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A Guide to Choosing an Executive Coach

Investing in an executive coach can deliver huge benefits both personally and professionally.  Like any close relationship – you’ll want to feel confident you can trust your coach. Navigating the coaching market does unfortunately require some degree of caution; the industry is currently self-regulated, making it essential for those seeking coaching to do their research.

Before you begin your search for a coach make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from coaching. Think about the behaviours, skills and results you want to change or improve on. Having some clarity around your objectives will help you narrow down your search for your coach.

Step 1: Do Your Research – Key Considerations:

Certifications and Accreditation

In this unregulated field, look for coaches certified by reputable bodies like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC). This ensures that your coach has been trained to a good standard and possesses the necessary skills to work as a professional coach.

Website, Portfolio and Testimonials

Explore the coach's experience, how long have they been coaching, and who are their typical clients? Assess the coaches industry experience, knowledge and  leadership background. Check out their history and consider whether industry-specific knowledge is important to you and your coaching goals.

Take a look at the success stories they have shared. Explore their client base, the types of professionals and organisations they work with – do they align with your criteria or connect with you in some way ? What do you need to see in order to be able to trust them. Also consider the diversity of client experiences to gauge the coach's adaptability. Get a feel for the coach's coaching philosophy and approach. Assess whether their methodology aligns with your learning style and preferences.  Is it fixed? If so you might be buying a training course not coaching.


In addition to the coach's website, search for testimonials from previous clients in public forums such as LinkedIn or Google. Take a look through their social media content, do you resonate with what they share?


Step 2: Meeting your potential coach

Before making a commitment, consider engaging in a meeting with your shortlisted coaches. This not only allows you to assess their coaching style but also helps you determine if there is a natural rapport. Many coaches offer a free discovery call.

Building a successful coach-client relationship relies heavily on trust. It’s an intimate relationship that can be deeply personal. My clients share things with me they’ve never shared with anyone else or they say things out loud for the first time - a strong relationship is essential.

Key Areas to Explore in a discovery call:

Get to Know Them:

  • Inquire about what initially drew them to executive coaching. Share Your Objectives:

  • Be open about your goals and aspirations, and ask about their experience coaching individuals with similar objectives. Coaching Approach:

  • Explore how the coach typically approaches coaching engagements. Past Success Stories:

  • Understand how they have assisted others in achieving similar outcomes. Role of Feedback:

  • Discuss the role of feedback in their coaching process. Progress Measurement:

  • Inquire about how they measure progress and the impact of coaching. Expectations and Boundaries:

  • Clarify the coach's expectations and boundaries, particularly regarding confidentiality. Practical Considerations:

  • Establish practical details such as fees, location, frequency, timing, and terms and conditions to ensure alignment with your preferences.

By exploring these key areas in your discovery calls, you can gain valuable insights into the coach's approach, values, and compatibility with your coaching needs.


Step 3: Making Your Decision

There’s lots to consider. As you navigate through this decision-making process, consider more than the practical aspects and follow your gut. Trust your instincts -  who did you feel connected to? Who will motivate and challenge you?  Who do you trust to help you achieve your goals?

Am I the right coach for you? We probably won’t know til we’ve had a conversation. Message me  HERE or at if you’d like to explore working together.

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