Written October 23, 2015 and updated May 23, 2018:
First off, what is coaching?
Coaching is “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” The coach is trained in asking the right questions to help you gain the insight you need to take the actions you want to achieve the goals you desire. Coaching is about helping you get from your point A to your desired point B.
What can coaching do for you?
There are many benefits of coaching, you can read some research on it through the coachfederation.org website or on my website in the coaching section. I am not going to talk about research but real life client benefits that they have shared with me. My clients enjoy the space that is given for them to process objectively their behaviors, choices, and actions. My clients enjoy the non-judgment, support, and accountability. They enjoy the challenge to think deeper and look at things from different perspectives. They enjoy feeling empowered by coming up with their own solutions and taking action. They have a sounding board. One particular client stated that it is very different from talking to their friends, where the emotions of the friends play into the conversation and at times they are not sure it is their emotions or that of the friend, so they appreciate that the coach's emotions are not in the conversation. There are so many more personal benefits but "life-changing" is a common theme among my clients.
Now, how to hire the right coach for you.
There are a lot of great coaches out there; however, not every coach will be right for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a coach:
1. Have an idea of what you are looking to be coached on such as are you looking to start a business or are you struggling with your marriage and then, find a coach that has knowledge and/or experience working in that area. All ICF credentialed coaches have a similar framework in terms of coaching but a coach that has specific experience can offer additional bonuses to the relationship.
2. Determine what is a comfortable budget for you to spend on your coaching services and how flexible is this budget.
2. Shop around. Look at different coaches, their websites, their bios, their mission statements, etc. and pick 3 or 4 coaches that resonate with you to call. Most coaches will offer free introductory sessions but some will not so think about whether the free introductory session is of value to you.
3. Ask yourself if you can see yourself being coached by this person, what does your gut intuition say about your initial research of your coach.
4. Call or email the list of coaches you found that you would like to work with and see their response. Are they timely in their response? What does their response say about them? How do you feel about their response? If you were able to make contact, how did the conversation go? Take the time to stew on the initial experience; however, if there is a clear connection, you might be ready to hire your coach!
5. Hire your coach and make your goals come true!
Keep in mind that if the coaching relationship does not turn out well, you can always find a new one. One bad coaching connection does not mean all bad coaches. However, I recommend you having a discussion with your coach first about why things are not working out because maybe the relationship can still be salvage.
The Internation Coach Federation http://www.coachfederation.org/
Society for Industrial Organiational Psychology http://www.siop.org/