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Selecting an Executive Coach? The Qualities and Attributes you need to Consider

By Kelley Reynard
Coaching has become extremely popular over the last 30 years. With individuals and businesses realising the success an executive coach brings, many people are now jumping on the coaching bandwagon to offer themselves as executive coaches. HR Practitioners, Psychologists, Senior Executives; they’re all claiming the coaching status after a 2 day workshop on XXXX. It is no wonder people are finding it really difficult to choose a coach that they are going to work with for a period of time. Does experience make a good coach? Or is it knowledge and their training? Essentially, there are no universally agreed-upon standards of what makes a good coach, however if you are provided with the opportunity to work with a coach, or you are actively looking, there are particular attributes and qualities that you should look for to help make your decision.

Clarity about the process: Helping you to define your challenges, where you are starting from, and where you want to go, is one of the first things a skilled coach should do. They should offer their support to you about the new skills and behaviours you will acquire, and explain to you how those skills will transfer back to your work.

Someone you share chemistry and mindset with: See where their head is to make sure you match up. You want to enjoy going to see them and feel a connection with your coach. This is extremely important. It is important that you also trust this person, and that they help support you to build emotional awareness, navigate challenges with confidence and develop strong communication skills.

Find a coach who will hold you accountable: It is important to find a coach who will keep you accountable to your major goals, and who will discuss openly the underlying reasons to why these r may not have been achieved.
Real Skills: Great coaches will let you know that they can offer new skills, awareness and knowledge, and will help you integrate what you’ve learned into your day-to-day life. Sharing with you their past success, as well as their failures, shows to you how they have worked with others to improve their leadership, business, management, and or business operating capabilities, whilst also revealing how they have learned from their past mistakes. They should also have the skills to listen deeply and facilitate your best thinking; not just tell you what to do or jump straight to answers without first helping you organise your own thought process.

Confidentiality: Great coaches make up front agreements about confidentiality at the beginning, and they ensure they keep those agreements. They hold themselves to account.

Actual Success: In essence, effective coaching enables clients to be better at their jobs, and to create the future they want for themselves. They also help you get clearer about how you can best contribute to the organisation’s success, and then to achieve better results and become more highly promotable (if that’s what you want). They will help you see yourself more accurately; get clear about how to best play to your strengths; and grow in the highest leverage and most feasible ways.

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