10 Things to Look for in a Business Coach
- Find someone you share chemistry and mindset with.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Consider this: Would you be too afraid to voice your question about the design if you were about to get a tattoo? Heck, no! It is binding on your body— you will be asking all sorts of questions. You should view your relationship similar to an executive coach. Get into the specifics of the nitty-gritty, see where their head is at and make sure you match up.
- Find a couch who will hold you accountable.
As your company expands and evolves, you’ll definitely be outgrowing coaches and seeking new ones that are more matched with the stage you’re in. It’s important to find a coach early on, who will keep you accountable for your key goals, not just someone who begins every call by saying, “So, what are we talking about this week?”
- Ask for a needed dose of honesty.
Often they can have to be very straightforward to make sure you don’t make the usual mistakes of first-time entrepreneurs. While your coach should try to accept that you do not know anything, when you’re about to make a mistake they should also be able to call you out. Listen to the stories they’re sharing of their early experiences— your mentor should be relatable and optimistic.
- Look for someone with opposing strengths.
Look inward for your weak areas before looking outward.
- Make sure they have goodwill towards you and your company.
Almost any successful executive or entrepreneur who has made it before you can buy advice, but rates of dedication may differ. A good coach would always take an interest in your performance and as a person in you. Some of the best trainers are not being paid for their services.
- Seek out someone eager to teach by example.
The best executive coaches do less speak and walk more. Everyone will blur out idealistic pep conversations. The smartest and most successful leaders show how to do it, so you can follow their example.
- Look for a mentor, not a “coach.”
A mentor, ideally a seasoned entrepreneur in a similar industry who can show them the ropes and offer intros and guidance based on the real problems they have faced and solved, will help someone like this even more.
- Look for someone who admits their failures.
The most important things that you need to build are your mistakes, who you are as an individual and a company. An executive coach should be able to speak freely about his / her shortcomings as they have learned from previous mistakes.
- Make sure they are trustworthy and objective.
It is like living on an island, being a founder. You get access to mentors, a manager, investors and maybe even a board. But there are a few things that you do not want to discuss with them so as not to raise any “red flags.” An executive coach may provide guidance in these areas and help create emotional maturity, effectively handle challenges and improve good communication skills.
- Ensure they have the ability to bring out your best thinking.
One of your greatest assets is your own brain and gut instinct— it’s important to find a mentor who can listen deeply and make your best thinking simpler, not just tell you what to do or skip straight to the answers without helping you organize your own thought process first. Innovation would come by integrating the two skill sets— looking for others to compliment you, not overpowering you.