Category Archives: Michael Kogutek

The Coaching Relationship (Coaching Series Part 5)

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek


The coaching relationship is the “heart and soul’ of the coaching experience. It is the catalyst that transforms the client’s vision into realistic possibilities. The connection has energy and a joint commitment to move forward.

An essential element to this relationship is a safe emotional environment based on trust, confidentiality and mutual respect. Clients need to know that they can talk freely about their life and goals in sessions. Trust is quite vital. Clients need to feel that we are trustworthy. We do this by keeping our appointments and showing up on time. Coaches empower trust by holding clients accountable on their stated goals, objectives and plan of action

The relationship must be honest and contain no judgments. The truth is always told. Coaches want to hear the truth as it engages the process of learning. Coaches present their truth in a direct, gentle and respectful manner.

This relationship is a partnership. It is mutual and has no power differential.

Another important ingredient is humor, laughter and having fun. The coach and client should not take themselves too seriously.

As you consider getting a coach, the above relationship ingredients are imperative to your success. Make sure they are operating. If you are a manager, using coaching as leadership capacity, the stage is set for what needs to happen between you and the client.

A final thought. My colleagues at ECofOC also believe that the coaching relationship is the change agent for the client.

Click here if you would like to learn more about our management and leadership coaching program.

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

What Makes a Good Coach? (Coaching Series Part4)


Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek


As you consider the possibility of getting a coach or using coaching in your managerial approach; you may wonder about the traits of a good coach. I do not pretend to know all of the answers but will provide a few tips and guidelines.

The most important characteristic of a coach is the capacity to listen and empathy. In listening, you want a coach who is totally present and without judgment understands your perspective and experience. A good coach listens for the client’s visions and values as well as client’s agenda; not what the agenda or direction should be. The empathic coach attempts to walk in your shoes. This is different from sympathy. In sympathy, one cares about your feelings and suffering. In contrast, empathy is about feeling your suffering and the experience attached to it.

Curiosity is another important quality in a good coach. In my opinion, asking questions in the coaching session is essential. It provides a space for the client to develop their own critical thinking process. As a result the client comes up with their own path, possibilities and decision making.

Personal integrity, wisdom and the ability to be non-judgmental is key. You also want a coach who will be firm with boundaries and and demand accountability from their selves and the client. This translates to formulating and communicating clear and concise goals and objectives.

Last but not least, you want a coach who is authentic and genuine. They need to walk the talk.

As a coach, I work mindfully on all these guidelines to become a better coach and person. It is easier said than done and always a work in progress.

Click here for more information about our Nonprofit Management and Leadership Coaching Program

Author:  Michael KoguteK, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

History and Development of Coaching (Coaching Series: Part 3)

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek


The roots of coaching can be traced to the field of psychology. In the 1960’s, a sector of psychology emerged called “The Third Force”. It was a rebellion against the Freudian (medical) model and behaviorism. It’s main thesis is the belief in the positive nature of humans along with their potential. The main architects include Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo May,Fritz Perls and others. This movement is currently advocated by the field of Positive Psychology. Its main leader is Martin Seligman, Ph.D.

Subsequently the work of Milton Erickson (father of American hypnosis) is a key precursor to the memos of coaching used today. Erickson believed in the inherent ability of individuals to achieve wellness.This developed into more solution bases therapies and coaching methods. The main focus is not pathology but behavior change through increased awareness and choices. One of the early coaches Bill O’Hanlon has emphasized possibilities and preferences. Clearly these are the fundamentals of coaching.

Coaching has really developed from three streams: 1. helping professions such as psychotherapy and counseling and related perspectives as noted above, 2. consulting and organizational development and industrial psychology, and 3. personal development training such as EST( Werner Erhard), Lifespring, Landmark Forum and Tony Robbins.

Thomas Leonard became a central figure in coaching here in the US. He was influenced by Werner Erhard and EST in the early 80’s. He was an employee of EST back then. Later he started a financial advisory firm but noticed that people wanted more in terms of life planning. He started coaching. In 1995 he founded the International Coaching Federation (ICF) as a non-profit organization for fellow coaches to support each other and grow the profession. There are 60 chapters worldwide. In 2014, ICF had 25,000 members of which 15,00 are credentialed. The ICF is the main credentialing body for coaches worldwide. Currently there are no federal or state laws regulating the coaching profession.

For more information about our no-cost programs, please visit our nonprofit management and leadership webpage.

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County,

What is coaching? (Coaching Series: Part1)

Michael Kogutek

Michael Kogutek


I will be writing a series of blog posts in the coming months focusing on the many facets of coaching. The goal is to give you all the information possible so you can make an informed choice if coaching is for you.

Frequently I am asked to tell folks what coaching is about. This first blog post is an attempt to answer that question. I must warn you that there are many definitions of coaching.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF), founded in 1992, the most prominent credentialing and governing body of coaches says, “Coaching is an ongoing relationship which focuses on clients taking action toward the realization of their visions, goals and desires.” The key word here is relationship. It is a relationship totally focused on the agenda of the client.

Another way to define coaching is to state what it is not. Coaching is not therapy. It does not focus on the past or tries to fix. Coaching emphasizes the future, the gifts and talents of each client. It is not consulting. Consultants tell you the problem and the related solutions. They may even fix the problem for you. In coaching, the answers lie within the client. The client inherently knows the way. Also coaching differs from mentoring. Mentors give informal advice and are usually traveling farther on the same road. Curious questions and inquiry drive the coaching process.

The Blessing White (2009)* definition is, “Coaching is helping another person figure out the best way to achieve his or her goals, develop skill sets or expertise and produce the results the organization needs.” Coaching is not telling someone what to do. It is not stepping in to actually do the work.

The bottom line for me is that coaching is a dynamic ongoing relationship in which the client owns and directs the agenda. It is future oriented and demands accountability by the coach and client. It seeks to capitalize on the strengths, gifts and talents of the client.

I hope you will consider getting a coach. If you are a manager with a non-profit organization in Orange County, you can apply here at ECOC. The price is right; it is FREE! Our team of coaches are prepared to take you where you want and dream to go.

You may ask, “Why do I need a coach?” I think we all do. Ask LeBron James, Tiger Woods and Tom Brady. They all have one. They have one thing in common, they want to improve and fulfill their goals.

*BlessingWhite(2009) “The Coaching Conundrum”

Book Review: “Give and Take” by Adam Grant


Michael Kogutek

Michael Kogutek


Adam Grant,Ph.D. is a professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the Wharton Business School. There he is engaged in research and teaching cutting edge ideas about leadership and managerial styles.

In “ Give and Take”, Adam categorizes people at work as givers, takers and matchers. The givers are a breed of people who contribute without any expectations in return. Takers try to get as much as possible from others. Matchers give and take when they see there will be something in return for them. This is an interesting way to frame people!!!

Grant makes a point to define “otherish giving”. Giving selflessly versus giving a bit selfish is what separates successful from unsuccessful givers.

His book contains a large body of research that supports his ideas that giving under the right conditions is the best overall strategy to succeed in business.

I enjoyed the book. He embellishes his research studies with wonderful narrative stories. In the end, he makes a point to communicate how givers can take better care of themselves and risk not being a doormat.

I recommend the book. It was refreshing to learn that one can be most successful without greed and manipulation.

Author:  MIchael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County,