This series of blogs is all about supporting coachees.
The focus for coaching blogs is often on the coach, and their development … so I thought I’d switch things around and look at the coach-coachee relationship, and the coaching process, from the coachee’s perspective.
It’s aimed at anyone looking to hire their own coach … and even coaches looking for their own coach might find some useful tips!
With so many coaches in the coaching arena now, it can be difficult to find the right one for us.
As a coach supervisor, and a coach who uses other coaches for associate purposes. I’ve worked with several different coaches over the years. All have their own style.
Together with their experiences, training, sector or topic specialism (if they have one), they’re all unique.
In my experience, there isn’t just one coach who is suitable for each of us. It can depend on the situation or goal that we’re aiming for.
For example, you may work with a Leadership or Executive Coach in your workplace, a Life Coach for non-work goals, a Career Coach if you’re looking for promotion or to change careers, a Wellbeing Coach if you want to improve your wellbeing or mental health, and so on.
Also, the more experience you have of being coached, the more you know what style of coaching works for you. I tend to prefer a non-directive, ‘pure’ coaching approach, rather than one that verges on mentoring. I also prefer a coach who has a range of tools in their toolkit, and isn’t ‘chained’ to the GROW model, for example (not that there’s anything wrong with this model … it has its roots in the origins of coaching in the UK.) … and I like working with coaches who work intuitively.
So how do you make a decision about which coach to choose?
To offer some guidance here, I use a mental checklist when thinking about employing a coach. The one below if a quide, and a way to start of develop your own checklist, so you can reach a decision with more clarity, certainty and confidence.
Choosing a Coach – Checklist
1) What’s my focus for this particular coaching programme? What’s my goal?
2) What problem do I want to solve?
3) Do I want a coach who specialises in this area?
4) Do they offer a consultation, where I can get to meet them and see if we connect? This is one of the most important things for me. See additional checklist below for the consultation converstion.
5) Do they have the appropriate level of coach training & experience?
6) Do they adhere to a recognised Coaching Body’s code of ethics?
7) Is the price right for my budget? Do they offer payment terms?
8) Do they work in a way that suits me? (E.g. over the phone, online, or in person)
9) What additional support, if any, is offered between sessions?
10) What are their testimonials like? Do I know anyone who’s used them before and would recommend them?
Some of the above questions can be answered by looking at the coach’s website; others need a more direct approach and benefit from a conversation.
Connecting with your coach is vital. Your coaching relationship requires mutual trust.
Good coaches will have your best interests and personal development at heart, will believe in you and your capabilities (even in those times when you don’t believe in yourself), and will positively challenge you to help you achieve your goals (and often more!)
Having a good level of rapport with a coach is vital for me. This is what develops trust, resulting in a greater level of honesty, and faster and longer lasting solutions.
Here are a few questions that I ask myself when deciding how much rapport there is during an initial consultation.
1) How interested does the coach sound in what I’m saying?
2) Who’s doing most of the talking? Is it all coming from the coach, or are they asking useful questions and giving me a chance to ask questions?
3) How much eye contact am I getting? Is it too much, not enough, or about right ?
4) How connected do I feel to them?
5) How easy is it to open up to them?
So … which of the questions above, on each checklist, resonate with you most?
Which do you already use?
Which would you use in the future?
What else is important to you when choosing a coach?
I’d love to know your thoughts! Please comment below. 😊