The Point: We have a client that shared their frustrations in their search for an executive coach. Their story went something like “So many coaches… So little time!” With little/no barriers to entry, no coordinated/consistent professional body providing certification credentials, and every Tom, Dick and Harry calling themselves a coach… We feel your pain at Tip of the Spear! With a deep bench of professionals that have not only “been there” but have “done that” we’d like to think that we’re a different type of Business Advisory Services firm. So if you’re looking for results-oriented executive coaching that can help you take a step back and redefine your approach to become a better manager and leader, you’re in the right spot! In the following post, we brainstormed 10 tips to successfully find an executive coach… Enjoy!
Tip #1: Life Coach vs. Executive Coach
Not all coaches can fulfill the role of the executive. Some coaches are well intentioned folks that have a passion for motivating you in the right direction from a “personal” or “life” perspective. They work more on your personal growth. However, executive coaches hired by our firm focus more on professional development areas that you and your company have identified as essential to your success.
Tip #2: Clarity in All Things
A good executive coach is one that is able to explain his/her processes clearly. S/he will identify goals with you and define action plans on how you can achieve them. Along the way during coaching conversations, they’ll share first/second-hand perspectives that will aid you in framing your desired outcomes.
Tip #3: Customized Approach
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to executive coaching, simply because business challenges vary from company to company and from individual leader to leader. You may get referrals from other leaders in your industry, but what worked in their firm may not work in yours. Hence, look to hire a coach that best suits you/your organization’s needs rather than just hiring on the basis of experience and testimonials.
Tip #4: Expanding Vision
Following from the previous point on Customized Approach, the executive coach you hire should identify problems in your professional space and offer unique perspectives and solutions. They should be able to explain how their services will benefit you/your organization instead of quoting random case studies and statistics of how centered executive coaching helps businesses.
Tip #5: Test Before Hiring
Depending on your agreement, you will be spending significant time with your coach (Our typical engagement lasts 12-months). So instead of directly hiring a coach, we always recommend spending an hour with a coach to see if you actually “feel” comfortable around them or not (Think of it as a “test” drive!)
Tip #6: Never Settle
Many executives dread the coaching experience. That is why they will say yes to any coach that their company recommends. But this is a mistake. Settling is never worth it. You should thoroughly interview every coach you shortlist, and take second opinion if possible.
Tip #7: Detailed Answers
Anyone can memorize an article like the one you are a reading right now and quote a fact or two about executive coaching. However, a pro will be able to give you in-depth information and explain their coaching processes and how they will help you tackle specific issues. If the coach you are interviewing is regurgitating generic information, you are better off without them!
Tip #8: Confidentiality
This is perhaps the most important point. Never work with a coach with whom there is even a slightest suspicion of business information going outside your conversation (worse yet, outside your organization!)
Tip #9: Real Results
Effective Centered Executive Coaching enables clients to better themselves (Leader Centered Coaching), their constituents (Stakeholder Centered Coaching), and their organizations (Business Centered Coaching). Good coaches help their clients understand how they can best contribute to success, and achieve better results so as to climb up the corporate ladder. If a coach can’t point to actual clients with whom they achieved real results, don’t hire them!
Tip #10: Who is the Star of the Show?
Finally and most importantly, you should never work with a coach that makes themselves, and not you, the star of the show. Professional coaching certifications are a given (For example, the International Coach Federation’s Certifications – See them by CLICKING HERE. Keep in mind, the job of a Centered Executive Coach is to help you become better as outlined in Tip #9 (Real Results).
If you’d like more information on Tip of the Spear’s Centered Executive Coaching offerings, CLICK HERE.