How Important is Chemistry When Choosing an Executive Coach?

It’s probably no surprise to anyone reading this post that the coach-client relationship plays a key role in the outcome of any executive coaching engagement. After all, the best definition of executive coaching I’ve come across – from Jonathan Passmore and Annette Fillery-Travis — defines coaching as “a Socratic based dialogue between a facilitator (coach) and a participant (client) where the majority of interventions used by the facilitator are open questions which are aimed at stimulating the self-awareness and personal responsibility of the participant.”

For such a dialog to be effective, there must be good chemistry between coach and client.

Executive Coaching Chemistry Graphic

And while that may seem obvious, we have several research studies that highlight the important role chemistry plays in the outcome of any coaching engagement. For example, in “A Critical Review of Executive Coaching Research: A Decade of Progress and What’s to Come,” Passmore and Fillery-Travis conclude:

  • “It is now recognized that the most consistently identified factor seen as contributing to the success of a coaching engagement is the quality of the relationship between the coach and client.”

Citing another study by Louis Baron and Lucie Morin, The Coach-Coachee Relationship in Executive Coaching: A Field Study, Passmore and Fillery point out:

  • “Results indicate that the coach‐coachee relationship plays a mediating role between the coaching received and development of the coachees’ self‐efficacy.”

Finally in another study, “A large-scale study of executive and workplace coaching: The relative contributions of relationship, personality match, and self-efficacy,” Erik de Haan, et al. conclude:

  • “The coachee–coach working alliance mediated the impact of self-efficacy on coaching effectiveness, suggesting that the strength of this working alliance — particularly as seen through the eyes of the coachee — is a key ingredient in coaching effectiveness.”

Of course, good chemistry is not enough. A coach also must help a client identify his or her Continue reading…

Hiring an Executive Coach: 10 Do’s and Don’ts

Great coaches help to make great athletes. Basketball coach and mentor John Wooden played a key role in launching the careers of numerous basketball greats, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, and Gail Goodrich. Tennis standouts Venus and Serena Williams owe their success, in part, to their father/coach Richard Dove Williams. While boxing champs Floyd Patterson, José Torres, and Mike Tyson all have Constantine “Cus” D’Amato to thank for their entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

What all these coach-athlete relationships have in common is the right chemistry. When you are in the market for an executive coach, look for someone who is not only qualified but is also the right match for you.

Do's and Don'ts of hiring an executive coach

In this post, I provide 10 tips on finding the right executive coach for you.

1. Make a list of what matters.

Develop a list of executive coach attributes that are important to you. For example, you may appreciate an executive coach who:

  • Speaks truth
  • Provides empathic attunement (responds to the client’s perception of reality in the current moment as opposed to his or her own “objective” view of the situation)
  • Fosters a deep level of connection
  • Expects the potential of the client to come forward
  • Holds the client accountable
  • Keeps the client moving forward

Related… here is what a well-qualified executive coach should do for her/his clients:Continue reading…