Congratulations! You have made the impactful decision to hire a coach. It could be an executive coach, life coach or any other type of coach. This decision can do much to improve your life circumstances on the condition that you choose your coach wisely. Unfortunately, the coaching industry is not regulated and there are many people who identify as “coaches” but who are neither licensed nor experienced and may stand to do more harm than good, wasting your time and money. So how do you navigate the shark-infested waters to find the right coach?
Do your due diligence! You can start with a targeted internet search. Read articles written by and about the coach. Do you agree with their coaching philosophy and methods? Do you see yourself working with someone of their leadership style? Do they have a positive reputation among their peers? Do they appear to have clout and standing in the community?
What are the coach’s credentials? Are they certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) or the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARCC)? Are their service fees within your means? Do they offer a free initial consultation? It is not a good sign if they charge exorbitant fees up-front as this might indicate that they do not trust that you will stay the course with them.
Make sure you ask direct questions about the coach’s background and work experience. What led them to become a coach? What areas do they specialize in? Also ask for previous success stories with clients, as well as instances of failure.
Check for both chemistry and results. Don’t settle for fuzzy notions alone. Certainly listen to your gut and how you feel after your interactions. Do you feel excited and motivated yet slightly afraid? This is good news as the coach has motivated you to action while pulling you out of your comfort zone a little bit. But in addition, listen to logic. Has this coach achieved positive results in the past? Are there referrals or testimonials from previous clients that can prove this?
Fit For Purpose
Look for a “fit for purpose”. Why do you need a coach? Are you wanting to start a new company? To advance in your career? To change career fields completely? Find a coach who has gone through your current predicament or who has helped others to succeed under similar circumstances. A coach with work experience that is vastly different from yours may not know enough about your particular situation to help you. Look for someone who is familiar with both general business principles and with the particular issues that you are facing.
Can the coach help you clarify your strengths, values, interests and passions? Can they help you define your goals and your present starting-point to draw up a plan of action? Pay close attention to how well they provide motivation, guidance, support and direction when it comes to actually executing the plan.
N. Boutamine | The Edge Blog