The Language of executive coaching: A developmental framework

Jean-Etienne Joullié, Anthony M. Gould, Robert Spillane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Although the practice of executive coaching has received sustained attention in literature, no theoretical framework exists to guide the language of conversations that aims to improve executive performance. This article addresses this omission. Following Richard Weaver, it resurrects an ancient distinction between noble and base language and combines this distinction with a linguistic hierarchy. Noble language culminates in and gives voice to optimal executive performance; as such, it is the ideal language of executive coaching. Contributions to theory and research, practical and educational implications, and a call to action are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-704
Number of pages15
JournalAcademy of Management Learning and Education
Issue number4
Early online date31 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2022


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