What to Look for in a Coach

I often get asked what makes me special as a coach. Maybe a better question would be, “What should I look for in a Coach?” The first thing you need to consider is, what are you trying to achieve? Coaching takes on many forms and there are many types of coaches. So as Mr. Franklin Covey says, “begin with the end in mind.”

What to look for in a coach: Ask yourself, is your coaching experience about…

  • a career transition or are you stuck and can’t move forward in a personal goal?
  • making a key life decision like retirement, divorce or recovering from a recent death of a loved one?
  • building critical skills to improve your business agility?
  • having trouble sorting through the chaos called a work day and setting priorities?
  • are you really strong on the relationship and interpersonal stuff, but suck at the business stuff?
  • are you really good at the business stuff, but suck at the relationship and interpersonal stuff?

Here’s the bottom line. If your challenge is really about making a critical life decision, then you should look for someone who specializes in “Life, Career, Personal, or Transitional” coaching. If you want a better business outcome or if you want to improve your company’s bottom line, then find a coach with a business background who has lived in your world. To me, it’s simple…you would never get your roof replaced by a plumber.

What to look for in a coach: Other things to consider…

Find someone with the training, experience and personality you need to move your business forward. Interview a couple of coaches. Have they even been trained to be a coach? There is a methodology for coaching, and coaches should be trained in that methodology. Are they a member of the International Coaching Federation? The ICF is the only recognized and legitimate body that sets the standards and ethics for coaches; they also approve curricula at colleges and programs, so find out if your coach was trained at an ICF accredited college. Check their references, at least on their LinkedIn profile. Above all, if it’s about a business issue and moving you ahead as an executive, find someone who lived in and understands that world. If it’s not, then find a “Life” coach.

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