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Decision Checklist

Top 10 Things to Consider BEFORE Choosing an Executive Assessment, Development, Succession or Coaching Partner

BEFORE you choose a partner in the assessment, development, or coaching arena, please consider the following things…


Do they take the time to understand your broader strategic, organizational, cultural, or team context prior to selling their services?


Do they customize the project or engagement in accordance to your unique needs? Do you sense that they are wedded to a more of an “off-the-shelf” package or model which may seem to indicate that “one size fits all”?


Are the consultants or coaches truly “qualified”, in terms of actual experience, academic degrees, certifications, etc.? “Buyer beware” because, as an “unregulated” area in the executive development niche, the buyer needs to be careful as certain professionals might attempt to sell beyond their current abilities, credentials or experience.


Are you meeting only with an “experienced seller”, yet the individual(s) who will actually perform the work have less professional experience and qualifications?


Does the consultant/coach have flexibility in terms of schedule and being available 24/7?  This would include the willingness to travel, beyond simply working with you and your organization remotely. This could also include working evenings or weekends in order to meet critical deadlines.


Does the prospective consultant or coach have a deep understanding of the C-suite environment and culture?  How experienced might they be at working with top executives?  This background is of particular importance towards effectively coaching high potentials who aspire to be part of the C-suite, at some point in the future.


In working with diverse cultures, is the consultant or coach experienced in working cross-culturally and with diverse populations; or do they have an extensive international background?


Does the consultant or coach claim to “do everything” in the consulting space or do they truly have focused expertise in critical areas in which you are interested?  Equally are they flexible, in terms of the “scope” of the project?  Are they willing to “unbundle” their services?


In particular in contracting with executive coaches, do they have deep assessment expertise (e.g. multiple certifications in psychometrics)?  Many experts in this area would agree that the most efficacious coaching engagements are ones which are truly “data/assessment” driven near the beginning of a Coach-Coachee relationship.


Finally, do you have “chemistry” with the consultant or coach such that a trusting working relationship can be quickly engendered towards achieving outstanding organizational and individual outcomes?  Conversely, does the interaction resemble a typical “vendor relationship” vs. a true “partner” who also has “skin in the game”?

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