Leadership Development in Recessionary Times – Choosing the Right Executive Coach

Are you working in a company or law firm where leaders are enrolled in an executive coaching program? How does your organization assess and select its’ executive coaches?

One of the most powerful questions one can ask is “What factors have contributed to the success of choosing the right executive coaches for our company leaders?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent leaders have a clear plan for picking the right coaches for their executive coaching program.

Choosing the Right Executive Coach

In times of recession, companies must do more with less. Providing executive coaches to high-potential performers is one way to get the most out of untapped talent.

Willingness to be coached and a good fit are two of the key ingredients for a successful coaching relationship. This was reinforced in a January 2009 Harvard Business Review survey, in which researchers queried 140 top coaches about what companies should look for when hiring a coach.

According to the HBR article, there are two basic hiring rules:
1. Ensure executives are ready and willing to be coached
2. Allow them to choose the coach

Unfortunately, many executives select a coach based on referrals from colleagues, without adequately considering personal needs. The person sponsoring the engagement usually sends a few coaches for interviews and asks the executive to select one based on “fit.” But what does a good fit actually mean, and how do you avoid hiring a coach who feels right but may not challenge you to grow?

Without a greater understanding of what happens in a coaching relationship, it’s difficult to make a fair assessment and pick a good match. As the client, you should do the choosing, but you need some criteria to make the best selection.

In Your Executive Coaching Solution (Davies-Black, 2007), Joan Kofodimos says a coach should achieve most of the following:

1. Strike a balance between supporting and challenging you
2. Help create feedback loops with colleagues
3. Assist in clarifying your true strengths, values and purpose
4. Provide structure in the development process
5. Broaden your perspectives
6. Teach concepts and skills
7. Maintain confidentiality
8. Influence how others view you

Working with a seasoned executive coach trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating leadership assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i and CPI 260 can help company leaders have a successful executive coaching experience by choosing the right executive coach. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become happily engaged and aligned with the vision and mission of your company or law firm.