How to Pick The Right Coach for You

Executive coaching can be misinterpreted as many things.

In general terms, coaching is a precision development tool use to allow leaders to identify, develop and optimise their abilities.

Frequently, this is aimed at improving the executive’s  ability to perform and lead in a team environment or to be the driver of organisational change.

The coach supports this process of leadership development by acting as a partner on the journey, a trusted friend and confidant.  The coach will act as a sounding board for new ideas and options as well as provide an independent, unbiased and honest view.

The coach therefore needs to be able to demonstrate experience, insight and confidence to be that mirror and sounding board the executive needs.

The coach also needs to be robust enough to ensure that the executive is pushed beyond his comfort zone as well as supported with observations, feedback, encouragement and sound judgement.  This feedback and support will allow the executive to develop an increased level of performance as well and leadership prowess in as short a time as possible.
This ensures that the expense of employing the executive creates a large return on investment for the organisation.

  • Poor performers will improve
  • Middle performers will exceed expectations
  • Top performers will excel!

So what to look for in a coach?

1.    It must be someone you can work with – You will be spending some time together and sharing some intimate details so you must pick someone you can work with.  This is a very personal decision.
2.    The coach your needs before theirs – In fact the coach’s needs should not enter into the equation unless it benefits the executive.  there can be no ‘ego’ investment or return for the coach as the sessions must always be about the client / executive.
3.    They ask great questions – Both open and closed questions are useful but the best questions are those that force the executive to consider the problem and the solution in terms of how they can influence the outcome in a positive direction.
4.    They help create action plans that are viable, realistic and create a positive outcome for both the executive and the organisation.
5.    They measure development against the target and correct their approach to ensure the executive reaches their goals as soon as possible.
6.    They manage the pace, mood and output of each session so that the executive feel highly motivated and ready to take positive actions.
7.    They are strong enough to challenge the client if and when required.

Use these basic criteria to select a coach that can move you to the next level.

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