How to Choose an Executive Coach | 120 Seconds to Better Leadership

Today we’re going to talk a little bit about how to pick an executive coach. You’re really looking at three criteria.

Experiential Fit

Number one, has that coach worked with other executives that are in similar situations that you’re in. So, if you’re leading a turnaround, or you’re very junior for the role that you’ve just assumed, you want to make sure that you’re working with a coach who’s already successfully helped an executive navigate a pretty similar situation.

You want to look at experience. I wouldn’t work with a coach that’s been in practice less than five years. They’re just getting started. There’s too steep of a learning curve, so you really want to work with someone that’s more seasoned.

Cultural Fit 

You also want to make sure that that coach has experience working in the climate that you’re working in. So different strategies are better for different executives, depending on the culture that they’re navigating. So if you’re in a very aggressive culture, you want to make sure you’re working with a coach that’s helped people be successful in those environments. If you’re in a more collaborative environment, same thing, you want to make sure the coach knows how to help people be successful in that kind of climate. It’s really important.

Personality Fit

And finally, you want to make sure you’ve got a good personality fit. Some coaches are very pushy, some are very kind, some are more of a cheerleader, some are very strategic. And if you’re looking for a strategic coach and all you’re getting is “Yes, I believe in you,” it’s not going to be a satisfying experience. 

So make sure they’ve got experience with people like you, in environments like the one that you’re working in, make sure they’re style is going to be a good fit for what you want to see come out of that process.

Any questions, give us a call of course.