Am I the right coach for you, or your team?
I don't know, check it out! Finding the right coach for your needs and personality is important and it can also seem like a daunting task. When seeking a coach it is important to find someone that is not only qualified, but qualified to address your specific needs; either individually or as an organization.
To make sure that I am a right fit for you as a coach, and that I have the qualifications you are looking for, and can deliver what you need, here are 9 things to consider.
Does the coach have experience and credentials? It is estimated that about 75% of self-proclaimed coaches actually have little-to-no professional education and less experience. Such individuals may have a number of suggestions that seem wise on the surface, but have few practical suggestions on how to help you achieve your life and professional goals.
TGB: I have been a professional coach with 1000s of coaching hours logged in, since 2011 -- pretty impressive -- heh? And, don't forget my 25 years as a spiritual counselor.
Be sure to check out credentials and choose a coach who is certified through a recognized professional organization like the International Federation of Coaches or the International Association of Business Coaches (IABC). These affiliations are a sign of formal training and of adherence to general standards of professionalism.
TGB: I have a Professional Certified Coach credential. This PCC credential means that a coach has had a minimum of 125 class room hours of coaching education, 750 hours of practical application coaching hours working as a coach, and is continually adding continuing education hours to her portfolio.
Select someone that has a solid and quality reputation in the coaching industry. A coach should be active and visible in the industry, publishing books and articles in major media, as well as presenting new ideas at professional conferences. It is crucial to validate the person's standing. Select a coach for whom coaching was a first career choice, not someone who may have failed in another role and found coaching as a default role to which he or she may not be 100% committed.
TGB: I am a recognized professional, who has written seven books and numerous articles. I was on contract for three years, coaching executives with a major hospital system in the Kansas City area.
Request that the coach provide you with references from past clients. If he or she declines, or if you're offered just one or two, this could be a point of concern. You should certainly inquire as to why you cannot have a broad(er) sample. Whether there may have been bad experiences or no experiences (due to inexperience) in the past, there could be something that is not quite on the level. Do some research on the Web and see if you find any comments about this individual.
TGB: I will provide testimonials and phone numbers of clients who are willing to share results.
Some coaches insist that you come to their location in person; others will agree to meet with you at a local coffee shop or even work with you by phone or by email. If you would prefer a particular meeting location or method, make sure the coach you're considering will at least discuss your request.
TGB: Over the years I have coached via Skype, telephone, in person, in groups, gone to designated spots preferable to the client...
A coach should be able to help you find and establish your personal and professional goals. However, before meeting with anyone, take some time to determine your own goals and potential milestones.
TGB: Using the Academy of Coaching Excellence's coaching model, you commit to sweet small steps that over a short period time this supports you in ultimately accomplishing major goals. Would it be alright with you if life got easier?
Your first meeting is vital in establishing the extent to which your potential coach and you are compatible (or not). Don't forget: this an individual with whom you will be revealing personal aspects and details of your life. Make sure you make the most of the first session.
TGB: Our first meeting is usually by phone. During our 30 minutes together we will review the coaching model and determine how coaching can be a contribution to you or your team, and support you in the creation of a life , or a team, that is supported by clarity, focus, ease, and grace.
Inquire as to what sort of guarantee the coach provides.
TGB: I guarantee that in our time together coaching will occur and you will be satisfied, if not I will refund the session -- and I have never had to make good on this offer!
Coaching rates vary substantially with coaches charging anywhere from $50 to $700 for sessions that may last an hour or an entire day. Some coaches want to meet with you only a few times, to help you get started in a new direction, while others want to work with you in a far more long-term manner. Make sure you understand from the get-go how much you will be paying and what services you'll receive for that rate.
TGB: A coaching contract is provided up-front; you will know how many sessions are agreeing to and what the rate will be. You will also receive handouts to support our sessions and by the end of each session you have agreed to take 1 to 3 authentic actions by our next sessions. Sweet small steps taken consistently equal success. Would it be alright with you, if life got easier?