Five Keys to Finding A Quality Coach

by Chris Goldman

If you run a company, lead a team, or compete in the marketplace, you’ve probably explored hiring a coach. But how do you find a quality coach? How do you make sure your investment is going to take you forward? 

Tony Robbins says, “Everyone needs a coach, whether it’s a top-level executive, a graduate student, a homemaker, a homeless person, or the President of the United States.” This is why every professional athlete, leader, speaker, or manager benefits from a certified coach.

  • Quality Coaching Requires Quality Training

Your coach should have more than life experience, they should have quality training in a structured certification program. Vistage coaching, ICF, Business Made Simple ( all provide well-designed coach training for their certification programs. 

In many states, no coaching certification is required and this means no standards are necessarily being met. Do your homework as you explore finding a coach. Make sure you know who trained and certified your coach before signing a contract. Where they trained will impact how they coach.

  • Quality Coaches Are Quality Communicators

Unlike a mentor, a coach strategically observes and listens as you layout your dreams and plans. The Ivey Business Journal states, “Executives and HR managers know coaching is the most potent tool for inducing positive personal change, ensuring better-than-average odds of success and making the change stick for the long-term.”

Great coaches don’t tell you what to do. They help process and reflect back to you with concise clarity on how best to move your goals and dreams forward. Quality coaches will assess your business/organization, explore who you are at your core, and help propel you forward towards optimal productivity and performance. They see who you are and can communicate clearly in an effort to help you grow.

  • Quality Coaching Provides A Path Forward

Coaching — by nature — moves you forward. Quality coaches know this and work hard to help you with forward-momentum. If you hire a coach who is too admiring of you as a person, be careful. Most leaders are surrounded by people who compliment them in order to receive praise or security. We all have friends who like us and families who love us. You don’t invest in coaching to be liked or loved…you invest in a quality coach to help you grow.

  • Quality Coaches Draw from A Structured Program

In order to provide you an effective path forward, your coach needs to have the support of a structured program designed by professionals. This is your best opportunity to be guided effectively. Life-Coaches often craft the coaching agenda based on the immediate needs of their client. Business coaches need the skills of a good life-coach coupled with business-specific training.

As a business leader, you need a program moving you beyond the here-and-now in order to secure an effective future – a long view of success. As you interview coaches, ask them what coaching modules or practice areas they recommend you work through. After all, you may have some areas of weakness you know coaching could help, but just imagine how many areas of needed improvement you may not even be aware of? These are the areas undermining you the most because you don’t know what you don’t know. 

John Maxwell, in his book, “Leadership 101,” describes the progress of effective leaders as they learn: 

  1. I don’t know what I don’t know. 
  2. I know what I don’t know. 
  3. I grow and I know and it starts to show. 
  4. I simply go because of what I know. 

A good business coach is supported by tools designed to help you discover what you don’t know. Becoming aware of what you don’t know allows you to make informed hiring decisions. The strength of your organizational structure can be shaped to ensure your personal weaknesses aren’t limiting progress.

Coaching should help you play to your strengths, become aware of your weaknesses, and provide training to bridge the gap.  A quality coach knows this and has the courage to serve in this role.

  • Quality Coaching Increases Your Bottom Line

When we invest as leaders or owners, we expect a return on that investment. Quality coaches know this and work to improve your bottom line. However, it’s important to make sure “the bottom line” is understood.

If money is your only bottom line in life, you may end up with a big bank balance, but suffering from a serious life deficit.

Quality coaches always have your financial profitability in mind, while also coaching you towards a quality life. Why? If your life is in shambles, eventually this will undermine your entire organization. Keeping an owner, leader, manager, or influencer productive requires coaching focused on:

  • Financial Health
  • Human Health (mental, physical, emotional)
  • Life Health (family, friends, community)
  • Structural Health (boundaries, organization)

The bottom line is this: Quality coaching doesn’t cost, it pays…and it pays off in big ways for important leaders. 

You can learn more about business-coaching and opportunities at

Business Coaching

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