How to Choose the Coach Who is Right for You

And What you Should Look for…

With more and more people calling themself coaches, it can be confusing and difficult to choose the right professional to serve you well and to satisfy your needs. There are important factors to consider if you are serious and want to see significant and lasting changes in your life. You have a right to choose, but you should be aware of some criteria to review before making your choice. Here are some factors I have used when making a choice for my coach.

Training – It is important to know what training your coach has received.  Find out what the focus on the training was and whether they are receiving ongoing training. Any truly qualified coach will always be learning and growing their skills as they move forward in their profession.  It is important to share experiences, but if the coach does not know how to help you through a process, you will be frustrated.

Trust – Trust is essential in any coaching relationship. You need trust in order to get to the underlying issues that are most important.  Trust takes time.  When you first talk with someone, you should be looking for signs like recommendations, testimonials, case studies that will identify a coach who will make a difference.

Online Presence – Let us go to the web and see who they are and what they have done. Check out their LinkedIn profile. Do they list their certifications, specialties, their posts, article, etc.… Also, check out their “about” section in LinkedIn. You can learn so much from their LinkedIn profile. Another online place to look is their website. Learn more about the coach, areas of interest, and types of coaching. The website will provide insights into who they are as a coach. 

Initial Conversation – Most coaches will offer a free discovery call or free consultation call so that you can learn more about each other. On this call, you can sense whether you make a connection with the coach and see how comfortable you are with them. You can ask questions about what you can expect out of coaching, how you will set goals together and how the coach will hold you accountable for success.

Talk with More than One Coach – In searching for a coach, there are so many options. Each coach has their own personality and style so it is important to talk with more than one coach in order to get a good sense of who you connect with and what they have to offer.

What is Transformation?   When you decide on coaching, ultimately you want to know about price and transformation. Many people focus on the price and try and find the least expensive coach. Coaching is an investment in you! If you go with the coach offering the lowest fee, you may not get the results you desire. You are not buying time; you are buying the transformation.

For Example:

You are not happy in your current job, and it is hard to get up each morning. You are drained and not sure where you are going. Your life and career are a mess with too many distractions.

You find a coach to help you with these issues and after three months you have reached a more balanced work-life.  You are clear on where you are going, your energy is back, and you are getting up artistically each morning, ready for whatever the day brings you.

How much would you pay for that amount of transformation in your career and life?

The value of the transformation is far greater than the cost of coaching.

Gut Check – When you start the process of speaking and researching coaches, it is important on how you feel when you connect with that coach. It is vital that your head and gut feel the same when you are making a choice. Follow your gut. If you do not get a good feeling, then move on to another coach. Do not struggle over the decision.

Chemistry – You need to connect with your coach in order to get the transformational results you are looking for. You must trust and feel comfortable with the coach so you can be vulnerable and open with the coach. If you feel that you cannot trust the coach, you need to find another coach.  

Listening and Silence – It is vital that the coach can listen and hold space for you. Listening is a skill that they should practice on a regular basis so they can hear what you are saying, reflect and respond to you in a way that moves the conversation deeper to help you reach your goals. In addition to listening, your coach needs to be comfortable with silence. Silence is such a critical part of the coaching process as it creates and holds space for you, allowing you time to reflect before you respond.

Empathy  It is the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person from that person’s point of view. Essentially, it is putting yourself in someone else’s position and feeling what they must be feeling.

Honest in Your Needs – A coach can only assist you based on what you tell them during your meetings.  If you are thinking one thing (like leaving your job) but tell your coach you are looking to improve your performance, you will not achieve your desired results. Make sure to engage in the coaching process and commit 100% of yourself with the time, energy, and space to achieve the changes YOU desire.   

So are you ready? You have the criteria to use to evaluate a coach, but more importantly, is that you are ready for this transformative partnership.  Now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and take charge of your life.  Take that first step now and reach out to Mark to have a conversation about how coaching can serve you.