Getting Ahead January 20, 2020

How to choose an executive coach

How to choose an executive coach

If you’ve made the decision to invest in an executive coach, the next step is choosing one. So how do you do it? Where do you look? And how can you guarantee you’ll find the right person for you?

Like any selection process, there are certain attributes and qualities to look for in a coach. At Vistage, all of our executive coaches (Chairs) undergo a rigorous selection process to ensure they have the requisite qualifications and experience, as well as receiving additional training. Here’s what you should be looking for…

The importance of picking the right person

An executive coach isn’t a consultant; they don’t offer quick fixes or work on a prescriptive, trouble-shooting basis. Instead, they work with you by challenging you and guiding you in order to help you learn and grow. That’s why it’s vital that the chemistry’s right; at a fundamental level you need to be able to connect with your coach. For the process to work, they need to get to the heart of what’s preventing either personal growth as a leader or business growth - which is why trust is paramount.

When you trust your coach, you can talk freely and openly about what’s challenging you and what your pain points are. Someone could have all the qualifications and experience in the world but if you don’t click or feel at ease with them, it simply won’t work.

Ideally they will be someone who you feel relaxed with but also feel that they could take you out of your comfort zone. Ultimately, your instinct will usually tell you how comfortable you feel in their presence and whether or not you can see yourself working with them. 

It’s also vital that their experience is relevant to you. For example, if your goal is to reach a financial target, it makes sense to work with someone who’s achieved that type of profit growth with a similar sized company. 

As with most business goals, the more specific you can be about your aims, the better. Once you’ve determined what you’re trying to achieve, you can look for a coach that fits the bill both in terms of their qualifications and their experience.

Vistage Chairs

Put simply, Vistage Chairs are people who’ve walked the walk. While anyone can claim they’re an expert in leadership or business management, our Chairs have proven track records - they are all successful and experienced business leaders. 

All Vistage Chairs have a minimum of 12-15 years of management experience which includes running a business with at least a £5 million turnover. They all have experience in leading high performance teams, and they’re all skilled in listening to and challenging CEOs and senior executives. On top of their skills and expertise, they all share a passion for sharing their knowledge and helping other business leaders reach their goals.

Paul Johnson, a Vistage Chair, explains the Vistage Chair ethos: ‘The entry barrier is high because anybody can be a coach but to be a Chair is a true mission. It’s not a job… I really feel this is my life’s work, and so many of this amazing Chair community will tell you we have the best job on the planet.’

Our Chairs may be highly qualified experts in their fields, but it’s their passion and commitment for helping business leaders succeed that truly sets them apart from the rest.

Choosing an executive coach (or Chair) shouldn’t be a difficult task. You need the right chemistry, clear goals, and a coach who has the qualifications and expertise to guide and challenge you. At Vistage, our diverse team of expert, experienced Chairs means you’re guaranteed to find the perfect match. 

If you would like to speak to someone about how your business might benefit from executive coaching,  contact Vistage today. 


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