How do I choose the best coach for me?
In my last blog regarding coaching I was talking about what is a coach and what a coach isn’t. I hope this was helpful for you to understand that coaching is very much looking forward and I would like to think I am that friendly, bubbly passenger, enjoying a new adventure and journey with you.
Today I wish to talk about choosing the right coach for you.
Here are 6 really important questions you should ask yourself and or the person you may chose to be your coach.
Does a coach need to have experience within the industry you are in? The benefits of a coach NOT knowing the ins and outs of your industry is that they can remain totally detached from the everyday issues you may face and really focus on looking at the issues you have from a totally new perspective. Coaching isn’t about telling a client what to do, therefore your coach doesn’t need to know your business inside out. They need to be able to extract things from you that you haven’t previously been using in your business. Furthermore, if a coach has experience in your field, they might use their experience to explain what works which actually might not work for you. Having a fresh mind towards your business is extremely important to providing excellent support to your business.
How do I know the person I chose for being my coach is right for me without paying for a session? Most coaches should offer a FREE chemistry session. This allows for you to understand if you like your coach, and if they like you! Having the chemistry session allows you to build a relationship, therefore I would question their intentions if they are charging you from the offset. Maybe they don’t have your best intentions in mind?
Think of a topic/issue you may wish to cover in a session and ask if they have experience with that. Better still, let them give you an example of how they have helped someone else. This must be in the strictest confidence and no names should be given, or are necessary. For instance, I have just helped a coach who has been putting off launching their website because he didn’t have clients. I asked him “do you need clients to launch your website?”, I suggested he shows off his work NOW and his website is going live next week!
Do I have to sign up for a number of sessions? Some coaches will be really keen to get you signed up on their books so they may want you to sign up for six or more sessions. Do you want to do this without knowing them very well? I would say once your decision is made, three session to start with may be a better number. This allows you to get your coaching sessions booked into your busy diary and you can cover your initial topic in the first three sessions. Then, depending on the coaching relationship and success you may then be inclined to book more, or have a short break which allows it to be flexible for you.
Where is the coaching going to take place? In current situations with Covid 19 it may well be you and the coach are more comfortable with Zoom, or it maybe you are a keen walker or feel you would benefit more in person. Ask the coach what types of locations they offer for their coaching and chose what you are most comfortable with, - remember this is your time and you must feel at ease. The more at ease you are the more you will be willing to share and the more powerful the session and results will be.
Is a qualification important to be a great coach? Some with qualifications would say absolutely, some without would say it is not regulated so no! I feel this is your decision. Some tips I could advise are to check them out on Linked In, see their history of employment and comments from others and go with your gut. If you really like them and they listen to you then you will always achieve something from a session and as your relationship grows you will start to see how long you want their coaching for. Never again or for the Foreseeable future!
Please remember this - The danger with coaching lies in the perceived need for the coach to appear brilliant, to be seen to have all the answers. When coaches are focused on looking wonderfully clever, they do not listen long enough. They summarise and interpret and direct far too early in the session. Coaches need to realize that the brilliant person is the client. The coach’s job is to help the client discover that. The real expert on the organisation is not the coach, however informed and experienced they may be. The expert is the person running the organisation