Why? You need a coach to help you think widely and deeply. If your executive coach reaches conclusions fast (he or she as an accomplished business leader may be able to reach conclusions faster), your thinking process will remain stunted. Your coach should help you to make better decisions and make them faster. You do not want the coach to undertake thinking on your behalf.
This attribute is by far the most difficult one to have.
How to recognize this: Have a conversation with your potential executive coach. The conversation need not be about the coaching assignment. You can also listen into such a conversation.
Note down how many open-ended questions (how, in what way, .) the coach asks. Open ended questions result in answers that describe situations and possibilities.
Note down how many times he or she asks closed-ended questions (this or that?). Such questions require one to choose from just two options.
More open-ended questions indicate a thinking pattern that is not inherently judgmental.
In other words, your coach should be a curious person! Since we associate curiosity with children and do not give enough thought to it, the above explanation is needed.