5 Tips to Choose an Executive Coach

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CMC-Canada is pleased to collaborate with TEC Canada on this sponsored content in order to provide helpful tips on selecting an executive coach. Many CMC-Canada members work in the executive coaching space, and are committed to Uniform Code of Professional Conduct, a requirement of the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation

The purpose of this Code is to identify those professional obligations that serve to protect the public in general, the client in particular, and the reputation of Certified Management Consultants. Learn more about becoming a CMC.

Choosing an executive coach with the right qualities and experience has the power to transform your professional and personal life. Utilizing their career experience and proven strategies, executive coaches live with a purpose of helping today's leaders reach their full potential and attain their unique benchmarks of success. 

Imagine the skills, strategies, and motivation you could bring to your business if you had access to the knowledge, experience, and expertise of someone who has stood where you stand? 

Someone who sees the potential of your career and knows how to push your boundaries to get you there? Someone who can magnify your blind spots and open a world of opportunity? While the potential is endless and the benefits game-changing, choosing an executive coach is far from a one-size-fits-all process. There are some important boxes one needs to tick to gauge compatibility. 

Will they champion your vision? Will they challenge you? Can you expose your vulnerability with them? The better you understand the requirements of an effective and growth-oriented coach-client relationship, the more you can gain from the experience. 

To help you out with this important first step, TEC Canada sat down with Tim Redpath, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and TEC Canada Chair, to get his top 5 tips on how to choose an executive coach.

1. Understand your Why
To get deep value from the relationship with your business mentor, you need to understand exactly why you want them. Having a coach is of little value unless you’re ready to work hard at the process to achieve the goals you set out. Are you willing to have difficult conversations with someone you trust? Can you be open, vulnerable, authentic and hold yourself accountable?

A coach is like having your own trusted advisor, confidant, and objective sounding board. This collaborative relationship can change the way you look at your life. So, make sure you really want one.

2. Find a Coach you can work with     
Talk with a few coaches before you decide on one. Listen to them. Do they ask you tough questions? Do they challenge you to think differently? Do they coach you, rather than consult with you? Are they curious?

You are not buying a friend here. You are selecting a business advisor who will help you identify your blind spots and become the best version of yourself. Many leaders have long-term coaches, so pick someone who will help you grow over many years.

Don’t forget! The selection process is a two-way street; good coaches are looking for good clients. They, too, are seeking executives they can work with.

3. Look for someone Experienced who actively coaches Executive Leaders    
If you need criminal defense help, you don’t go to a bankruptcy lawyer. While great in their field, they bring a different skillset. It’s the same when selecting an executive mentor; find one who actively works with executives, preferably exclusively. Find someone who has the training, certification, and experience to help you and your individual needs.

Think of it this way: If you’re slipping under anesthetic for surgery, you do not want the last words you hear from your surgeon to be, “This is exciting; it’s my first operation”.

4. Look for a Coaching Mindset
I view coaching as an act of service. The business coach's sole purpose in your relationship is to help you grow. It’s not about their agenda or evolving you into something you are not. 

Be cautious if your coach always talks about fees, tries to enroll you in add-on programs, or tries to put you into a long-term, fixed contract; they may be working with you for the wrong reason.

5. Join an established Executive Coaching Organization
Consider joining an established leadership development organization that's focused on increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of leaders, like you. For over 35 years, TEC Canada has played an integral role in accelerating the growth and development of Canadian business leaders. Becoming a TEC member can be transformational in all aspects of life. 

It facilitates executive coaching through a proven program of confidential peer advisory groups, one-to-one executive coaching, expert thought leaders, fast-paced learning and a global network. With 6 levels of membership, there’s an impactful option for leaders of all degrees.

Become a member today or see what other TEC members are saying.

We work with a coach when we play sports. An instructor when we practice yoga. An expert when we plan an event. Seeking advice from specialists in their field is not a new concept and hiring a business coach is no different. Tim Redpath, a coach (referred to as Chair) with TEC Canada, provided some guiding principles to help you choose your own executive coach and help you embark on your journey to make your career (and personal life) as successful, efficient, and enjoyable as possible.

"Coaching is a transformational process. You bring your agenda and the coach works with you to identify and overcome the (real and imagined) obstacles in your way and helps you be the best, biggest, brightest version of yourself." -Tim Redpath