7 things to look out for when selecting a coach for your business

  • You’ve built a business over the past few years and you’re wanting to taking it to the next level.
  • You’re the founder of a new start-up and you want to thrive in this new adventure.
  • You have an idea for great business and are looking for support to get in off the ground.
  • You’re in a position of leadership and you want to help the firm better serve its customers and its mission.

If you relate to any of the above, you may be considering employing a coach. Coaches lead you consider what you really want and need. They help you think clearly and find new and better ways of being and doing. They work with you for you to stack on track and achieve that grander vision.

So how does one go about selecting the right coach? Here are seven areas to consider.

1. Formally trained

Someone who has received formal training over a number of months – not just a 2-day “Be a coach tomorrow” programme.

2. Credentialed

There are a number of organisations that oversee coaching. The largest by far of these is the ICF (International Coach Federation – www.coachfederation.org). A coach of quality will be able to demonstrate that they have a credential from a reputable organisation such as ICF.

3. Shows understanding of your context

It is true that a coach doesn’t give you advice and solutions. As such they don’t need to be an expert in things that you’d like to achieve. That said if, in business for example, the coach doesn’t understand or can’t relate to your situation it can be a barrier to developing a close relationship with them.

4. Displays vulnerability, warmth and empathy

You’re about to step into some new business adventures. You need someone beside you that you can trust. A good coach knows that they will help their client but supporting them all the way. Sometimes this includes showing that we know something of what you’re experiencing but us being vulnerable with you. Trust begets trust. As I trust you with my life, so I help you to trust me with yours.

5. Willing and able to enter with you into the internal world of your thoughts and emotions

Our actions are driven by our thoughts and feelings. You need a coach understand this for themselves and can help you to enter your own internal world and gain new insights into your own emotional drivers.

6. Works to your agenda

Good coaches follow a system. Great coaches truly engage with their client and work to their patterns of work and to their needs.

7. Stands up to you when you’re not living up to yourself

Like a mountain leader guiding a client through rocky terrain, a coach of quality will let you know when you’re backing down and avoiding tackling the big issues. I had a client was late or absent from sessions a number of times. I challenged him on the issue (which at the time felt quite a risk) and asked him if this pattern of behaviour showed up anywhere else in his life. It did. We got to have the deeper conversation about his avoiding issues as I result of my standing up to him.

Strength on the journey,


North Point Leadership is a company of coaches, mentors, trainers & facilitators who offer professional services in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Leadership & Coaching. Realize your true potential with North Point Leadership

Matt is a credentialed coach for entrepreneurs and business leaders. He is also a past president of the International Coach Federation, Dubai Chapter. His own experience as an entrepreneur is a driver to help others succeed in their own businesses. Matt’s biggest passion is for adventure. He has hitchhiked solo from Fort William to Chamonix, climbed Kilimanjaro and worked into a mountain village in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. He married the woman of his dreams in February 2017 and is thoroughly enjoying married life.

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