I recently ran a question through Linkedin about what things were important to consider when hiring a coach.  I was keen to understand what qualities were needed but also to understand the expectation of the person engaging in a coaching relationship.

There were a few things that I expected to see listed but also a few surprises so here I thought I would help you consider what may be of importance before reaching out and getting in contact with me.

How does the coach market themselves?

Take a look at the website of the coach, the business card and the general way that they go about advertising.  A lot can be said for the amount of effort someone is prepared to make a first impression and help you understand their business.

Experience

What practical (not theoretical) experience does the coach have.  Have you worked in similar industries, are they an expert or thought leader in a particular area.  Can you identify their experience with published articles, blog, radio interviews etc.

Success Stories/Testimonials

Trust is an important factor when hiring a coach, are there testimonials you can refer to on the website or if in discussion with the coach, would they recommend you speak to previous clients for feedback on their experience.  I have found this to be a great way to gain new clients, naturally some of my clients prefer not to be contacted but most are only too willing to share their experience and ‘pay it forward’.

Investment – Time and Cost

How much time are you expected to commit to a program, how often will you need to catch up and is this face to face or on the phone or both?  Do you have the chance to email your coach in between sessions?  How are you expected to pay and can the payment be bundled into cost effective/affordable payment plans?  All great questions to ask before engaging your coach.

Qualifications

Some coaches are mentors and some are a blend of both.  Some can be qualified by their experience in addition to having completed some form of training.  There are many ways for a coach to become qualified these days from Psychometric to Life Coaching and Business Coaching qualifications.  Whilst qualifications are  important it is of equal significance to identify  how your coach works, understand the program and process they will undertake in order to help you achieve your goals.

Diversity

Whilst coaches may have specialised in a certain area the process of coaching can be applied to various dilemmas and goals.  For example I personally trained in a brain-based approach to change and coaching and my first business was specialising in Career Coaching.  I have been able to apply the same coaching methodology and process to career, life, motherhood,  business, leadership, conflict resolution coaching.  This also keeps me on my toes in terms of new research in each of these areas and mixes up the workload.

Methodology & Tools/Techniques

You need to understand how the coach will work with you – what your role is and what their role is in supporting you with your goals.  Some coaches insist on working on a 3/ 6/12 months fixed programmes, some with fixed costs.  Others are happy to ‘create’ a program based on your needs.  Look for flexibility as well as results.  Also ask what types of tools and techniques the coach may use to help you achieve your goals.

Personal Development

You would hope that as a coach, the individual is interested in their own personal development.  Ask how they keep up to date with new tools and techniques to assist their clients.  What courses do they attend?  Do they have their own coach?

To summarise

Your coach should be someone who you connect with, that you can see yourself working with for any given period.  They should inspire you, challenge you and instill confidence and enthusiasm that you CAN DO THIS.

Most importantly you should trust them.  Once you have identified all the areas above, you can get on with making things happen.

Good Luck!