Ask yourself these 10 questions

Once you have made the decision to call in help for your own personal development, a quest awaits you.

Many coaches state that they are the best at what they do, with the intention to make you tempted to purchase their services. For you it might be difficult to make the right choice of the wide variety of these coaches that make -cheap and all kind of- statements. With the questions below we want to help you find the right coach who guides you in your personal growth and unique development quest.

The vast majority of people who call themselves coach started from their specialism such as: marketing, finance, business management, or entrepreneurship. Some gradually discovered that they can help other entrepreneurs more broadly and then call themselves coach or executive coach.
However, remember a good horse does not make a good rider.
Like the soccer player Pelé stated: “Often a great player doesn’t become a great coach. And sometimes players who weren’t very good become good managers.”
So experience as a specialist does not guarantee you the best guidance or coaching.

The most important question is: “Who and what do you need?”

Check the coach’s background and that it matches your wishes.

Choosing criteria

The 10 questions below will give you insight into which executive coach suits you best and how you can find this person.

1. Is it important to you that the executive coach has studied or is self-made?

Many executive coaches are experienced entrepreneurs themselves, but have usually not followed any study in the field of coaching nor in the field of executive coaching. For example: coaching courses, NLP or (applied) psychology. At most, they have taken a course of a few months. They mainly rely on their own experience, this is no guarantee that they can provide substantiated, competent, and adequate guidance for you unique personality and situation.

Other coaches have studied to become an executive coach and have acquired the knowledge and skills, are familiar with the scientifically proven methodologies, and ways to help you further.
However, a diploma obtained in the past can provide a false sense of security. Namely, it does not reflect what the current performance level of this person is.

In addition to following a specific training course with a diploma, there are also self-taught people who acquire the same or often more knowledge and skills. Chances are they are better than someone with a degree, because they often have a higher intrinsic motivation, are enthusiastic, have a high level of commitment and a high degree of perseverance. This leads to much broader knowledge and expertise than that of one specific field.

How important is it to you that your executive coach has completed a different study, which has nothing to do with guiding personal development?

2. Should the coach be affiliated with a coaching association?

“Executive coaching is to increase the effectiveness of the executive by strengthening his/her leadership qualities. Executives include board members, directors, majority shareholder, top managers, supervisors, and supervisory directors” (NOBCO, 2021).

Executive coaches with a diploma from a specific education institute can join a coaching association. Once included in such a group, the coach pays an annual fee to stay connected and do no longer need to prove themselves.
Coaches who do not have a specific diploma can apply through a selection procedure. The institute and / or association determines what is expected at a particular time. With this they want to determine the way of coaching and its level. However, this way of coaching does not have to be the best or most effective.

There are plenty of coaching (with or without a diploma) who consciously choose not to join an association. As indicated in question 1, a diploma and membership of an association does not guarantee good performance in the present or in the future.

Specifically searching for coaches affiliated with an association can have an advantage. You filter out a large group of coaches in a quick and easy way. Remember that this may prevent you from finding you best coach. Filtering by education and/or association does not guarantee quality.

3. What do clients say about their coaching and coaching process?

You may like it when you know someone who has already been with a coach and who can tell about his or her experience. You could see that as a reliable source and it is nice if you can test your doubts and thoughts against their experiences.

Executive coaching is a service. It is not a product which has a clearly defined way of working as it has been developed for a specific purpose. Good coaching is specifically tailored to your unique situation, so no coaching process is the same. This makes comparing testimonials, reviews or other sources very difficult or even impossible.

4. Should the coach have experience as an executive?

Many entrepreneurs who later become a business coach are older and have gained experience as an entrepreneur in their own company / companies. As mentioned in the introduction, experience as a specialist or entrepreneur does not guarantee good and effective guidance for your unique situation and goals.
In addition, a coach’s past performance or his or her age does not guarantee future performance.

The belief that someone can help you best because he / she has already gone through something themselves is an illusion. You are unique and that makes your experiences and you challenges unique. As a result, someone else has not yet experienced your problem and / or challenges. Guiding self-development is based on psychology, coaching and communication. With executive coaching, a specialization for certain (basic) business administration knowledge is added to this. Further relevance with (former) entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, thus business management and executive coaching is limited. The only thing a (former) entrepreneur / comrade can do is recognize your situation and propose his / her solution. This solution is most likely not what you need.

How important is age and / or experience to you?

5. What kind of click do you experience with a coach?

Experiencing a good click is the most important aspect. If you don’t feel 100% safe, you won’t be able to fully open up and it will be harder for you to get to the root of the problem. The trajectory remains superficial. The only indicator to discover a click is to trust your own gut feeling or your intuition. This may seem woolly, but it is the most important element in a good collaboration.

Without a click and / or confidence, a coaching process will be more difficult, cause frustration, and the result may be disappointing.
Our advice: do not start or continue this coaching trajectory with that coach.

A personal conversation is a good way to experience the click with the coach, but unfortunately it is not always possible. A number of executive coaches sell online webinars programs. They give a big discount if you make a decision to buy before the end of the webinar. All this without having spoken to the coach. You usually end up in an online community or group without a direct connection with the coach.
Is this what you want?

On the other hand, there are coaches who offer a conversation in a webinar, so that you can get to know the person.
Think about what is important to you.
Our advice: always try to speak with the coach before engaging. It would be best to have this conversation in person.

6. What kind of coaching do you want: online or face-to-face?

In general, executive coaching is done 1-on-1. There are companies / coaches that offer this in group settings, but are we then still talking about your development or about the development of the entire group?
In short, development in a group always depends on the weakest link. Chances are that the pace of development and coordination are not matching to your personal preferences and needs.

There are three options for 1-on-1 coaching: physical guidance, digital / online guidance or a combination of both.
The advantage of online coaching is that your coaching session(s) could take place literally anywhere (if you have internet and / or a telephone connection) and that you could consider all coaches in the world. However, the disadvantage of digital / online communication is that part of physical communication is lost. Body language is not visible or only partially visible and with written dialogue the body language and the tone of the voice are completely absent. This can have negative effects on your development process.

With physical guidance it is likely that the body language (and tone of voice) will be included in the communication and therefor in the coaching. A disadvantage may be that your search area to find a coach is limited. That restricts the amount of coaches you can find and –if you are unlucky- possibly the quality of the coaches.

The third option is a combination of physical and digital / online guidance.

In first instance we prefer an introduction and first couple of sessions to be physical. In this ways we first get to know each other well, after which other options are easier.

How important is it to have a physical conversation with your coach?

7. What kind of coaching (methods) suit you?

There are many different coaching methods and techniques. These can roughly be divided into two categories: psychological or pseudo-psychological. Where the basis of the method or technique lay is a way to determine to which category it belongs.

The literal meaning of psychology (from ancient Greek) is “the study of the mind.” Today, however, a broader definition is used: “psychology is the science of behaviour and mental processes” (Zimbardo, Johnson, McCann, 2017).

The differences between psychology and pseudo psychology can be difficult to spot. The techniques and methods based on pseudo psychology are presented as scientifically proven, but are unsupported psychological assumptions. This is not to say that a pseudo-psychological technique and / or method cannot be effective for you.
Examples of pseudo psychology are:

  • Holistic,
  • Astrology,
  • Divination,
  • Graphology or study of scripture,
  • Homeopathy,
  • Exorcism.

Important is, that you believe in the coaching process with the methods, techniques, and exercises that the coach wants to use in the process.

8. Does the coach fit your current situation?

In which stage of life are you personally and in which phase is your company? For example, are you a pre-starter, starter, do you want to change the course with a different business model, do you have growing pains because you are growing faster than expected, are you getting married / living together / divorced, or are you planning to reducing or stop working in the company?

9. How much do you want to invest to achieve your goal?

Development without investing is only possible to a limited extent. All successful entrepreneurs or executives invest in personal growth, which also helps their company grow.

What do you currently experience as your greatest personal challenge, problem, or conflict? What can you develop to solve and / or prevent this? What is the consequence of not doing anything about it? Are you willing to make an investment to take up this challenge, solve this problem or conflict, so that you can move on?

Determine your budget and visit different websites of different coaches, to see what you can expect for that amount. Contact them and start a conversation? Do not step into something impulsively, bust see if it will solve your problem and whether the way of guidance suits you.

Are you looking for a quick fix or long-term results?

10. Are you tempted to make an impulsive purchase or do you allow yourself time to think about an offer?

One webinar after another comes by on social media, for which you can register for free. One calls it an online training, another calls it a masterclass.

Remember that when registering for such a webinar, seduction techniques are usually used to sell you something. You are regularly put under time pressure to quickly decide on a program for which you have limited information and for which you pay thousands of pounds / dollars.

You could also see this article as a seduction technique / advertisement for Cthrough coaching & consulting.

We understand very well that all coaches -including us- can state, that they can help you with your question / request.
However, we hope that you make the right choice, where your investment is put to good use with effective guidance in solving your challenge, problem or conflict. Hence these 10 questions, so that hopefully you can more easily find the right coach that really suits you.

In short: It all starts with you.

  • What do you need and what questions do you have in your head?
  • Do you want to learn practical things?
  • Do you want to grow as an executive and as a person?
  • What is your biggest obstacle at the moment?

These questions and the click with your future coach are central.

Do you have any other criteria that are important to you or do you look at it differently? Send a response via the contact form, we would be happy to discuss.

Would you like to know more about our approach? Contact us and request a meeting in which yourself and / or your company are central and how we can help you.