Leadership or Executive Coaching in Toronto – What to look for in your coach?

Over the years, I have had leaders across Toronto approach me for leadership or executive coaching for various reasons.  The first question I start with is – what is the challenge you are trying to work through and where would you like to be at the end of our coaching session. The challenges have ranged from improving on a skill set identified in performance reviews, career development, being an effective leader, enhancing their strategic intelligence or just needing an accountability partner to reach their goals. Having been through the process myself of finding a coach, it is not easy to know which coach is the right coach for you. There are dozens of companies that offer executive and leadership coaching in Toronto, many of who have taken to this profession thanks to the demand without bringing in the expertise and clarity this job requires. This is where you need to do your due diligence when you are zeroing on a company for executive coaching in Toronto. Some companies offer internal corporate coaching programs to support the people in the organization, while other companies have a roster of external corporate coaches that can be tapped into for leaders who want executive or leadership coaching. This is potentially a place to start by going to your own HR partner to see what support they can provide you. For those who do not have this type of support in their organization, there are few things you need to look for in your potential executive or leadership coach and here I take you through the 3 most important considerations among them.

Coaching Credentials

There are so many coaches out there to choose from for executive and leadership coaching in Toronto with very diverse backgrounds and expertise. Many executive coaches have taken this role on after having had years of their career executive leadership roles, but with no coaching training. It is important to understand that the coaching industry is self-regulated and therefore, it is not necessary to have training or credentials in order to establish an executive coaching business in Toronto.

When looking for an executive coach, look for a coach that has a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) or Master Certified Coach credential (MCC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). This demonstrates that they have completed over 500 hours of coaching and a certified coaching training program. It is also valuable to look for coaches who have taken additional continuing professional education certifications. Having been through a certified coaching training program in Toronto, I can absolutely say, I was able to hone my listening skills, relationship-building skills, and my ability to ask clean questions among other skills through the program, making me a better coach.

Track Record

With the investment you are planning to make with your time and money into executive or leadership coaching, it is vital for you to spend some time learning about your coach. This could mean reviewing their bio or website, asking for previous testimonials from clients, checking for LinkedIn recommendations or even asking for case studies. Executive coaches can have a range of clients; therefore it is essential to ask them about the clients they have worked with. What were the challenges they were trying to address? Do they have a coaching approach they used to address client challenges? What was the outcome of executive coaching? How did their leadership coaching play a role in their client’s success? If you are being provided corporate coaching through your HR partner, they may have already completed this due diligence for you. The executive coach and/or HR partner should be able to answer all your questions before you engage with them.


One of the most important criteria for choosing your coach is that there is a fit between the two of you. An executive coach can have all the credentials, expertise, and experience that you are looking for but if there is not a good connection, where you feel you can be completely open, then you will not get the most out of the experience. Even if you are assigned a corporate coach, ensure that you speak to them first before you start the coaching engagement. Finding a coach that you connect with is something you can only decide, so ask to speak to them first before engaging in coaching. It can also help to understand if your coach has experience in your industry, as this can help with them having context to the environment you work in. It is not necessary, but it does make help in building a connection with them. Feel free to reach out to a couple of coaches that do leadership coaching in Toronto to ensure you have the right fit for you.

When you consider these 3 things you will be able to hire the right executive or corporate coach in Toronto, one that can help you realize your goals, be your sounding board and help you grow in your career. Having a leadership coach can bring you the structure you need to create a plan of action to be able to build your leadership effectiveness. These experts can help you overcome obstacles by chalking out a structured roadmap for you and the leaders in your organization.