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What Is Professional Coaching?

Updated: Mar 15

This post is about coaching- what it is and what it isn't. It's also about executive and leadership coaching, an area that I specialise in.

Those who know me know very well that I wear many hats. I think we all wear many hats in our lives. One of the hats that I wear is that of an executive and leadership coach. When I first started my journey as an executive and leadership coach, I would just call myself a coach. It’s simpler that way.

“Badminton? Football? Hockey?”, some asked. They could either be cheeky or perhaps genuinely confused. Either way, I would take the time to explain what coaching is. Personally, it’s the right thing to do.

I’ve since learned to be more specific and I now use the term ‘executive and leadership coach’ as I coach executives and leaders. There are numerous specialisations in coaching and coaches would indicate their niche in their title, e.g. business coach, life coach, performance coach, transformation coach, fitness coach, wellness coach etc.

As a kid growing up, I played many sports at state, district and school levels- squash, handball, shotput, chess (some might not even consider this a sport!) etc., and I was trained by a specialist coach in each sport. So, I guess it’s not surprising that most people would associate coaching with sports.

International Coaching Federation (ICF)

According to ICF, the leading global organisation for coaches and coaching:-

Coaching is:-

  • partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential;

  • client-driven; and

  • focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes, managing personal change.

A coach’s roles are:-

  • discovering, clarifying and aligning with what the client wants to achieve;

  • encouraging client self-discovery;

  • eliciting client-generated solutions and strategies; and

  • holding the client responsible and accountable.

Let me try to make is simple!

Coaching is not about the coach shouting instructions etc. for the coachee to follow (only true for sports coaching) or providing solutions by sharing past experiences etc. (this is mentoring, which is different from coaching). Coaching is about the coach establishing trust with the coachee and partnering the coachee in a self-discovery journey by asking relevant questions that enable the coachee to ‘see’ things from different perspectives and thereafter generate suitable actions and solutions (did I just complicate it further?!).

I like to use the term ‘shifting mindset’ whenever I’m asked about what I do in a coaching conversation. It’s a process that starts with active listening, followed by asking powerful questions to achieve a shift in mindset and finally an action plan to succeed. It’s certainly a beautiful art that can change lives and something I’m passionate about.

I am an Executive and Leadership Coach

As an executive and leadership coach, the areas that I coach include optimising work performance and productivity, improving workplace relationships, enhancing management and communication skills, succession planning preparation, etc. Sometimes during a coaching conversation, my coachees would touch on their personal lives. This is common and understandable given that a person’s life consists of two distinct and interrelated parts- professional (work) and personal (non-work). Like it or not, if and when there’s trouble in the latter, the former would almost certainly take a hit too.

As a former Independent Non-Executive Chairman of a listco on Bursa Malaysia and a corporate guy with a successful corporate management career of over 20 years (and counting!), I feel it’s important for me to help others succeed in their professional career. Given my background, credentials, experience and knowledge, it’s certainly my calling to be an executive and leadership coach and my absolute privilege to help change the world, one person at a time. I firmly believe this is my passion and without any doubt my life purpose!

Proprietary coaching frameworks

As a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) credentialed by ICF and a member of ICF, I naturally coach based on the ICF Core Competencies.

In addition, I use my proprietary AUTHOR and IGNITE Coaching Frameworks in my coaching conversations to help executives and leaders navigate the intricacies of corporate life.

Connect and get in touch!

Do get in touch if and when you’re interested to be coached by yours truly. I look forward to being your (executive and leadership, and not sports!) coach!

You may email me at to arrange a 30-min strategy session. You'll also receive a FREE behavioural check using a powerful model to find out more about yourself.


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