5 things to consider when looking for a coach


Research consistently shows that people and organizations realize a significant return on investment of executive coaching initiatives. Coaching has been proven to be effective at helping people grow personally and professionally, as well as develop enhanced self-awareness and new skills. and develop new skills.

Even if your organization does not have a formal coaching program in place, you can still reap the benefit of coaching by hiring one yourself. If you are hiring a coach for the very first time, or looking for a new coach, here are some ideas to consider before you select a coach. Below are 5 examples of ideas to keep in mind as you navigate through the journey of selecting a coach.

1. Define Why you Need a Coach

Why do you think an executive coach would be of help to you? Is there a promotion that you want to pursue? Do you generally feel as though your talents are underdeveloped and/or underutilized? Are there some challenges that you don’t feel like tackling on your own? Are you looking to unlock your potential and learn to use your talents in a way that maximizes results?

Take some time to identify the reason for working with a coach. Perhaps it is a personal reason and perhaps it is more in line with a professional goal. Let’s keep in mind that in the modern world, the distinction between personal and professional has been blurred – this is particularly relevant in the COVID landscape as we’ve gotten used to taking conference calls from our kitchens. Writing your goals down helps you keep your priorities in mind as you search for a coach and as you encounter daily challenges in general. It’s just always a good idea! Goal planning is typically a component of coaching relationships, so don’t worry if you’re struggling with mapping out your goals. Your coach can help!

2 . Assess Fit

Hiring a coach is not much different than hiring an employee, so you’ll need to prepare yourself and be ready to assess personal fit. Yes, your coach is ultimately guide you towards establishing development goals and a path to achieve those goals, but first you need to find the right coach. If you’re looking for a coach on coaching.com, make sure you pay attention to the coaches summary. How a coach describes themselves and their work will give you insight as to how they think and their general approach to working with clients. Maybe you find coaches with succinct but descriptive bios more appealing, maybe you don’t’ It is really about getting a feel for the person.

3. Experience Matters

When looking for a coach, it’s very important to define what type of coach you’re looking for. Are you looking for someone who has industry-specific experience, either as a coach or as someone who has actually relevant working experience in your field? Are you looking for someone with a type or types of coaching certifications? Is the perfect coach for you someone who has a wide array of experience with regards to industries, but who has focused on specific areas of improvement such as EQ, interpersonal relationships and/or something else? You will want to research every prospective coach thoroughly based on the variables you have in mind, as this will allow you to advance your search for a coach efficiently and effectively.

4.    Expect a Personalized Plan

Good coaches have a standardized approach to working with their clients. Great coaches are able to adapt that approach to clients without steering away from a well-crafted methodology that has been honed by experience. Some of the ways in which coaches standardize the coaching process include:

  • Laying out a specific duration for the engagement
  • Defining how often they expect to meet with a client
  • Building a foundation for the work by adding assessments to the coaching process

5. Trust Is Essential

Your instincts are going to be important every time you talk to a prospective executive coach. If your instincts tell you that the person with whom you’re speaking seems trustworthy, then you may feel reassured enough to extend some level of trust and then build on that along with your rapport as you continue to work together. This is an extremely important facet of your relationship.

Working with the right executive coach means you’re going to need to dig deep, at times, in order to uncover some of what is happening beneath the surface. Open communication is essential in this setting, and that open communication is built upon a foundation of earned trust.

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