Coaching in its various forms can be very effective for all sorts of businesses and the people in them! One such type of coaching is executive coaching, which aims to help people in an organisation to develop and meet the goals of the business and themselves. This type of coaching can work wonders if there are specific goals to achieve! But, how can you ensure that you’re choosing a good coach to work with? This post outlines 10 traits that the top executive coaches should all have in common. These traits are all important for any effective coach to nurture if they want to make the most positive change for their clients. From great listening skills to a commitment to developing themselves professionally, these traits should help you narrow down your search or give you a starting point if you haven’t yet embarked on your journey!

What are the 10 traits the top executive coaches all have in common?

They are excellent listeners

This is perhaps the most vital skill for any type of coach to have. Their ultimate aim is to help you with your business needs. But how can they come up with a strategy to do this if they don’t fully understand what these needs are, or how the business is currently operating? The best way to gain a solid understanding of their client and their business is simply to listen, and really take on board what they are being told. The top executive coaches will make developing their listening skills a priority, and should be willing to listen to all of your thoughts and concerns in order to better help you and your organisation.

A coach should be open and trustworthy

Next, it is incredibly important for an executive coach to be open, trustworthy, and upfront with their clients. For many business owners, taking on the services of a coach is a very big step. They are trusting somebody who is, essentially, a complete stranger with something that’s very meaningful to them. If a coach is not trustworthy, then things can go downhill quickly. But, it’s also vital for a coach to be open with their clients at all times. A good coach will be comfortable in speaking their mind, even when their opinion about a business isn’t positive! After all, bringing about positive change starts with knowing what’s currently going wrong.

Emotional intelligence should be developed

While it may not always seem so on the surface, running a business often involves lots of mixed emotions. And, these emotions can affect the way we make decisions, both positively and negatively. This can have detrimental impacts on any business! So, the top executive coaches will have a high level of emotional intelligence that they will have cultivated over their careers. Having emotional intelligence will allow them to recognise when emotions may be clouding the decision-making process, so they can adjust their approach and make suggestions to combat it.

Communication skills are vital

man talking on the phone about the top executive coaches

Communication is key for any business- seriously! It’s the number one thing that the foundations of a business should be built on if it is to have any hope of being successful. A good executive coach will recognise this, and prioritise developing their communication skills. Armed with excellent communication, a coach will be able to communicate with every business owner in the unique way that works best for them, so that they can get the most out of their coaching experience. Communication breakdown often leads to the breakdown of relationships and even entire businesses, so it’s very important to have these basics nailed with an adaptable communication style to help prevent this from becoming an issue.

A good coach will be very motivated

All of the top executive coaches will be highly motivated for their own role, their clients, and their associated businesses. After all, it is the coach’s role to a certain extent to motivate you in your business. How can they do this if they are not enthusiastic themselves? An executive coach is there to help pick you up on a bad day when you’re feeling demotivated, and show you different solutions to help you get out of a rut and move your business forward. Motivation is a big factor in this. Good coaches will be positive and upbeat, but also not afraid to tell it like it is- a winning combination for motivating even the most lacklustre business owners or executives!

They are always results-driven

Speaking of motivation, the top executive coaches should be incredibly results-driven. After all, the main reason why anybody chooses to work with a coach is to help them get the results they need, whatever these may be. Taking on the services of an executive coach is an investment for any business. So, you want to ensure that it is going to pay off. If a coach is not driven by results, they are probably working in the wrong field! Your coach should be willing to drive results not only for themselves, but for you as the client if they are going to achieve their main function of helping you to develop and meet specific goals.

Passion should be present

Furthermore, it’s incredibly important for any coach to have passion for what they are doing. After all, they’re being trusted to work so closely with other people and their businesses. If they are not passionate about doing so, then it is not fair to the people who are paying them! If you are trying to choose a good executive coach, look for one who is excited about learning everything there is to know about your business and work with you to improve it. If you don’t think a coach you’re considering is particularly passionate, then they’re probably not the one for you- there’s nothing worse than working with someone who doesn’t want to be there!

They must have a solid understanding of business

All of the top executive coaches got to where they were for a number of reasons. But, one of these is their past experience. After all, a coach’s job is to advise you about any challenges you are facing in business and help you to develop as a business person. They can’t really do this effectively unless they have a very solid understanding of the way successful businesses should operate. If a coach doesn’t seem secure in their knowledge of business, or is unable to answer some of your key questions, then they may not be the best choice for you. While it is true that a good coach will not be afraid to admit when they don’t know something, this isn’t a situation that should be happening too regularly!

Genuine real-world experience is important

Similarly, it’s vital for any coach selling their services to have a genuine bank of experience in the real world. But what is meant by this? Well, it’s especially important for coaches who specialise in a certain area of business. They should have plenty of experience working in that area before they begin coaching on it. They would have gained this experience from a variety of situations, such as running their own business or working in the corporate world, depending on what they specialise in. In fact, it doesn’t really matter where they gained their experience from, as long as they have it! If you’re looking for a coach, only you can decide what level of experience you are comfortable with. But, any good coach will be completely honest about what experience they have and where they got it from, as well as the ways they can utilise it to help you.

The top coaches are committed to developing themselves

top executive coaches working on personal development

The best coaches are committed to their own development.

Finally, all of the top executive coaches will be completely dedicated to continually developing themselves on a professional level. After all, nobody knows everything there is to know about business! There is always more to learn, and a good coach should be more than willing to get out there and learn it. The sign of a good coach is one who is dedicated to updating their knowledge, developing new skills, and even learning from others in order to offer the most comprehensive and up to date coaching service to their clients.

Final thoughts

This list is definitely not exhaustive! The top executive coaches will have a very long list of positive and useful traits- so many that they can’t all be listed in one article. But, this list is a good starting point if you are trying to decide whether a particular executive coach is right for you. Finding the perfect coach is a very personal experience. What one business needs isn’t going to be the same as the next one’s requirements. At the end of the day, only you can decide if you think an executive coach is right for you and your organisation, or whether you even need one at all.

Here at Chrysalis Partners South, I work with my clients to see them and their businesses thrive! So, if you want to make more money and grow your business, I could be the coach for you. Contact me today at or complete the contact form here and I’ll get back to your shortly to discuss your individual requirements.