Congratulations, you've decided that you're ready to be coached! Now you get to pick your coach and begin. But how are you meant to choose the right coach for you given the plethora of options available to you?
Navigating the world of coaching can be a challenge. especially if you've never worked with one before. Here are some tips to help you select the right coach for you and to make sure you reach your professional or personal goals.
1) Have a general idea of what it is you want to be coached on. You may not know the exact topic you'd like to be coached on, but having an idea of where you most need support can help simplify the process of finding the right match. For example, are you struggling with a new role at work? Are you feeling stuck in your life and need someone to help shake you out of it? Are you struggling to uncover your personal values? All of these questions can help you decide if you want e.g. a career coach, a life coach, a relationship coach, or maybe someone who has experience with all three. Each coach brings with them a lifetime of experience and knowledge so the clearer you are on what it is you want support with, the easier it will be to find the right match.
2) Decide what credentials matter most to you. Has your chosen coach been certified through a credible certification body? Where did they train? What kinds of clients have they worked with in the past. Answering these questions will help you determine if the coach has the right qualifications to coach you in the way you want to be coached. Many organizations will have minimum requirements for the coaches they will hire for their employees - so if your company is paying be sure to double check the requirements. There are many credible certification bodies out there, like ICF, depending on your personal or professional needs.
3) How do you want to be coached? Do you prefer to meet face-to-face or would you rather speak to someone virtually? Do you want someone who will be tough on you and not let you get away with anything, or do you prefer a coach who will nurture you in your journey. These kinds of questions will help you identify if you should be looking for someone who lives locally, or if you are happy to work with a coach that lives in another state or country from you. Some people prefer to have that in-person interaction, while others enjoy the slightly more anonymous feeling of speaking on the phone. Each coach works differently and this is a matter of personal preference for you.
4) Do some research. Look at each coach's thought leadership in different areas. Have they published articles or research on particular topics of interest to you? Does their website resonate with you? What does their personal brand represent for you? What have past clients had to say about working with them? What's impact does their online presence have for you?
5) Ask yourself if this coach can help you achieve your professional goals. Take a look at the coach's professional background and history - do they have a similar path to yours? Is it completely different? Do you want someone who enables you to either aspire to achieve something similar to what they have, or do you prefer to benefit from the varied experience and new perspective of someone who's not in your field. Most coaches will offer you the opportunity to have a chemistry call (or a sample session) to see if you are a good fit for each other, so you can begin to reach out and test the waters before committing to a particular coach or program.
6) Set clear goals for your coaching. At the beginning of your relationship, every coach will ask you what it is you hope to achieve through coaching. Be clear about your goal! The clearer you are about what you want to achieve at the end, the more effective and impactful your coaching journey will be - and the easier it is to pick the right coach to support you on that journey. If you don't know where you are heading, how will you know if you've made progress to reach it? It's okay if your goals change over time, or you uncover something new or unexpected during the process, but try to be clear from the beginning about why you chose to work with a coach and what you hope to achieve through your coaching relationship.
7) Chemistry Calls! Most coaches will offer you the opportunity to experience a taste of what coaching will be like with them in a Chemistry or Sample Session. This is the best way to determine if you will work well together and if this coach can help you to achieve your goals. Sometimes you want someone who pushes you, sometimes you want someone who nurtures you. Either way – find the coach who hits that sweet spot and gives you the push you need while supporting you on your journey.
Amanda is a purpose-driven entrepreneur on a mission to humanize the workplace. She helps purpose-driven scaleups to create an empowering, high-engagement culture that inspires individuals to show up with passion, purpose, and creativity every day.
She also works with badass humans to activate their courage and take their personal and professional lives to the next level.