Last week when delivering a coaching skills workshop for emerging leaders, I was asked what to consider when choosing a coach. Here’s a few thoughts:
1. The Coaching Relationship
Working with a professional coach creates a powerful relationship. Like any relationship, the right chemistry is required. Does the coach you are considering propose to allow sufficient time for you to get to know them and their style before committing? Do you ‘click’? Will you be simultaneously supported and challenged?
What style of coaching is being offered and how does this suit your requirements? What is included in the coaching program? What profiling does the coach undertake to ensure your program is targeted to you? Would you prefer phone coaching, face to face coaching, or a combination of both? Is there flexibility on the timing of the coaching sessions? Is support offered between coaching sessions?
3. Experience and Demonstrated Results
What past experience does the coach bring to the coaching relationship? What sort of people have benefited from working with this coach? What examples can the coach give you of demonstrated results? (Hint: The coach does not need to know your industry – you have that knowledge. The coach needs to know coaching.)
4. Referral and Testimonial Comment
Word of mouth is a strong driver of a successful coaching practice. What do past and present clients say about this coach? What results do they attribute to the coaching relationship? Would they return to that coach in future? Can you speak with a past/current client?
5. Qualifications and Accreditation with a Professional Body
Coaching in Australia is currently an unregulated industry. Accreditation with a professional body such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF – see www.icfaustralasia.com) is the best guarantee of securing the services of a skilled and competent coach. Membership provides ongoing professional development to ensure a coach is continually learning and updating their skills.
And a bonus sixth consideration that some may see as controversial!
6. Is the Coach an NLP Practitioner?
Our brains are biologically engineered to engage in repetitive thinking. Thinking differently and generating new alternatives requires us to force our synapses to behave differently! Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is recognised worldwide as one of the most effective models for creating change in human behaviour. An NLP-trained coach will help your synapses behave differently!
Make the most effective use of your professional development investment by choosing a coach that’s right for you.
Have an Extraordinary day