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Building Better Leaders: Considerations when selecting a Leadership Coach

The increasing number of individuals presenting themselves as “Leadership Coaches” or “Executive Coaches” is an intriguing phenomenon. However, it becomes even more interesting when their LinkedIn profiles reveal that these so-called “Coaches” lack accredited coach training and have little knowledge of the corporate world. 

To assist HR Directors, CEOs, and potential clients (coachees) in finding the right coach, I have compiled a set of pertinent questions to ask before engaging with a Leadership Coach.

Here are the questions to consider:

  1. Business Understanding and Experience: What is their background and core expertise? What are their thoughts on Leadership Coaching, and do they possess industry experience relevant to the coaching engagement?
  2. Professional Certification: Do they hold internationally recognised credentials? While numerous coaching schools offer their own credentials, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the only independent credentialing body that sets the industry standard for coaching.
  3. Coaching Methodology: What does their typical client process entail? Can they provide clarity on what it would be like to work with them?
  4. Outcomes: Will there be clear, measurable, and agreed-upon learning outcomes? How will the results of the coaching engagement be evaluated?
  5. Ethics: What is their understanding of coaching ethics, particularly in terms of confidentiality? The first principle of the ICF centres around ethics.
  6. References and Testimonials: Can they provide credible references and client testimonials? What tangible results have their previous clients achieved? What is the investment required for a coaching engagement, including any additional services?
  7. Assessment Tools: Which leadership/personality assessment tools will they use, and how do these tools support the coaching initiative and outcomes? Are they certified to administer the recommended tools? Who will have access to the assessment results? Some well-known assessment tools include GLA 360Hogan AssessmentsDISC Assessment, and EQ-i 2.0®.

By considering the above criteria, you can significantly increase your chances of finding the ideal Leadership Coach. The risks associated with partnering with “wanna-be” coaches who lack experience and do not hold International Coaching Federation credentials are simply too high.

About the Author:

Andreas Pratanos, Associate Partner, AIMS International Gulf

Andreas is a “People Focused, Strategically Oriented and Performance Driven” Leadership Coach helping organizations and individuals realize their full potential and sharpen their competitive edge. Committed to excellence, he works closely with executives and high potentials to achieve desired results through a positive and measurable change in leadership behavior that is sustained, recognized and acknowledged by their Stakeholders.