So you’ve made a decision to hire a coach. A wise decision it is. You should know that when deciding to commit to coaching, you are deciding to commit to working with someone for a period of time, and depending on what you want to accomplish this could be for a long period of time, so you want to make sure you are choosing someone, not just the company, but the coach themself, that is a good fit for you.
"Coaching isn't therapy. It's product development with you as the product." - Fast Company
First off - coaching type. There are a lot of types of coaches out there - life coaches, executive coaches, business coaches, mindset coaches, relationship coaches, divorce coaches (also a relationship coach?), health coaches, mindfulness coaches, and many more. Some of the more general coaches, if trained and experienced enough, can be as effective, if not more, than some of the specific coaches. Ie. If you are going through a divorce and your biggest issues are dealing with stress and anxiety, and loss of hope, a life or mindset coach could be more effective for you than a divorce coach. Simply put, if you are looking for strategies in the situation that you are focussing on, you may want a specific coach like a business coach or a sales coach. If you’re looking for someone for internal strategies, like motivation, clarity, beliefs that are limiting, fears, and so forth, then a coach like a mindset, life or even exec coach would be the optimum.
Truthfully, most of the problems we encounter in various parts of our lives are internal. Having that second party to talk things out, to listen, and help you discover your internal resources is an incredible help.
Secondly, just as or even more important, is your personal fit with the coach. Never hire a coach without having to spend some time with him or her. Ask for a discovery call or even a complimentary coaching call if they provide it. During the call, you will be sharing some of your dreams, ambitions, and history. But don’t be afraid to ask personal questions of your coach. This will be a relationship over a period of time and you need to be able to like and trust your coach. Get a feeling for their sincerity and passion for what they do. Look for your gut feeling as well. If there is something that does not feel right, check out another coach.
One of my first coaches was a coach from the Steven Covey organization. I had a book project that was already in its 5th year. The draft was completed and needed editing, which I had an edited document that was twice the size of my draft. Self-doubt had set in. I knew someone to hold me accountable was what I needed. I researched all of the coaching organizations and testimonials for this one were some of the best. I did not get a chance to ‘try out’ my coach before we started but I did have a guarantee that if it was not a fit, I could get another or money back. My coach was a great fit, well trained, and experienced to work with others. Within 4 months, my book was completed and published.
Ask about their experience and training and what sets them apart. Coaches who help you with specific strategies, such as business coaches, should have real-life experience in running businesses or other organizations. Sales coaches should have a track record of either selling or running sales teams. When it comes to a coach like a mindset or life coach, their experience should be helping people that have been in similar situations as yours. Ask questions about their experience and their clients. Look for testimonials and/or referrals.
Finally, it comes down to weighing your needs to what is provided and your own intuition for the individual coach. Know that coaching is not something that gives you a result within a single session. It is a long term commitment of 3-6 months or more. But if you are looking to make significant changes or achievements in your life, this is the way to go.
Kevin Martin is a mindset coach with Peak Performance Mindset Coaching and Positive Effects Coaching & Hypnosis. You can find out more about him at www.poseffects.com