Selecting an executive coach — the RIGHT one for you and your organization — can be a game changer on your business journey. But the options seem limitless, and it can be difficult to manage creeping feelings of overwhelm as you look at what’s out there. Finding the right coach isn’t as easy as typing “executive coach near me” in Google or clicking around on an inspiring person’s Instagram account. It starts with introspection, progresses to discovery calls, accounts for budget considerations, and ends with a (hopefully successful) collaboration.
Your to-do list is long, so let’s get right to it. Here’s how to choose an executive coach so you’ll be one step closer to finding your path to transformational leadership.
Before you seek the assistance of a business coach, clarify your personal goals and objectives, and identify specific areas for improvement. The most fruitful introductory calls I have with clients happen when the interested party shows up with a sense of what they’re looking for.
Take stock of any desired coaching style or approach so that your search can be more streamlined. Pinpoint specific knowledge, skills, or experience that your ideal coach would have to best benefit your goals.
However, don’t let your lack of clarity keep you from taking the step and booking a call with an executive coach. Your ideal outcomes don’t have to be particularly strong or rigid. My goal in these conversations is to meet you exactly where you are, and we can help build a list of target results together.
Seek recommendations and referrals for specific coaches, and check credentials and certifications. There’s no Yelp for business coaches, but individual provider websites and search engines can give you access to testimonials, reviews, and other places with client feedback can give you a better sense of the individual.
You might even ask around your local small business bureau or check bulletin boards in community spaces like Starbucks to see if someone in your own neighborhood can get you where you want to go.
Pro tip: Check out their social media presence. Do you vibe with their content? In the end, this person needs to be someone you want to hang out with. So sussing out their personality on Instagram, LinkdIn, or Tik Tok (or lack thereof, if that’s more your speed) can be helpful.
Schedule initial consultations. For instance, at Turning Life Gold, every interested person participates in a discovery session to first determine if we’re a fit — and not every business is.
These introductory meetings are not only a great time to ask about the coach’s process, philosophy, values, and methodologies, but also a useful step towards gauging your overall compatibility and rapport. It can also be an ideal time to ask questions or discuss concerns.
Use your spidey senses (also known as your intuition!) to measure the fit. If you get a sense that magic is brewing, it just might be! And on the flipside, if you are feeling like you need to talk yourself into selecting a person, that might just be your gut telling you to keep searching.
Determine the level of customization needed for your needs. Does the coach’s availability match your preferred timeline? How are you going to meet? And, um, how much is this going to cost you and do you feel like this investment will pay off in the future?
Get clear on expectations for time and price, otherwise moving forward won’t be possible.
Now that you have scoped multiple coaches’ philosophies, tools, results, availability, and costs, it’s time to make your selection. Weigh the pros and cons of each potential coach, and after considering any budget and logistical constraints, trust your intuition and gut feeling to choose the right guide for you.
Before starting your search, do some soul searching. Have a clear vision of what you hope to accomplish so that you can find a coach with the skills to help you get there. Reflect on which relationships or individuals have most inspired or most positively mentored you in the past to better understand the types of traits your ideal candidate would embody.
If you do your homework, vetting potential options will run more smoothly, and it won’t be long until you have your “a ha!” moment when you click with someone.
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