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How to Select a Coach

The most important thing to look for in selecting a coach is someone with whom you feel you can easily relate create and the most powerful partnership. 

Here are some questions you may want to ask prospective coaches:

  • What is your coaching experience? (Number of individuals coaches, years of experience, types of situations)
  • What is your coach specific training? Do you hold an ICF Credential, or are you enrolled in an Accredited Training Program?
  • What are your coaching specialties or client areas you most often work in?
  • What specialized skills or experience do you bring to your coaching?
  • What is your philosophy about coaching?
  • What is your specific process for coaching? (How sessions are conducted, frequency, etc.)
  • What are some coaching success stories? (Specific examples of individuals who have been helped through your coaching).

How do you ensure a compatible partnership?

Overall, be prepared to design the coaching partnership with the coach. For example, think of a strong partnership that you currently have in your work or life. Look at how you built that relationship and what is important to you about partnership.You will want to build those same things into a coaching relationship. Here area few other tips: 

  • Have a personal interview with one or more coaches to determine “what feels right” in terms of the chemistry. Coaches are accustomed to being interviewed, and there is generally no charge for an introductory conversation.
  • Look for stylistic similarities and differences between the coach and you and how these might support your growth as an individual or the growth of your team.
  • Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach’s specialty or the coach’s preferred way of working with an individual or team.
  • Talk with the coach about what to do if you ever feel things are not going well; make some agreements up front on how to handle questions or problems

Remember that coaching is a partnership, so be assertive about talking with the coach about anything that is of concern at any time. 

How can the success of the coaching process be measured?

Measurement may be thought of in two distinct ways. First, there are the external indicators of performance: measures which can be seen and measured in the individual’s or team’s environment. Second, there are internal indicators of success: measures which are inherent within the individual or team members being coached and can be measured by the individual or team being coached with the support of the coach. Ideally, both external and internal metrics are incorporated.

Examples of external measures include achievement of coaching goals established at the outset of the coaching relationship, increased income/revenue, obtaining a promotion, performance feedback which is obtained from a sample of the individual’s constituents (e.g., direct reports, colleagues, customers, boss,the manager him/herself), personal and/or business performance data (e.g.,productivity, efficiency measures). The external measures selected should ideally be things the individual is already measuring and are things the individual has some ability to directly influence.

Examples of internal measures include self-scoring/self-validating assessments that can be administered initially and at regular intervals in the coaching process,changes in the individual’s self-awareness and awareness of others, shifts in thinking which inform more effective actions, and shifts in one’s emotional state which inspire confidence.