did your plan go to start dancing?”

Client: “I’m taking dance lessons and I love it. I met others and am genuinely enjoying myself.”

Coach: “Congratulations! Goal for session three?”

Client: “I’ve met someone I like and want to move the relationship ahead a little more. But what if he doesn’t want to?”

By exploring her fears and resolving her “what if” feelings, she created a confident, courageous plan to communicate with her new friend and see what would happen.

Session 4: Follow Up & Create New Goals

Coach: “How are things going with your new friend?”

Client: “Great, we’ve set up a schedule to see each other twice a week and we talk on the phone every night.”

Coach: “Congratulations! What would you like to work on during your session today?”

Session 5: Clarity on Future Destiny

Client: “Having clarity around my personal relationship is creating better communication with those who report to me at work. Funny how that’s crossing over.”

Coach: “Excellent. That’s the point with coaching — to create sustainable outcomes that often transcend one part of your life and positively affect the others. What would you like to work on during your session today?”

Client: “My five-year plan. I’ve decided that I want to be certified as a professional coach!”

Coach: “Okay — off to the races!”

Session 6: Concluding Our Time Together

Coach: “What were you able to find out about a coaching certification that would be right for you and your busy schedule?”

She enrolled in school and by the time our sessions concluded, she had received her certification.

The client made all these goals and took steps to accomplish them during six sessions over a period of four months. Extraordinary!

It’s important to note that these are not one-off events. This client continues to master her golf game, has given her first ballroom dance recital, she and her friend are continuing to to grow their relationship and she’s documenting coaching hours so that she can get her ICF credential.  


Client #2: Author Finishes Her Book

Another one of my clients wanted to finish writing a book. For over two years she had procrastinated getting the manuscript completed. But now she wanted something or someone to help her get on with it.

She was already a published author — that wasn’t the issue. Timing was the issue. Choosing to devote time to the project became her driving purpose. She decided that now was the time to get it done. And she did it — she presented the draft to her editor, on schedule, with only a few hiccups.

Was it easy? Not at all! There are always obstacles to overcome. Resistance is always associated with something we want.

This client is also a successful actor. And even though her goal was to finish the book, she kept auditioning and ended up getting cast in a television series. Now she had a legitimate excuse to procrastinate! Even with this new role combined with her tendency to get distracted by many seemingly insignificant anxieties, from one session to the next, she made step-by-step progress toward her original goal and stuck to her schedule.

Start Succeeding Today With Executive Coaching

If you have a goal you want to achieve and think, “Today I’m going to achieve it! Right now is the time I begin creating this success,” then you’re ready to invest in a coaching relationship.

If achieving your goal is worth a hundred thousand dollars to you, what investment are you willing to make to achieve it? If your corporate team goal is worth a million dollars to your company, what investment are you willing to make to achieve it? If your goal is to fulfill your personal mission, to live your purpose, what value would that have for you today, tomorrow and beyond?

If this isn’t the time, then when will you decide that today is the day?

To your success and beyond.

Series Part: 1 | 2

Mark Epp

Mark Epp

Mark is the Management Consultant Director at Talent Plus where he aligns The Science of Potentiality ® to each client’s unique needs and support their growth. He brings potential to life through the practical application of our science and enables employees to prosper and organizations to succeed.

“There is nothing more satisfying than witnessing the exponential growth of an employee when they discover and express their talent.”

Talents: Ego Drive, Focus, Individualized Approach, Persuasion, Relationship

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