What is a coach? How do I find a coach? What kind of coach do I need? These are questions I am getting asked with increased frequency and I believe it is due to the large influx of people offering services under the umbrella of coaching. This is confusing for most people who are searching for a coach and it is making it difficult to find the right resource.
My coaching and training business is celebrating our 15th year in the industry in 2016! When I started offering coaching there was a much smaller number of coaches and much less variety. Today there are countless types of coaches that have a myriad of approaches and purposes. While there are too many to name them all, here are some examples:
The list could go on forever. While these sound fairly specific, they are actually pretty broad until you ensure one aligns with your needs.
My recommendation is that you spend time thinking about the true purpose of the coaching before speaking to a coach. This can help identify who you would initially contact to have an initial dialogue. Be open about the purpose you believe is the reason you are seeking a coach and most experienced coaches will be able to recognize whether they are a fit pretty quickly. Be cautious of a coach who appears to not be a fit and tries to convince you they are the right coach for you. For example, my coaching focus is on helping employees, managers and leaders that want to improve their effectiveness in the workplace. While this sounds pretty broad, it is my role to help decide if the situation is within my area of expertise. When I receive an inquiry for an area outside of my area of expertise I am candid with them and suggest they find a different resource.
When you do contact a coach, the initial conversation should provide you some insight into whether they are a potential coach for you. I suggest speaking with a few different coaches that you feel may be a fit and then see how you feel after the initial conversation. The dialogue should include areas of expertise and overall connection you feel when you speak with them. Every coach has a unique style and it is important to choose one with a personality and style that fits your personality.
You should approach choosing a coach as a process that includes areas of expertise, personality and style, qualifications and gut feel. Be bold, be inquisitive, ask questions and dig, dig dig until your decision is clear!
It is very important to remember that these recommendations are based on the perspective that you are screening coaches for yourself. If you are looking for a coach for another individual it is critical that you evaluate the coach based on their needs and style. Evaluating a coach based on your needs and preferences instead of the coaching participant could result in choosing the wrong coach. Involve the coaching participant as much as possible in the decision.
Today we talked about area of expertise along with personality and style. I will talk about analyzing qualifications and gut feel in my next post! I look forward to posting more frequently!
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For more details about this post or how I can help your team, please contact me at email@example.com or 563-340-7600.