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The differences between a Business Coach and an Executive Coach in China

certified executive coach china. Difference between Business and Executive CoachingI’m writing this article for anyone considering a Business Coach or an Executive Coach in China as there appears to be a lack of credible information here behind the Great Wall.
For actual “Coaching/Mentoring” location can be irrelevant. I recommend phone/Skype calling as it makes it incredibly easy for my clients. Really, it’s so simple. They can go to another place in the office environment or go for a walk in a park if the call is in work hours. Or what I recommend most is sitting in nature,  your home garden, or going for drive and finding a quiet scenic place to sit.

This is article will highlight the differences and also what to look for. The signs or clues of competency.

In respect to all my writings please note: I’m a professional Coach not a professional writer. I promise you will find and be able to understand everything despite errors. Many of my articles have been enhance for SEO by repeating key phrases such as ‘executive coach in China’.


What’s the difference between a Business Coach and an Executive Coach.

Let’s draw some distinctions in terms of; emphasis, focus, and training.

“Business Coaching” is an alternative term or derived from the field of consulting. Some research shows: “Many Business Coaches refer to themselves as consultants, a broader business relationship than one which exclusively involves coaching.”

I regularly work with an amazing woman. She is very business savvy, on the ball, a top notch business owner, business developer, business adviser, business consultant. She also calls herself from time to time a ‘Business Coach’.

Would I want her coaching me on my business?

“Hell yeah!”

Business Coaches can be like sports coaches and I like how clear and simple it can be. Only, the industry is less regulated and perhaps doesn’t need regulation. Business Coaches typically meet clients through referrals and people judge them on their reputation. Hence they get hired based off their results and the confidence the client has that the coach can help them achieve their goal.

Several good friends of mine have hired Business Coaches to help them grow their business. I’ll be happy to recommend and connect you to their coaches because my friends have already earned their money back and are now stepping up their businesses to new levels. I see this over and over again. People are great at what they do but have weaknesses. The Business Coaches have helped them with their weaknesses. Have also held them accountable for specific changes, hitting milestones, and staying on track.

Overall I have heard mixed reviews therefore am happy to recommend one that has proven success with one of my friends or clients. The Busines Coach I mentioned, sold her last business for something like $6Million USD so I think she knows a bit about Business.

What Coaches actually do, their experience and ability is not always clear. Especially with Coaches in Asia and the developing countries.

In these and many places Coaches are often consultants using a label of ‘Executive Coach’ or ‘Business Coach’. So it’s really good to identify if they fit into this diagram. If not, what and how do they work?

what does an executive coach do, what does a business coach do.

As the diagram above illustrates, Executive Coaching focuses more on personal or individual success which can lead to business success.

Business coaching is focused on business success not individual success. I feel this is why it so often fails. I believe it is best for your average participant  to undergo a life or executive coaching program first to ensure individual success is imminent. Then the participant can afford an expert Business Coach highly suitable for their business or business goals. The Business Coach then doesn’t have to worry about the participant not following through or not being able to lead the team to growth.

So there you have the Executive Coach in China working on individual success while the Business Coach works on Business Success presuming the participant already has the aptitude to make the engagement successful.

You may also feel or see a slight overlap between Executive Coaching and Business Coaching. You may see an even bigger overlap between Executive Coaching and Life Coaching. After all Executive Coaching is more like ‘Advanced Life Skills’. Both Executive and Life Coaching can be used to help someone with team work, leadership, delegation, time management, interviews, public speaking, conflict resolution, and the list goes on. It is possible to view Executive Coaching as a ‘higher level’ of Life Coaching. (Higher as in more professional and generally more expensive).

Note: Sadly Life Coaching is often associated with ‘tree hugging’ and often held to low standards. That could be due to the guys like Anthony Robbins glamorizing the art of coaching and then with human nature it is often easier to point the blame and ‘try’ to coach someone else, rather than see a coach and confront yourself.


Personally, I’ve assisted a lot of executives with improving their team skills, leadership skills, presentation, confidence and communications which has lead them to prompt promotions and salary increases. My average client receives salary improvements of at least 20% in the first 6 months of coaching. An ROI on time alone of 260%. Full ROI’s averaging over 500% in the year of coaching. Most of my coaching engagements go from 3 to 18 months. My coaching can be taken as Life Coaching, or Executive Coaching. 50% of my clients own or are creating business but I certainly don’t consider or call myself a Business Coach and I won’t Coach someone on improving their business unless they are a coach or personal development expert.

Some client come to me because they are struggling in their relationship, not feeling fulfilled with life/career, or they want to move out of their field and start something else. I provide a completely confidential and judgement free space to discuss and share ideas. Brain storm. Help them gain clarity around what they want, see the bigger picture and often work out some of the little specifics, such as what to say, or how to handle a specific challenge.


Who is an Executive?

Textbook definition, Executive is anyone who makes decisions.


Accredited executive coach Japan

Note: There are coaches highly trained and experienced that can help a business owner achieve more income and fulfillment without specifically being a business coach. I have a small business owner coming to my office for coaching. We are looking at his business, personal life, relationships and overall happiness with life. He was motivated to see me because his business was not performing and he knew it was a personal problem rather than a business problem. (Motivation/sabotage).

By working with a coach you may find health, financial, relationship benefits without the coach calling themselves a ‘Health, Financial, Relationship Coach’.



If hiring your own Coach

An executive coach in China, a business coach or even a life coach:

I’m certainly available to engage in a conversation and help advise yet please consider the following 3 tips to ensure you find a good fit:

1. Check for work/life history on Linkedin. Have a look at my Linkedin to get an idea: https://au.linkedin.com/in/adriancahill.

    • If the Coach comes from your industry can appear great and it should feel more natural. Be aware, it can also be a hindrance as the Coach may buy into the same limitations that you see. The Coach may also share similar thinking styles and approaches. Someone that hasn’t been in your industry, will certainly see things with fresher eyes. Differences offer opportunities for new insights and depth.
    • Rather than time your industry, a Coach that has gotten results with people in your industry or people wanting to achieve similar goals to you.
    • If they are a full time coach or a successful coach, than their current Linkedin occupation should reflect this.
    • If you see previous experience in Marketing or Sales, expect that their marketing or sales skills may be higher than their ability to actually perform coaching roles.


2. Check for references and testimonials that lead to real people. It is sadly becoming common practice online for people to write their own endorsements and sign it off as ‘Jay Blogs, MD’ or ‘Annette, IBM’. I know for a fact IBM has a strong Internal Coaching program and if Annette was really impressed why would she not leave her full name. Again Linkedin is great way to check for real references and testimonies. Also be aware of programs valued at thousands of dollars, are often sold at huge discounts in exchange for a video reference. This is common practice for $10,000 plus programs.


best executive coach in china best business coach in china3. Check for ICF (International Coaching Federation) Accreditation for any Executive/Life/Personal Development/Performance coaches. It’s where the proficient full time coaches are. For Business Coaches check for Business training and history like a MBA or AICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors).



Feel free to email in with your questions or schedule a time to chat. Happy to answer, recommend other coaches, or even help you on the spot from my own experience.

Ok. This article should make it much easier for anyone looking to hire a coach, interested in working with a Business/Executive Coach in China.

adrian cahill executive coach china
Adrian Cahill,
3 x TEDx Speaker
ICF ACC with over 700 Coaching hours logged. (PCC pending)
Flexible and easy to talk to.

Click here to schedule.