Executive Coaching: How to Choose the Right Coach for You

February 7, 2019

Research shows that working with an executive coach yields powerful results, including heightened confidence and performance. But it only works if you choose the right coach for you!

So, you’ve decided to hire an executive coach? Congratulations! You or your organization have taken a big step to greater success. Your next move is critical. To ensure ROI, you’ve got to find the right executive coach for you, and this is definitely not a one-size-fits-all proposition. 

Here’s what to look for in an executive coach, plus 5 steps to Choosing the Right Executive Coach for You.

Credentials & Training

This one is nonnegotiable: Only hire a coach who is credentialed by at least one of the following organizations – International Coach Federation (ICF); the International Association of Coaches (IAC), and Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC).

Most leading executive coaches have more than basic coach training. At The Workplace Coach, all of our coaches hold advanced degrees and have completed hundreds of hours of coach-specific training, in addition to being credentialed by the profession’s most-respected organizations.

Experience (But Not Just Any Experience)

Look for someone whose executive coaching experience is related to your specific needs, goals and interests. At The Workplace Coach we have a long track record of successful coaching engagements in the areas of leadership development, management coaching, building high-performance teams, career coaching, work-life balance and coach supervision.

A Clear Coaching Philosophy, Style & Method

Professional coaches will clearly articulate their coaching philosophy and method. At The Workplace Coach our work is grounded in the principles of Practical Psychology Coaching. Our method includes asking powerful open-ended questions to help clients gain insights that move them toward their goals.

Consider the coach’s workstyle too. Will they meet with you by phone, video conference call or in person? What type of support do they provide between sessions? Are there limits on between-session support?

Professional Tools & Resources

Many executive coaches give their clients access to assessment tools such as DISC, 360 feedback, Myers-Briggs and the Highlands Ability Battery. Professional coaches are also skilled at guiding clients in maximizing their use of the tools.

Professional Ethics and Coaching Agreement

We strongly recommend working with an executive coach who adheres to ICF’s Code of Ethics. In addition, the coach should be willing to draft an agreement defining the terms and scope of the engagement, including fees, scheduling, logistics, and roles and responsibilities of coach and client. Pay attention to whether the coach clearly distinguishes between coaching, consulting and counseling.

5 Steps to Choosing the Right Executive Coach for You

  1. Gather names. Ask friends and colleagues to recommend coaches they’ve worked with successfully. Consult online resources of coaching credentialing organizations. 

  1. Do your due diligence. Ask potential coaches to provide references, including current and past clients. Contact each reference and ask about his/her experience with the coach; be sure to ask about pros and cons.

  1. Interview top prospects. In addition to the basics (training, credentials, experience, methodology, costs), ask the coach to discuss:
  • their strengths and weaknesses;
  • specific experiences with clients whose situations or goals were similar to yours, including their process and outcomes;
  • their professional experience outside coaching;
  • numbers of clients coached.

  1. Take a test drive. Schedule a complimentary session.

  1. Consider personality and chemistry. Do you feel comfortable and at ease with the coach? Just as importantly, will the coach challenge you to grow? 

Free Resource. Contact us today to download a free copy of our Consumer’s Guide to Coaching, or call us to set up a complimentary session.

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