Qualities of Great Executive Coaches
Great executive coaches can help you to grow your career and your business by identifying your areas of strength and those where you could use a little more development or training. He or she will also help you to build on your strengths and apply them to becoming a true leader in your field.
If you are an executive, up and coming manager or have your own business coach can help you to make it even more successful – but it’s not all work and no play. A coach will help you to develop a better balance between work and leisure and can guide you on a path that leads to the fulfillment of your life’s vision.
There seem to be executive coaches behind every bush these days, but everyone agrees that not all executive coaches are equally good. Here are my top 10 qualities of a great coach:
Executive coaches have to teach their clients self-awareness in order to help them to realize their full potential. It’s impossible to teach what you don’t already know and practice in your life, so an executive coach has to be self-aware and understand how his or her actions and personality impact on others.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Emotions affect our decision-making more than we may realize. An effective business coach has to understand the emotional elements that may come into play during the coaching process and adapt his or her approach accordingly.
3. Excellent communication skills
Having the cleverest executive coach in the world won’t help you if he or she is unable to communicate effectively. It’s not just about being able to talk: a coach has to be able to use active listening effectively. A great coach should be able to listen to half-formed ideas and poorly expressed concepts and sum them up clearly and insight-fully.
4. Respect and caring
A strong coaching relationship requires mutual respect and empathy. If these two elements are not part of the relationship, nobody is going to benefit from the intervention. An executive needs to be able to feel free to confide in their coach without fear of negative judgment.
5. The creativity to create a customized methodology
Every company and every executive is different and may require the application of different coaching methods. If a coach is determined to apply a ‘pet theory’ rather than explore a variety of options with you to find the very best fit, you shouldn’t be working with them. ‘Off the peg’ solutions and ideas can be found in books or on the internet. You need a tailor-made fit.
6. Rapid learning and quick understanding
A coach has to become intimately acquainted with your business no matter how complex it may be. He or she has to get to know and understand the people, processes, and goals of a business. It may have taken years to build a highly complex business, but the coach has to grasp how it all works and understand the dynamics within the business quickly and insightfully.
7. Lifelong learning
An executive coach may be there to guide a learning process, but coaches also need to be able to show ongoing growth and development in their own personal and professional lives. If they can’t do it for themselves, they won’t be able to help you.
8. Sincere interest and a strong motivation to help
Great coaches take a genuine interest in the businesses they help and the executives they coach. If you want to see a good coach get really excited, talk to him or her about past successes and watch them light up with enthusiasm. Once your prospective coach gets to know you and your business, that’s the kind of interest and motivation you should expect to see.
9. Applying a two-way exchange of energy and knowledge
Coaching differs from mentoring. A coach needs to access and guide your ideas rather than just telling you everything they know. A coach is there to help you drive your own success – not to ‘take over’.
10. A good coach sees coaching as a calling
For the truly excellent business or executive coach, coaching will never be ‘just another job’. To a great coach, coaching is an art – one that they have been perfecting for years and which they will continuously improve on.
So What will a great coach actually do for you?
You’re going to love the journey (and the results). A great executive coach will help you to fulfill your true potential – both in your work and private life. You’ll discover the path that leads to the fulfillment of your dreams and ambitions, and you’ll discover what challenges face you as an individual and how you can equip yourself to deal with them. Will you reach for and achieve your dreams? Yes! But you’ll also find that you need challenges to keep you motivated, so you’ll probably be back for more!