The Ins and Outs of Leadership Coaching Series- How to Select the Right Coach

Today, you can find a “coach” for everything. Where we used to associate coaching specifically with sports, now there are life coaches, leadership coaches, executive coaches, parent coaches, career coaches… you get the picture.

Since our firm provides leadership and career coaching, we obviously see the value in coaching.Performance Management: Putting Research into Action states, “There is strong research and case-study evidence that coaching is an effective leadership development tool.” In fact, one of our coaching clients from last year received a substantial raise as a result of gains in his performance. He deserves the credit for this through his hard work, but we were able to help him maximize his performance through behavioral-based leadership coaching. I have an executive coach I work with and she has helped me tremendously in focusing company efforts towards growth.

So if you are seeking someone to help you improve your performance, what should you be looking for?

  1. A coach who has a governing set of ethics/professional standards. Ask them to provide you with their standards inInformation on confidentiality, conflict of interest, professional conduct and scope of practice, at a minimum, should be included.
  2. Industry knowledge and people knowledge. For example, if you are in manufacturing, does the coach understand this arena? Within the scope of practice your coach should be able to provide to you an explanation of their training and background. Make sure this is in line with your needs.
  3. Track Record. Your coach should be able to provide you with a list of references.
  4. An approach. The coach should have an approach to coaching grounded in research and practice that comes with a proven process you can align with and devote the time implementing.

We’ll be focusing over the next few weeks specifically on leadership coaching including things to consider before hiring a coach, our approach to leadership coaching, and common areas of focus in leadership coaching along with tips to aid in these common areas. We’ll wrap this series up with ways to measure the impact of coaching at an individual and organizational level.

Do you have a coach or have you thought about hiring one? What sold you on their ability to help you gain the results you were seeking to accomplish?

Mary Ila Ward

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