What Makes A Great Coach?
What makes a great coach? If you can’t seem to find an executive coach that fits you, it’s time to evaluate what’s important to you in a coach. That’s because everyone wants something a little different out of a coaching experience, and no two people—not even two people with the SAME coach under the SAME program—will get the same results.
Despite this, there are some universal qualities that separate a bad executive coaching experience from a good one. Here are some green flags to look for in a great coach.
Are they listening?
Before anything else, your coach needs to be a good listener. If you feel like they’re just waiting for their turn to speak, they’re not going to understand your unique challenges and goals. Instead, you’ll be getting the same boilerplate treatment as every other client, and your coaching process won’t be uniquely suited to you.
Are they asking the right questions?
A great executive coaching session involves a lot of questions. Not only should there be questions about your life, job, personal challenges and more, but those questions should also lead to deep, meaningful conversations. These questions shouldn’t just scratch the surface either.
Are they willing to do the work with you, instead of for you?
There are times in life when others do the work for you. It’s great if your spouse does your laundry. It’s wonderful if your kids pick up their toys. But coaching is NOT a place where others do the work for you. Instead, your coach should work with you to solve problems and tackle new challenges—because if they don’t, you won’t be able to work through them on your own when your coaching relationship reaches its conclusion.
Who else have they coached?
What does their coaching roster look like? Is it people like you? Are they creatives, executives, entrepreneurs, go-getters, artists, businesspeople, young folks, older folks? Finding a coach that specializes in coaching clients similar to you will help you get the results you want.
Were their past clients satisfied?
Your coach shouldn’t have clients who were moderately happy with their experience. If they do, they’re not a great coach. Instead, your coach should have raving fans—people who are SO excited to tell you how much coaching improved their lives that they’re practically knocking you down just to share their story.
Do they have a methodology?
What makes a great coach, you ask? Methodology, methodology, methodology. Your coach should have a firmly rooted process by which they help you improve your overall wellbeing. Before you sign up, ask the coach about their process, the duration of their program, what kinds of results you can expect, and how those results are measured.
Do they collect data about you?
Data isn’t just for computers, it’s for people too. Throughout your time together, your coach should be actively collecting anecdotal data about you. That way they can get past surface-level information and help you work on deeper, more meaningful goals you’re chasing.
Do they use other materials?
Does your coach go above and beyond monthly calls? They had better. Before signing up with a coach, choose someone who employs a “high frequency contact policy” that involves not only weekly calls, but other tools as well: journaling, texting, email or some other form of communication.
To find a great coach, do your homework
One of our clients once interviewed seventeen coaches before finding someone that fit their needs. It took them time to find out what makes a good coach for them, but once they discovered the kind of coaching they were looking for, their progress sped up tremendously.
So, before you sign up for just any executive coaching service, make sure you do your homework about what makes a good coach. Book a free consultation to learn about the kind of chemistry you and your coach might have. Ask about their track record and past clients (news flash: coaches who refuse to share details about their track record are probably hiding something!). And, be sure to ask about their process.
Do all of these things and you won’t just find a great executive coach—you’ll also fall in love with the results of your coaching process.