It can be challenging to find the right executive coach for your business because so many factors go into success in coaching, including personality, experience, and training. If you are searching for an executive coach to help with business leadership or developing a new strategy for your company, it is crucial to work with someone who has the correct background and training. This blog post will give you some tips on how to find the best person for you.
What is executive coaching?
Executive coaching is a process where a C-suite executive, or somebody in a leadership or management position in a company, gets coached by an individual who is an expert in guiding and providing assistance to high-performing workers in a business organization or a company. These professional individuals who offer guidance are called executive coaches. Companies seek after them to help improve their employees' work performance and professional growth and meet company goals and objectives.
Hiring an executive coach usually involves the executive or the HR officer selecting a coach based on referrals from colleagues or other people associated with the company. The executive that needs coaching then engages in interviews with several coaches that the company sponsors. The discussion is critical because the executive must discern whether he speaks to the ideal executive coach in the initial consultation. Asking questions about the coach regarding how he works with clients and how he does his coaching process will show if he is a good coach and if his personality and style are a good fit for you. The best executive coaches share several good traits, and these are the things you wanted for your prospective coach.
1. Gives support and challenges at the same time
C-suite executives are already high-performers in their respective, so hiring the best executive coach involves finding a balance between supporting you and providing challenges simultaneously. The right coach understands and respects the client's values and interests and will guide the client based on the company's goals and objectives. The coach is not just there to cheer you up, but he must be able to push the client out of his comfort zone. A good coach knows how to give constructive feedback and criticism so that the client's wrongdoings are pinpointed and improved.
2. Possesses a structure for the development process
During an executive's initial meeting with a coach, it's possible to ask him how he does his development process for his client. There are a few things to take note of when the coach describes his development process. First, take note if you hear him say something about getting input from other people in the company, which leads to giving feedback regularly and reviewing them for further plan developments. Second, if the coach holds regular coaching meetings to learn new leadership skills and behaviors, implements newly discovered skills and behaviors in work, and assesses results, you just have found your ideal coach. Finally, an effective executive coach has a roadmap and timetable for meeting goals and ensures their completion to make the process always moving forward.
3. Knows how to respect confidential matters
The coaching relationship between an executive and the coach may involve many matters that contain confidential information from the executive's company. A trained coach knows to respect boundaries and maintain confidentiality while engaged in a coaching engagement. As an executive looking for a coach, while interviewing an executive coach, try to probe how he handles company-sensitive information situations. If the coach knows how to respect such concerns, then it is safe to say you can hire somebody that exhibits this trait.
4. Teaches the client to become a better leader
C-suite executives are leaders in their own right, and their leadership style may be the one that needs to be improved by an executive coach. As an executive, you might be too busy working in your company that you overlook other areas where you might need some improvement, such as handling other people in your company. A good coach knows how to improve necessary leadership skills such as working and collaborating with others, managing expectations, developing other people in your team or department, solving conflicts, and acting as a role model and inspiration for others. Leadership development is a must for an excellent executive coach.
5. Clarifies goals and purpose
A coaching engagement doesn't last forever, and by the end of it, the executive coach must identify the end goal that the client must meet for himself and the company to which he belongs. It must be clear to the client the purpose of all the objectives and goals that the coach prescribes him to do and improve. Long-term solutions and improvements are what matters, and everything that the client and coach will work on must be clear and in line with the company's overall mission and vision.
6. Knows how to give feedback
The right coach knows how to provide proper feedback to his client and get feedback from the client's peers within the company. Colleagues at work will usually not directly say to their boss or leader what they think of them. An experienced coach knows how to get this information from other people and relay it to the person concerned. An executive coach acts as a team coach because the coach doesn't only work with you in terms of giving feedback but also acts as a mediator with other people in the client's company whom the client might not be comfortable approaching. A great executive coach is not an enabler of wrong behavior. Instead, he gives honest feedback to his client and teaches him how to have proper work relationships with other people, provide feedback, and handle input coming from others.
7. Gives a new perspective
One problem that an executive might have is feeling stuck because of limiting assumptions and beliefs. An executive coach can provide a fresh pair of glasses on looking at things from outside the company. The best coaches can shift their clients' perspectives by giving additional viewpoints, looking at situations from a different angle, asking new questions, and offering new ways of doing things. These are things the client might not have thought of due to restricting themselves to traditional practices. A change in perspective can help an executive broaden his horizons and change how he does things, leading to better value for his organization.
Working with the right executive coach
It is possible to glimpse the traits mentioned above with the coach you are interviewing during the initial interviews. Don't waste time hiring someone who doesn't meet most of the criteria mentioned above. The wrong executive coach is a waste of investment and can damage the company's reputation and the client in the long run. The coaching industry is primarily unregulated so hiring someone with the proper coaching certifications from accrediting organizations like the International Coaching Federation is a plus. Ask previous clients of the coach you are interviewing for any relevant experience working with the coach concerned. While interviewing coaches, ask them for any industry experience and coaching experience they have. The personal and professional growth of the client as an executive is the essential thing that needs fulfillment at the end of the coaching engagement, so make sure to get a great executive coach to reap the most benefits for yourself and your company.