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How to choose the best executive coach for you

March 5, 2015

Working with an executive coach is common practice these days – as common as working out with a personal trainer. But how do you go about finding the right executive coach for you? Executive coaches today expect potential clients to be interviewing 3-4 coaches to find that perfect fit: someone who can take them to their next level of leadership.

Having been interviewed by many recruiting executives, I want to pass on what I consider to be key points to cover during your interview.

1. Ask the coach to describe their style? What are their leading coaching qualities? How do they stand apart from other executive coaches?

2. Share the areas of your leadership development that you want to improve. Ask if the coach has had success working with other clients with similar leadership development opportunities. Discuss the outcomes.

3. Inquire if the executive coach uses assessment tools. If yes, discuss how they benefit the coaching process? Understand costs/benefits.

4. Clarify length of time of the executive coaching contract. Typically (and I believe ideally) you will want 6 months with biweekly calls. Coaching calls are generally 45-60 minutes long.

5. Discuss if there is a sponsor (leader or H/R director) involved in the coaching process. Clarify what, if any, high level themes are to be shared.

6. Ask the coach to describe what a successful executive coaching engagement looks like. Does that fit with your expectations?

7. Discuss how you are going to measure the success of the contract.

8. Trust your gut! Is this someone that you can open up to? Be challenged by? Trust?

Your Executive Coach can significantly impact your leadership development. Choose wisely!