Choosing an Executive Coach – 5 Things to Look for


When choosing an executive coach, it can be overwhelming to consider all of the qualities the right professional should have. Every coach is different, but there are core experiences and abilities that you will always find in a credible coach. Keep reading to learn about the five things to look for before you hire an executive coach.

Training and Education

Much like when hiring an employee, you should look at what training and education a coach has received. According to the ICF “When asked to identify the biggest obstacle for coaching over the next 12 months, the main concern expressed by coach practitioners was untrained individuals who call themselves coaches.” Be wary of anyone who calls themselves a coach, but won’t display any real credentials or training. This is not a profession that just anyone can do well in. It takes skill and talent.

Prior Experience

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair

After training and education comes experience. Hiring and executive coach is an investment. It’s important for you to assess how much experience a coach has and to look at the success they’ve achieved. If they have worked with many clients and bring a lot of value to them, they are likely to do the same for you. It’s just as the saying goes, past behavior dictates future behavior.

Good Communication Skills

An executive coach is a coach. In order to be effective at that, they have to be a good communicator. When they speak, make sure that you can clearly understand everything that they say. If you can understand them, that not only means they are an effective communicator, it also means that they most likely have an extensive knowledge base to pull from.

A Process

Every successful venture starts with a plan, right? Before hiring an executive coach, you should speak to them about the steps they usually take to get results. When you consult with a possible coach, talk to them about a specific concern or something you would like to improve. Let them talk to you about the direction they would like to go in or what has worked for them in the past.


“Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness.” – Paul Kagame

Though every good executive coach will and should have a process in which they follow to reach goals, it is also imperative that they are they are flexible. Every business is different, and having a formula is a great place to start. However, it is also important that they will take the things that are unique to you and your company when working with you. One of the benefits of having an executive coach in the first place is that they can assist you specifically, not just give you standard advice pulled from a book.

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