Choosing the right Coach is becoming increasingly difficult. More and more individuals are simply claiming that they’re a coach, making unsubstantiated promises to clients, and then doing the best they can.
With in excess of 50,000 Coaches practicing globally, confusion is growing when it comes to how to choose a Coach — and choosing the one that’s right for you is becoming more difficult.
What Should I Look for in a Coach?
It’s a great question. What should people look for in a Coach? A Business Coach? An Executive Coach? A Life Coach?
In a world with more and more people jumping on the Coaching bandwagon, we need to become more deliberate about how to choose a Coach and a professional who can serve us best.
It’s not enough to find someone who simply “feels” right — though that’s certainly part of the equation. There are other important factors to consider if you’re serious about seeing substantive, sustainable change.
Results speak loudly. Ask your Coach about their experience, the results they have delivered, and the successes they’ve had. What have they accomplished? Have they ever led a successful business of their own? Do they have significant leadership experience?
Ask them about their scars, their failures, their struggles, and how they overcame them. You’ll learn so much about how they view the world, how they solve problems, and the depth of insight and direct experience they have to draw on.
Also ask them about their Coaching experience. How long have they been coaching? How many clients do they have? What kind of results have their clients experienced?
It’s important to ask your Coach about the training they’re received. And not just if they’ve received training, but what was the nature of that training. How long did it last? Who led the training? Are they certified in the industry.
Just because someone shares common experiences with you does not necessarily mean that they are capable of Coaching you effectively. Perhaps they’ve been a business leader or owner or executive. Perhaps they’ve undergone similar challenges as you have in their life. It doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be able to help.
The training matters. You will also encounter many people who were trained once — often some time ago. They may have a foundation to build on, but it’s critical to find a Coach who is constantly training and growing in order to deepen their skills and ensure that their support will be relevant to you today.
There are many talented individuals in the world, but none of them is an expert in everything. Each of us will reach the limits of how deeply we are able to support a client. That’s true whether we’re focused on Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, Crisis Coaching, or Life or Personal Coaching.
The concern then becomes whether the Coach has the resources or relationships to hand you to an individual who can help you in those other areas. Many Coaches do not want to hand their client to someone else. This is in part a reflection of a deep desire to serve and support you, but also reflects a fear of losing the client.
Coaches who operate in a team don’t present that risk. Because they are able to draw on the skills, insights, experiences and Mastery of their team mates, you are better served and can be more confident that the support you’re receiving is of a higher quality.
It’s important to understand what tools and resources your Coach has available to support you. Coaching should help you DO better — get better, preform better — not just FEEL better.
The resources that a Coach has available — methodologies, assessments, tools, programs, etc. — will either enable your growth or become the boundaries of your growth. By understanding what processes and systems they have in place to help you, you will develop a better sense of what is truly possible.
Trust is essential in a Coaching relationship. Without it, you never get to the heart of the most important issues.
Trust is built over time but it begins when we connect with someone for the first time. All of us look for signs and indicators that suggest that we are entering a high trust relationship. The question is what do you look for? Here are a few thoughts:
- Demonstrated Results — Look for signs that show you that they can — or better yet — have already worked with others to accomplish the results or goals that you are looking for.
- Third-Party Confirmation — Identify evidence from others that confirms what you’re hearing from the Coach. This is the moment when you actively look for online ratings, for testimonials, case studies or other independent indicators that this Coach makes a difference.
- Chemistry — This is more subjective but equally important. The conversations you have with your Coach will be unlike any others. To genuinely accomplish what you are looking for, you need to have a strong, open, and honest rapport with your Coach. Only you can tell if it exists.
Your Coach is Choosing You Too
A strong Coaching relationship is powerful, and that means that while you’re trying to decide if the Coach is right for you, a good Coach is also trying to decide if you’re right for them. You’re selecting one another.
Good Coaches are in demand and won’t just take any client. They’re assessing you as you assess them. Here are a few of the things they’re looking for:
- Commitment — There are many people who want to see change, but are not ready to do the work to bring that change into their lives. This is a moment to be very honest with yourself about how prepared you are to fully commit to yourself and your Coaching.
- Focus — One thing that separates top performers from their peers is their ability to focus. Most people either cannot or do not sustain their concentration and energy on a process long enough to get the results they’re looking for. Those with sustained focus are far more likely to succeed.
- Openness — If how you do things now would get you what you want, you wouldn’t need a Coach. A good Coach will be gauging how open you are to explore different ways of doing things. Of trying things that you’ve not been aware of or, in some cases, trying things that you may believe don’t work. The more open you are, the more likely you are to see the changes you are looking for.
- Willingness to Change — You can’t change anything if you can’t change your mind. Your Coach is looking for signs that indicate that you are at a point in your life when things must change. If you’re not ready to change, you’re not reach for Coaching.
Are You Ready?
Now you know how to choose a Coach. You know what to ask, what to look for, and what to listen for.
The final question — and perhaps the most important one — is whether you’re ready. There comes a time when the waiting needs to stop and the first step needs to be taken.
If that’s where you are now, don’t wait any longer. Reach out today and choose the Coach that’s right for you.