Challenging my views on Executive Coaching

Traditional coaching and non-directive coaching have their merits, and so does "FACTS coaching".

Challenging my views on Executive Coaching
Non-Directive or FACTS Coaching? Photo by Jason Dent / Unsplash

I have recently completed an excellent book that presents a unique perspective on non-directive executive coaching. The ideas around FACTS coaching discussed in this book have left me pondering, and I am eager to share my reflections with you due to their fascinating nature.

FACTS = Feedback, Accountability, Courageous goals, Tension and System thinking

I wanted to talk about traditional coaching and why it might not always be the best approach for leaders in today’s business world. See, traditional coaching tends to revolve around praising the client and fulfilling their personal goals. While this approach might work for some, it often leaves the client in a bubble, unaware of their actions’ larger implications.

Where non-directive coaching falls short

Non-directive coaching is another avenue that has gained popularity in recent years. However, it can fall short in some regards. By not offering suggestions or feedback that is outside the client’s agenda, coaches risk providing irrelevant work. Moreover, it’s difficult to break through growth barriers without pushing the client out of their comfort zone. Non-directive coaching may also be limiting as it can leave clients stuck in their current situation for far too long.

What's FACTS coaching anyways?

Now, let’s shift our focus to the FACTS approach, which is fundamentally different than traditional coaching. FACTS coaching emphasizes honest Feedback, holding clients Accountable, setting Courageous goals, maintaining perfect Tension, and looking at the System as a whole. This approach places importance on challenging the client and not just fueling their ego with praise.

FACTS coaching addresses some of the shortcomings of non-directive and traditional coaching. By providing feedback in a non-judgemental way, clients can discover blind spots and other issues that they might have previously ignored. Additionally, holding clients accountable to their larger commitments can prevent them from breaking their own values, which can have dire consequences for the entire company. Finally, setting Courageous goals allows clients to reach their full potential and grow exponentially.

What's with tension?

Tension is also a crucial aspect of FACTS coaching. By calibrating tension to the client’s level, coaches can push them to their limits without causing too much stress or leading to failure. Tension helps the client operate optimally, leading to better performance and higher achievements. In my world, tension means that as a coach, I go for the real issues.

System thinking

Lastly, System Thinking helps coaches examine the client’s actions and understand the wider implications of their decisions. This approach can prevent individuals from bringing down their entire companies and contributing to larger societal issues.

Well... while traditional coaching and non-directive coaching may have their merits, FACTS coaching offers a potentially more robust and holistic approach. By challenging clients and holding them accountable, coaches can help them reach their full potential while also being mindful of the bigger picture. Keep in mind that non-directive coaching can achieve similar results as FACTS coaching, but its using a different way to get there.