Executive Coaching Assessment

Executive Coaching can be a great tool to find solutions for a number of challenges in your life and your business. It is a common tool in Sports for a very long time now and it has become a viable tool for business leaders too.
The following 7 questions will help you to assess any Executive Coach before you hire them:


1. How is Executive Coaching defined?

It depends who you ask. Well, as there is no standard about Executive Coaching you might end up with as many different answers as you ask Coaches. However, allow me to provide you with my definition of Executive Coaching: “Assisting Executives, Business Owners and Managers in finding their own answers and solutions to any issue they are actually facing”.

Coaching sessions can be face-to-face or remote one-on-one to allow confidentiality. Most important is the relationship you are establishing with your Coach. The Coach must focus on helping you to find your own answer/solution.

Coaching is not about giving advice, at least from my perspective. Giving advice about what to do or how to do something is Consulting in my understanding. The line between both could be very vague.

In case you like to know even more about it, here is a link to a definition of Executive Coaching under Leadership Development on Wikipedia.


2. What are the Results I could expect?

That really depends on your efforts, your will to change and how your Coach could assist you on your journey. It’s not about that the Coach is doing “it” for you, thus solving your issues/problems. The Coach helps you to find your own answers/solutions and keeps you accountable to implement them in your life.

Diagrams showing progress being reviewed in a meetingBe aware to have asked for proof of anything a Coach is promising you. As the Results depend on what you are doing the Coach couldn’t promise you a specific outcome.

However, due to his/her expertise the Coach should be able to let you know if the Coaching provided may help you as well. Though ask for Testimonials or Case Studies to find out more about the Coach you like to work with.

The Results will definitely be influenced by the relationship you have with your Coach. Make sure you two are feeling empathetic towards each other.
BTW, there are many Studies that showed that the ROI from coaching is about 6 to 7 times the investment (some say it may be even higher). From my view this is pretty amazing.


3. Which Reasons do you have to hire an Executive Coach?

Here are some common reasons to hire a Coach:

  • newly appointed executives you want to get onboard quickly
  • Behavioral Change
  • Enhance Effectiveness
  • Improve Productivity for yourself and/or a team
  • actual issues/challenges/problems you feel the need of assistance
  • bringing a team together to really work in the same direction


4. Which criteria should I use to select an Executive Coach?

Some people recommend to look for certified coaches, but truth is that even a certificate does not tell you anything about the abilities of a coach. It may or may not help. You might even find many different types of certification, which from my point of view adds more confusion on your side.

Here are some criteria you may use to select a Coach:

  • Are the skills and the background of the Coach align with your expectation/requirements.
  • Is the Coach offering something that is in line with your needs.
  • Provides the Coach information about the Coaching Process and Coaching Methods.Is the Coach focusing on Strengths and/or Weaknesses. Remember: Every coin has 2 sides!
  • Are they providing a track record
  • Has the Coach some understanding of businesses (sometimes this may help, sometimes it may help if the Coach has no understanding of businesses at all)


5. What is the Frequency of meeting, the Session time, the duration of the coaching in general, the cost of the coaching and will there be a written contract?


Again, this depends on your needs and efforts. To really make a change you may need to consider to have a Coach for at least 6 month. But due to your own willingness and efforts you may only need the Coach for 3 month or less.


The Frequency of meeting also depends on your needs, thus it could be twice a week or just twice a month. It might be a good idea to start with 2 coaching sessions per week and than fade out to one or two coaching sessions a month.

The Coaching Session

Hand with pen pointing on calendar page

One coaching session could last from less than 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on your needs and on achieving a specific outcome you like to see from the session itself. Some might say a 10 minute coaching session is not helpful, but truth is – from my experience – it is helpful in case you need focus on just one actual topic.

The Cost

The cost of a Coach vary, but Executive Coaches may charge you at least 250 € per hour up to more than 800 € per hour. Thus it depends again on how much you are willing to invest in yourself and your business. Remember, studies say the ROI is 6 to 7 times your investment.

The Contract

A trusted Coach will always provide you with a coaching contract that outlines all details. It should include a clear definition of what is included in the service and which cost might be added (e.g. Travel expenses in case you meet in person). Of course the termination period and options should be written down as well.


6. Which Tools and/or Methods will be used?

Honestly there are so many Coaching Methods and Tools out there that not a single Coach could know and use them all. Thus most Coaches have a few Methods and Tools they like to use most. That makes sense as you are getting better with something you do more often. That’s true for Coaches too.

In my case I prefer to coach by using open questions as well as the Zurich Resource Model® for team goal development. Also I love to use kind of Mindmaps, Systemic Structural Analysis, Visualization and circular questions, to just name my favorite Methods.

On top of that some coaches develop there own Coaching Model. The Coaching Model I developed is call -Interrelations- as it is build around all the interactions a business is facing divided into 7 critical areas.


7. Is there a way to measure results?

flatlay photography of calculator between stack of banknote and click pen

First of all, you have to see the progress you are making. You may also look for feedback from the people around you, which observe your progress and change. It is essential to evaluate the starting point and checking your progress once in a while, thus you get the most out of the coaching.

As Coaching is a very individual thing it really isn’t that easy. Even if you use the 360-degree feedback method, you have to recognize that feedback always is subjectively. However, it is a good idea to look for feedback from various sources. But most important is your own judgement.



From all the above the most important is, that you are feeling well with your coach. That means you both should share the same energy, the same empathy. And just in case it turns out to not have been a good choice feel free to terminate your agreements and find a coach the matches your needs even better.

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