Finding, Choosing & Working with an Executive Business Coach

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

– Tim Gallwey, author of The Inner Game

An executive business coach can help you unlock your full potential as a leader and reach your professional goals. For those executives, who want to take their leadership, team, and career to the next level, but have never used an executive coach, finding the right partner can seem like a formidable step. Let’s go over the benefits of an executive coach, tips for choosing one, and some advice on working with one.

What are the benefits of an executive business coach?

There are many potential benefits to working with an executive business coach, especially for executives who have never used one before. Some of the most common benefits include:

1. Accelerated development of strategic skills: A strong strategic executive coach can help you learn the language, mindset, and toolkit of strategy, which is simply the goals you choose and the actions you take to achieve those goals. An executive coach can help you choose the right goals, create better potential paths and plans, and help you efficiently and effectively execute those plans to achieve your goals.

2. Improved leadership skills: An executive coach can help you develop the skills and strategies you need to be a more effective leader, whether you’re new to a leadership role or looking to take your skills to the next level.

3. Increased self-awareness: Executive coaching can help you gain a better understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, which can in turn help you become more self-aware and better able to adapt to new situations.

4. Greater productivity: By helping you identify and overcome any roadblocks to success, an executive coach can help you increase your productivity and achieve better results.

5. Enhanced communication: Executive coaches can help you improve your communication skills, both within your team and with external stakeholders. This can lead to better team cohesion, more productive meetings, and more successful projects.

6. Increased confidence: Working with an executive coach can help you build confidence in your abilities, which can translate into more effective decision-making and improved performance.

Overall, an executive coach can be a valuable partner in helping you achieve your professional goals and reach your full potential as a leader.

How do you choose an executive coach?

Choosing an executive coach can be a big decision, especially if you’ve never worked with one. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start your search:

1. Determine your goals: Before you start looking for a coach, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve through the coaching relationship. Do you want to improve your strategic and leadership skills, boost your team’s performance, accelerate your career, or work on a specific business challenge? Having a clear understanding of your goals will help you find a coach who is a good fit for your needs.

2. Research potential coaches: Look for coaches who have experience working with professionals in your industry or with the specific issues you want to address. Look at their websites and read their bios to get a sense of their background and approach.

3. Look for experience: It’s essential to make sure you’re working with a coach who has deep experience in strategy, coaching, and leadership. It’s often best to work with executive coaches who have been executives and/or consultants themselves giving them a better understanding of the team dynamics, strategic and leadership challenges, and situations you face. Look for a coach with a track record of success: While it’s not always possible to quantify coaching results, it’s helpful to find a coach with a history of helping clients achieve their goals through testimonials and recommendations.

4. Consider their coaching style: Executive coaching can take many different forms, so it’s important to find a coach whose style resonates with you. Some coaches prefer a more directive approach, while others take a more collaborative approach. Think about which style you feel most comfortable with and look for a coach who aligns with your preferences.

5. Test the waters: Many coaches offer a discovery session or a limited engagement, so take advantage of this opportunity to get a feel for their coaching style and see if you think you could work well together. This is also a good chance to ask any questions you might have and to discuss your goals in more detail.

6. Consider their availability: Some coaches are only available for a certain number of sessions per month or per quarter, while others are more flexible. Think about how much time you’re willing to commit to coaching and look for a coach who can accommodate your schedule.

7. Trust your gut: Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing an executive coach is whether you feel comfortable and confident working with them. Trust your instincts and choose a coach who you feel truly understands your needs and can help you achieve your goals.

I hope these tips are helpful as you begin your search for an executive coach. Remember, this is a personal relationship and it’s important to find a coach who you feel comfortable working with and who can help you achieve your goals.

What are some of the best practices for working with an executive business coach?

Committing to improving your strategic, leadership, problem solving, and development skills with an executive coach is a big decision. To help you get the most out of an executive coach and the process here are some best practices:

1. Set clear goals: Clearly defined goals will help you and your coach track your progress and ensure that your coaching sessions are focused and productive.

2. Be proactive: Make the most of your coaching sessions by coming prepared with specific topics or issues you want to address.

3. Be open to feedback: In order to get the most out of your coaching sessions, it’s important to be open to feedback and willing to consider new perspectives.

4. Be open to trying new things: Coaching is an opportunity to try new approaches and experiment with different strategies. Be open to trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone.

5. Be honest: In order for coaching to be effective, it’s important to be honest with your coach about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

6. Practice active listening: Pay attention to what your coach is saying and try to understand their perspective. This will help you get more out of your coaching sessions.

7. Take time for self-reflection: Coaching is an opportunity for personal and professional growth, so make sure to set aside time for self-reflection and to think about how you can apply what you’ve learned to your daily life.

8. Follow through on action items: Your coach will likely give you assignments or action items to complete between sessions. It’s important to follow through on these to make progress toward your goals.

9. Be committed to the process: Coaching is a process that takes time and effort. It’s important to be committed to the process and to attend all scheduled sessions to get the most out of it.

10. Stay positive: A positive attitude can go a long way in the coaching process. Try to stay positive and focus on the progress you’re making, even if there are setbacks along the way.

Working with an executive coach can help you develop your strategic toolkit, leadership skills, improve your communication, increase self-awareness, increase productivity, and build confidence. An executive coach can be a valuable partner in helping you achieve your professional goals. I hope you take the personal development journey and find the right coach to help you accelerate the realization of your potential.

If you are actively looking for an executive business coach, please consider setting up an hour with me, Joe Newsum, the founder and creator of and a seasoned executive coach and consultant. You can find out more about my style, experience, expertise, testimonials, and setting up time at my OnDemand Coaching page.

 Learn more about Joe Newsum, the author of all this free content and a McKinsey Alum. I provide a suite of coaching and training services to realize the potential in you, your team, and your business. Learn more about me and my coaching philosophy.
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