With so many choices out there, selecting the right business coach can be an overwhelming task. However, when you know exactly what to look for, you can narrow down your search accordingly and make the process go far more seamlessly. We have narrowed down our top 9 things to consider when selecting the right business coach:
1. The Right Match
Personalities matter! In order for the business coaching to be efficient, you need to trust the person coaching you. When selecting your coach, don’t shy away from selecting based on gut-feeling and intuition in the first place - as long as you also consider all the other things listed in this guide. Intuition is our sixth sense telling us something of importance, that we should listen to and trust, also when it comes to selecting the right coach.
2. A Coach with People Skills and Emotional Intelligence
Although the outcome of business coaching relates to business outcomes, it also relates to personal growth and development. For this reason, a business coach has to have the necessary people skills and emotional intelligence to make a lasting impact on the client.The baseline qualities to look out for include:
- Attentive listening skills – they hear what you do and don’t say.
- Empathy and high-level emotional intelligence – they can read emotive indicators and body language even virtually.
- Asks deep, evocative, relevant questions.
- Opens your mind to new possibilities and perspectives.
- Helps you identify, understand, appreciate, and apply your own as well as the strengths of others and how these can compensate for your weaknesses.
- Maintains the balance between challenging, supporting, provoking, and motivating you.
3. Education and Training
In order to offer effective coaching,the coach needs to have undergone extensive training within coaching. Formal training gives your coach guidance on their personality, style of interaction, psychological strengths, and barriers. Well-educated coaches benefit from the feedback and supervision of their styles from senior coaches who watch them in live client interactions.
To understand if your coach has undergone intense training, simply ask for his/her license, degree and educational background. Make sure the education is formal and recognized, based on more than just a few days of training. Among the most trustworthy coaching institutions in the world are the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). Trained and Licensed Business Psychologists also have years of training and supervision behind their title. You may also find extremely well trained coaches amongst former HR professionals, or even managers, who have “upgraded” themselves with a coaching education.
4. Elite Business Acumen and Organizational Experience
A business coach naturally understands organizational political dynamics and is knowledgeable in what it means to lead and work in modern organizations. One way to test the potential coach’s business acumen is to ask them how they intend to help you solve real-life business issues and challenges:
- Does the coach speak the language of strategy?
- What challenges do they foresee for your business?
- Do they know what it is like to work in a modern organization?
- Does the coach “get” what you are talking about when you share challenges and experiences?
A deep understanding of the above is necessary to maintain an effective coach-client relationship.
5. Stellar References and Recommendations
Don’t be afraid to ask the coach for previous references and recommendations. It will be hard to trust a coach who does not have clients that will vouch for them. And without trust, you won’t get the most out of the coaching journey.
6. Coaching Methodology and Philosophy
When selecting a business coach, it’s also important to consider which type of coaching methodology and philosophy they use, and if it suits your needs accordingly. Remember, there are a lot of different ways to be coached. In Session, we believe in building on Strenghts, trying out the things talked about in the coaching sessions, in imagining the next new and looking for collaboration and partnerships, wherever possible.
7. Can the Coach Deliver Online Coaching?
When selecting a business coach, consider and ask whether they can facilitate online coaching. Given the upfront benefits of online coaching, including the flexibility, timesaving and smoothness of just having to open up your computer, we encourage you to find a coach who can do online coaching.
8. Can The Coach Help You Measure Concrete Goals and Track Success?
For you to evaluate whether the coaching journey will help or not, it is important that the coach can set goals with you from the get-go. When selecting a business coach, make sure to ask them how they can help you measure concrete goals and track success.
Fluffy promises like “it will be great” or “it's hard to measure, but I know from experience that it works” won’t help you in the long run. The majority of clients, employees and businesses, need concrete and tangible ROI proof to maintain a coaching budget. A great business coach will not shy away from helping you measure and prove progress, in fact, they will insist you do!
9. Cost of The Coaching
Cost of the coaching is inevitably a significant factor, so be sure to consider a cost that you or your organization can sustain in the long-run. Although there is no specific set cost to look for, we know for a fact that online coaching very often can be offered at a lower price than in-person coaching. The price does not always reflect the quality, so be mindful of what you end up paying, since motivational coaches very often cost a fortune, whereas very well educated business coaches might be available at a lower price.
Choosing the right coach is no easy task. Follow the steps above, and you are one step closer to starting on a valuable journey which might very well get you closer to living your strengths, dreams and aspirations.