October 30, 2014

The no-frills HRD formula for finding an executive coach in London

London

There are excellent executive coaches in London (or anywhere) who are less than skilled marketeers. Conversely there are unskilled exec coaches who are highly skilled marketeers (be alert for these).

If you’re an HR head looking for the highest-skilled coach how do you edit out the diamonds from the dummies – especially when time is so valuable and you perhaps haven’t the resources to go through a huge tender, assessment, contracting process?

Here’s my Quintuple-Ask formula that’s economical, timely & effective:

  • Ask your LinkedIn network: ask for recommendations of coaches they’ve had good experiences with, AND those they would recommend you steer clear of. NB. Ensure they private message the info back to you – obviously!
  • Ask the senior tier of your company: HR teams many not know all the exec coaches presently working with their senior team. I get contacted more often by company directors who’ve been recommended to call by friends or someone in their professional network. Most senior execs inform their HRD after we’ve contracted, however not all, so you might get some new names out of this exercise.
  • Ask online: googling ‘executive coach London’, ‘CEO coach UK’, ‘leadership coaching Aberdeen’ (or wherever) will deliver coaches who are invested in their overall marketing and are active in keeping their website information fresh and relevant. How are they representing themselves? Who’s their target market? What’s their experience? Are they still in business 2 years or 20 years after having started? Are they qualified as coaches? Or are they ex-corporate leaders, trainers, or mentors – all of whom have value, yet none of whom are executive coaches – just know the skills you’re buying.
  • Ask coaches by phone: when you have a top 20 list (or just 10 perhaps), it’s easily whittled down to a top 5 in a single 15 minute first conversation. With a key half dozen questions you’ll know who makes sense to meet face to face and who doesn’t.
  • Ask coaches direclty: schedule a single day where all 5 coaches will come in and rotate every 45 minutes through a selected 5 executive who’ll coach and talk with them. There’s no hiding in a face-to-face service sampling. You can choose for your execs to give number or comment feedback – or a mixture of both. The stats and opinions will indicate to you which of the coaching tribe are right for your organisation – perhaps 2 or 3. Perhaps all 5.

This selection process could be implemented in under a month – and by one person. It’s intensive, but cost and time effective. A diverse range of qualified, experienced executive coaches make all the difference to a company’s evolution.

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