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  • Writer's pictureShari Gibbons

How to Hire an Executive Coach: Invest in Your Peak Performance

Updated: 7 days ago

Photo of Executive coach high-fiving a client.

The C-suite can be a lonely place. Leading a team, navigating complex challenges, and driving growth all while maintaining a strategic vision requires skill development and resilience.

That's where executive coaches come in. But with so many coaches out there, how do you find the one who's right for you?

Here's a roadmap to guide you in hiring an exceptional executive coach who will become a trusted partner on your path to peak performance:

1. Seek Expertise in Development: Adult Development & Immunity to Change

Great coaches understand the nuances of adult development theory. They're familiar with the work of Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, particularly their groundbreaking framework, Immunity to Change. This framework helps identify the unconscious patterns and limiting beliefs that hold you back. Imagine a leader stuck in a cycle of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, or leadership traits causing friction; only coaches trained in the leading methodologies like Immunity to Change can help them unearth the root cause and develop strategies to move forward.

2. Partner with a Coach Who Invests in Themselves: Leading by Example

The adage "you can't take a client where you haven't been yourself" rings true in the world of coaching. The best coaches are dedicated to their own continuous learning and development. They invest in leadership development programs, coaching certifications, and ongoing personal and professional growth. Their own journey equips them to guide clients through challenging transformations with the most advanced methodologies.

3. Seek a Coach Who Prioritizes Self-Improvement: Supervision Matters

Top-tier coaches don't operate in a vacuum. They actively seek coaching supervision. Supervision involves working with a Coach Supervisor to continue to advance their skills, address blind spots, and ensure they're delivering the most impactful coaching possible. Think of it as an executive coach constantly sharpening their saw to better serve you.

4. Understanding Challenges: Adaptive vs. Technical

Executive challenges come in two flavors: technical and adaptive. Technical challenges have clear solutions (e.g., improving public speaking skills). Adaptive challenges involve deeper, more complex issues (e.g., shifting a company culture). Exceptional coaches understand this distinction. For technical challenges, they provide guidance and support. For adaptive challenges, they empower clients to discover their own solutions, fostering self-reliance and long-term growth.

5. Coaching Readiness: Are You Ready for Transformation?

Coaching isn't a magic bullet. It requires a client's willingness to be introspective and commit to change. Before embarking on a coaching journey, an effective coach will assess your coaching readiness. This ensures both parties are aligned on expectations and goals.

6. Embrace a Broader Perspective: Systemic Coaching for Sustainable Results

The best executive coaches are also trained in systemic team coaching. This approach incorporates a broader perspective, recognizing that you operate within a complex system of interconnected elements (e.g., company culture, team dynamics, industry trends). By fostering systemic thinking, the coach empowers you to not only address your immediate challenge but also consider its impact on the larger system. This leads to more sustainable and impactful solutions.

7. A Relentless Focus on ROI: Your Success is Their Priority

The best executive coach is laser-focused on one thing: your return on investment. They develop tailored coaching programs designed to deliver tangible business results and significant personal growth. Metrics for success are established at the outset, and progress is tracked throughout the coaching journey. A great coach becomes your partner in achieving your leadership goals.

Finding the Right Coach: It's an Investment in You

Executive coaching is a powerful tool for unlocking your full potential. By prioritizing these key qualities, you can identify a coach who acts as your trusted advisor, a guide on your path to peak performance. Remember, the right coach can save you time and make all the difference in your journey as a leader. Invest wisely and watch yourself soar.


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