If you’re an emerging or senior leader and wondering whether to get an executive leadership coach (for yourself or for your team), there are some important things to consider.
Executive coaches can be well worth their fee (in most cases returning ten or more times the investment over 2-10 years). The question is whether you are willing to do what it takes to ensure your investment in an executive coach will bring results.
It’s important for you to get clear on what kind of person is going to help you get to the next level, as you’re the one doing the work.
Some executive coaches are big picture thinkers, others are ‘get stuck in and help-you-do-it kind of coaches.
I’m a big picture strategice thinker. I coach other leading coaches, who come to me to have a thinking partner and to get clarity and direction in their career. Each executive coach is unique and different and I can introduce you the kind of coach you might be looking for.
Whenever I’ve looked for a new coach, I look at what I’ve achieved and where I haven’t achieved that I would have liked to – then I look at my own personality and behavioural profile and ask if I need someone complimentary or totally different.
What sort of qualities are you looking for in your executive coach? Do they need to hold you accountable or inspire you? Do they need to give you ‘how-to’ or ask the right questions so that you find it easy to solve the ‘how-to’.
Great leadership coaches know how to ask the right questions to get your thinking in expansive and productive ways. This builds confidence. I like to bring out the best in each of my coaching clients so that their confidence adds value to their career and current role.
Here are questions you could ask a prospective executive coach:
- What do you expect from your clients?
- Could I contact some of your past and current clients?
- This is what I need: Would you be the best coach for me, or could you refer me to someone?
- Where did you do your coaching qualification?
- Why do you coach?
- Who is your coach or mentor at the moment? (Yes, all the best coaches have a coach)
- What kind of coach are you?
The best executive coaches are coach-able and will have mentors, mastermind partners and coaches they are working with continually. They are highly qualified, normally with a specific coaching qualification (a minimum is a CertIV in Coaching here in Australia) and will also coaching qualification from a well known international thought leader. When I decided to become a coach, I got my CertIV in coaching from The Coaching Institute in Melbourne, as well as doing my Neurolinguistic training. I also trained with Bob Proctor in Florida (and subsequently in Toronto, Canada) as a LifeSuccess Consultant.
Professional development and growth is an important element of success and life fulfilment. Ensure that you engage an executive coach who is able to challenge you to grow personally and professionally. Continuous improvement is key for those who are assisting others to grow, as executive coaches do.
There also needs to be an energy match. Having a leadership coach who ‘gets’ you, who understands where you are, and who can help you navigate where you want to go, does make all the difference. Obviously you’d want someone inspirational, positive and someone who sees opportunities for you – if you want to be inspired by them! Great energy is contagious, some of my clients have wanted to work with me simply because they enjoy my positive, uplifting energy.
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