A quick guide to executive coaching

Executive coaching involves a series of conversations between a trained business coach and a coachee, which aims to enhance the coachee’s business performance. Conversations can be face-to-face, virtual or a mix, and typically last between one and two hours. The total number of hours is determined by the coachee’s goals.

Unlike counsellors or therapists who look back into the past, an executive coach moves a coachee forward towards pre-agreed goals, which often include:

  • building confidence and executive presence

  • improving delegation, time management and productivity

  • managing more effectively across, up and or down

  • having difficult conversations

  • enhancing business relationships and outcomes

  • applying for a new job, promotion or a first board appointment

  • receiving or conducting appraisals

  • negotiating a pay rise or budget increase

  • considering career options

  • moving into a new role

  • returning to work after a career break

  • preparing and delivering presentations, feedback and bad news

  • managing work-life balance.

ICF coaching competencies

I trained as a professional coach with Coaching Development Limited, whose coach training programmes are accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). I hold a Certificate in Professional Coaching Skills, meaning I am trained to use the ICF Core Competencies for my executive coaching. These competencies include:


  • asking powerful questions

  • making observations

  • listening intently

  • reflecting back, for my coachee’s consideration, what I see and hear (including the unsaid)

  • identifying and overcoming obstacles

  • developing greater self-awareness

  • exploring and evaluating previously unknown options and perspectives, and

  • committing to specific actions, which the coachee is accountable for.


I weave into these competencies simple coaching models, tools and exercises mostly drawn from the field of Transactional Analysis. As an ICF-trained coach, I abide by the ICF's Code of Ethics.

Business coaching for female leaders

Whilst I coach people irrespective of age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or disability, I specialize in executive coaching for  women leaders and managers. This is because I am deeply committed to improving gender balance at all levels of business and society. As a former business leader myself, clients say I add particular value as a business coach for female leaders.

Coachees describe my coaching style as caring, structured, challenging and supportive. They say that working with me enables them to make lasting changes to the way they think, feel, talk and behave.


Most of my clients are corporate coaching clients. So, if you're an HR,  Leadership or Talent Development Director looking for an ICF female coach to work with individuals in your organisation, do get in touch. Whilst much of my executive coaching takes place in London, I also work throughout the UK and overseas, as well as virtually. 

What clients say

“Susan adapted her style to suit my needs and managed an excellent balance of challenge and support throughout. She is a powerful coach and everything about her inspires confidence.”

— Natalie McAree, Organisation Change Manager, John Lewis Partnership.

© 2020 Dramatically Different Ltd. Registered in England and Wales Company number 5428976 VAT reg no 850 8888 80 

Registered office (not for correspondence) Brunel House, 340 Firecrest Court, Centre Park, Warrington, WA1 1RG.