Tips for choosing an Executive Coach

10th May 2017

As organisations look for increasingly cost effective ways to accelerate the performance of their management population, Executive Coaching has seen a resurgence in popularity.  A proven method of targeting very specific development areas that are unique to the individual, it allows businesses to leverage the concept of a blended approach to learning and personal growth in a very efficient way.

In order to get the most out of the coaching relationship, it’s important that organisations invest the time and effort up front in selecting a coaching supplier that can offer a structured approach to the executive coaching process at the same time as offering a range of experienced coaches so that the right coach can be selected to match the specific needs of the individual in question.

As a minimum, here are the top things that you should look for when selecting appropriate executive coaches for your business:

Real business experience – an experienced coach should have spent a considerable proportion of their career working in industry and should have spent time working with people from all levels of the business

Performance coaching experience – almost goes without saying, but a good coach will be able to provide a track record of success, testimonials and good references.  Don’t be afraid to follow these up for confirmation that they are right for you or your team

Likeability - this is really important. In order for people to be able to open up and trust their coach, it’s important that they can connect with their coach and that they like, respect and trust them.  And while it’s true that the trust element is built up over time, it’s worthwhile having a ‘no strings attached’ initial first meeting between the coach and the coachee to see if there is enough ‘chemistry’ for them both to want to work together.

Ability to drive the relationship – most people that receive some form of performance coaching are already operating at a high level of capability.  A good coach will be mindful of this fact and will not only help to navigate the session in the moment, but will also seek to provide support and guidance in-between meetings, driving the implementation of actions and development of skills.

Challenge and feedback – by definition, one of the core skills of effective coaches is the ability to ask questions and to expose the approach, limitations and capability behind how an individual operates.  Building on this, truly effective coaches will be able to absorb the information that the coachee provides and to both challenge approach and provide constructive and direct feedback with the ultimate aim of finding the best solution for the future.

If you’d like to explore how executive coaching could help you to transform your organisation, please don’t hesitate to contact us