Coaching is a fast growing industry and there are numerous coaches to choose from. Many are my admired colleagues with whom I’m fortunate to work with on an on-going basis. Whenever someone asks how to choose a coach that’s best for them, I encourage them to talk to several different coaches to see if they feel engaged by their personalities and also to determine whether the coach they select meets the following criteria.
The following questions should help you make a decision in choosing your coach:
- Do you like this person? Your coach should be amiable. You should feel a connection with them and enjoy your interactions. To put it another way, your coach should “get what you’re all about” and be passionate about helping you succeed.
- Is the coaching process all about you? Although coaching is a collaborative relationship, the coaching process should be all about you. As the client, you choose the agenda for each session and close with your own set of goals. Although your coach will offer valuable insight and provide thought-provoking questions to help you clarify and move toward your vision, the direction you choose, the action you take and the results you achieve are all yours.
- Does your coach challenge you? We all like to feel supported, and a coach will do that. But a great coach will also challenge you from time to time. They may challenge you to raise the bar, face the “hard truths” or even urge you to be brutally honest with yourself. Sometimes these deep breakthroughs create amazing insight. Sure, your coach will be tough at times and may even encourage you to reach beyond your comfort zone, but a great coach is one that has your best interest at heart.
- Is your coach authentic? This is a critical coaching criteria. I always stress to my clients, “Be who you are and that’s the only way you’ll succeed.” Coaches should follow this same philosophy, letting their personalities shine through. By being true to themselves and their clients, is the only way for the coaching process to succeed. There’s a lot “coaches in a box,” for sale and sales pitches that promise “executive potential,” but a coach that is skilled in, or has an innate knack for reading people, and is also willing to be open and honest, is a great coach to have!
- Is your coach experienced and credentialed? A coach doesn’t have to be a celebrity to be a great coach, but they should be credentialed and experienced. International Coaching Federation certification demonstrates that a coach is trained and has honed their skills with a dedication to succeed in this “helping” profession. Their intensive training will also help YOU succeed. Experience—a vast array of experience—is also an admired qualification in a coach. An experienced coach brings “real-world” applications to each session in order to help you craft goals are doable and industry appropriate.