Choosing a Coach
A coach's role is to…
Discover, clarify and align with what the client wants to achieve
Encourage client self-discovery
Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
Hold the client responsible and accountable
A google search will bring up a vast number of coaches, so which one should you work with?
The most important thing when working with any coach is that you trust them. Listen to your gut. If something doesn’t feel right consider someone else. If no one feels right, you could have just identified a coaching topic!
Seriously though, take your time to get this right.
Different things are important to different people.
If qualifications are important to you, then ask about these. Look for accreditation.
There are a couple of organisations that are recognised globally in the coaching world, and who currently set the standard for quality coaching:
These organisations often allow you to search their members for coaches holding recognised qualifications.
Our understanding about the way the human brain works is developing all the time, and with this improved understanding comes improved practice, so you should look for someone who is invested in their continuous development. This is usually less obvious through a website so you might want to ask.
Most coaches will keep a log of their coaching work. These enable them to get accreditation and recognition for their experience. They should be asking you for permission to add your details to their log. You might want to ask about how they store your details and any notes they might make.
Coaching is a skill that requires continuous reflection. Coaches should engage with a coach themselves, to reflect on their practice and ensure they are doing the right thing by their clients. Again something to ask about if it's important to you.
With the formal bit out of the way, what about the personal connection. You might want to think about the sort of person you want to work with. You can gain a feel for someone via their web page and even better speak to them.
Most coaches offer a free, no-obligation first session, where you might share the topic you’d like coaching on and ask any questions you want. Following this call, you might decide the fit isn’t right for you, in which case, once you let them know, you shouldn’t hear any more from them.
In some instances, a coach will have specialties, and the topic you present may be in an area they are less experienced. If a coach doesn’t feel able to help, that’s ok too, it means they are being professional and honest. If this is the case, they should be able to point you in the direction of someone who can help.
Experience - Be mindful that coaching is distinct from mentoring, consulting, training, and other similar skills. If you want someone to advise you, then you might be looking for someone who can mentor you, or work with you on a consultative basis.
A coach is focused on and believes that you hold the best answer to your question/dilemma. Coaching doesn’t have to be long term. If you need an answer by the end of the session, then that is the time scale the coach will work to, drawing on what you know and feel to find the best way forward.
The location of the coach - You will need to think about how you would prefer your sessions to work. Do you prefer to be meet face to face, or could a virtual meeting work, where you meet via an internet meeting space - these options do allow for face to face contact, all be it virtually. You may prefer to be active whilst being coached e.g. walking or crafting, for some this activity can help open up their thinking.
Price - Prices vary vastly between coaches, and these prices may depend on the qualifications and experience of the coach. After all, a coach with a background in neurobiology, that has been practicing for 20 years, has probably got quite a tool kit to draw upon, and the science to back up what they do. But don’t dismiss the newly qualified coaches, they are fresh out of training, and likely to be the most affordable.
I am happy to offer a free no-obligation call to see if I can help you. Get in touch...