Start with the end in mind

How to pick the right coach for the job
By Michael DeVenney
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/18/2006

When the CEO wants to hire a coach for executives, where does HR start? The executive coaching industry has exploded, resulting in more and more choices, but also a lack of consistency in credentials, licensing and approach. How can one tell who and what will work?

The key is to make the subjective as tangible as possible by starting with the end in mind. Clarify the end result, find out who the coach is and determine how the process will work.

To define the desired outcome, ask the CEO or the individual initiating the hiring what the key challenges, opportunities and capabilities are. Knowing the hoped-for results helps select the coaching method. Ask prospective coaches their specialty and beware the generalist or the coach who is an expert in every area.