The following excerpt was from a larger article by my dear friend and colleague, Wendy Capland called The Business Case for Coaching which you can read in full here: http://libraryofprofessionalcoaching.com/research/the-business-case-for-coaching/
The work of effective coaching within organizations involves unleashing the human spirit and expanding people’s capacity to stretch and grow beyond self-limiting boundaries. Coaching should not start with goal setting and problem solving, but rather with exploring the underlying concepts or mental models that a person relies on for meaning in their personal and professional lives. What assumptions and beliefs determine behavior? The truly effective coach knows that you can’t solve a problem before you know what the problem really is, and you can’t know what the problem really is unless the person you are coaching has permission and authority to speak with candor and forthrightness.
Before focusing on performance issues, a masterful coach guides those involved through the exploration process, helping to identify openings and opportunities where there may have been blind spots and failures. He or she helps clarify what really matters to the person being coached. Together, they seek to align personal and organizational goals. Only then can there be commitment to right action within the context of the organizational culture and business reality.
Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee in their book Primal Leadership (Harvard Business School Press 2002) point out that despite the commonly held belief that every leader needs to be a good coach, they exhibit this style least often. In high-pressure situations, leaders say they “don’t have the time” for coaching. Yet the evidence from the studies is clear. Effective leadership coaching not only develops better leaders; it improves productivity substantially – even exponentially, in some instances.