Assuming you’ll be working for 30 or 40 years, you’ll be making more career changes in lifetime than you’ll realize. That’s why you should consider working with an executive coach.

Coaches have the expertise, techniques, and tools to assist you in achieving what you most want in half the time. They provide direct, honest, and objective feedback and help you develop the skills and direction you need to move beyond limitations, resistance, and doubt. With the assistance of a coach, you'll be better prepared for current challenges, increased change, and future roles.

Not surprisingly, the corporate world has also come to recognize that executive coaching has valuable benefits for business professionals. According to the professional journal of Consulting to Management, "The leaders of organizations such as Alcoa, American Red Cross, AT&T, Ford, Northwestern Mutual Life, 3M, UPS, American Standard, the federal governments of the United States and Canada are convinced that coaching works to develop people and increase productivity."

An executive coach, I see more and more career changes in lifetime. I can help you set and achieve the goals that are important to you; help you exceed current performance levels; stand out from the pack; balance work, family, and personal time; chart a decisive career path that is both fulfilling and sustainable; and fully realize your professional, personal, and financial goals.

The executive coach's perspective is future oriented; focusing on ways you can grow and improve for a lifetime. This is also a sharp contrast to the typical boss or office manager who usually looks at past performance and focuses on those areas in which an employee is deficient.

Much of management is still stuck in the mindset of the past, believing they must find something wrong to prove they are diligently "managing" their staff. This explains why most people view employee reviews with such dread and also why executive coaching has the unmatched potential to be of such value to you.

Executive Coaching is usually done one-on-one or in small groups. The partnership is always focused on the future, on future opportunities and ways to improve, not on pointing out errors of the past. It is tailored to bring out your unique gifts and abilities.

Here are a few things that even the world's greatest executive coach cannot help you achieve. First of all, if you are tired of letting someone else dictate your future, you must be willing to make a commitment to the process of creating the future you want. Although a qualified executive coach can teach you the skills you'll need to identify work that truly satisfies your innermost desires, they cannot teach you personal fortitude, stamina, or the determination to make your dreams become reality. These qualities must all come from you.

By being prepared for the doubts and the resistance to change that will inevitably occur during this process, you and your executive coach can work together to develop strategies to fight these moments of weakness. But, again, the overriding qualities of commitment, fortitude, stamina, and determination represent what you must bring to the coaching partnership.

So, how do you find the coach that is right for you? First, a coach and client must be able to successfully communicate what they want and need in a relationship and find ways to achieve those goals. It requires honest feedback, flexibility, and a willingness to see more than one side to an issue. You must also be able to develop a trust in that coach to offer honest feedback and guidance that will improve your life and work situation.

So what qualities do you look for in a good executive coach? Here is a list of nine factors to help you make the coaching choice that's best for you.

A good executive coach:

1.Works from the clients' agenda, not his own.

2.Believes in you and what you want in life.

3.Has strong professional expertise and knowledge.

4.Offers candid and challenging feedback.

5.Provides positive recognition of your accomplishments and unwavering support.

6.Clearly communicates and explains key points to expand your knowledge and perception.

7.Is compassionate to your challenges and struggles in life.

8.Listens intuitively for both what is said and left unsaid.

9.Focuses on helping you effectively and efficiently realize the future you desire, rather than collecting future paychecks.

Most importantly, finding and utilizing the expertise of a good executive coach means you've finally realized you're ready to take action toward creating the future you have always wanted and truly deserve.

As an executive coach who has helped thousands of individuals from all walks of life successfully obtain income-sustaining, life-changing, and personally-fulfilling work, I believe the foundation to creating the best coaching partnership is not limited to the aforementioned nine qualities, but also includes coachable moments; not being afraid to ask challenging and thought-provoking questions; identifying solutions, options, and success-limiting obstacles; creating realistic, workable, successful and implementable action plans; and follow-up support.

To conclude, here is a quote from one of my executive clients who stated the value of coaching when he said, An accomplished outside-the-company professional can quickly identify pertinent issues and obstacles, see through defense mechanisms, and more effectively determine a strategy for overcoming these barriers to greater success.

Learn more about being an effective leader by reading my 80+ free articles on executive leadership.

Author's Bio: 

Recognized as one of the top 50 leadership coaches in America, Joel Garfinkle has worked with many of the world’s top companies. As an executive coach, he’s written seven books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. Learn more about being an effective leader by reading my free articles on executive leadership.