Finding the right coach
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of coaches available in the UK. And with so many coaches offering their services, it is hard to sort through and make a choice. Some coaches have great credentials, but no industry experience. Others have a background in psychology, consulting, sports, or are former business people. With so much choice, how do you find a coach you can work with, that has the right experience, and will ensure you and your organisation gets a good return on investment?
It’s becomes a question of choice
A key characteristic of a successful coaching relationship is the chemistry between the coach and individual. The relationship can be very personal and it is important there is a connection that works, as well as dual respect, understanding, and confidentiality. Before making a selection, it is advisable to get detailed background and experience information, and then decide who to meet with. Review several coaches to help you screen and then choose a short-list from which to work with.
What makes a good coach?
Coaches need to be extremely good listeners and know how to ask the right questions. The role of the coach is not to provide advice on the direction that needs to be taken, but to ask the right questions of the client, help him see the direction and then take them there. As opposed to training, coaching is often extremely personal and the process should allow for the freedom to work with the “whole individual” so they can become an effective person – in their private life and at work. When choosing a coach and developing that relationship, here are some points to keep in mind:
look for a coach with breadth and depth in their coaching experience who have coached individuals and teams in different situations. It is unlikely you will find someone who has coached in the exact circumstances that you and your organization have, so choose a coach who has worked in several diverse situations and been able to have impact.
- No flexibility in approach:
be cautious of a coach that offers only a “one-size fits all approach”.
your coach should have a proven track record of success of both measurable improvements and hard to measure skills and process results. Get references and contact them.
- Coach or consultant:
is the person really a coach or a consultant? Is he giving advice or is he ‘coaching’?
choose a coach that has and uses a proven coaching process.
Your Coaching Check list:
A coaching program is successful when:
- it is a transparent process;
- the coach is experienced for the type of coaching needed;
- the coach is grounded in the company’s business and culture;
- it is results oriented;
- quality assurance is present;
- the individual has a choice of coaches to choose from;
- coaching is tied to performance measurement;
- the coaching receives organisational support;
- it is not done in isolation and the coach, individual, individual’s supervisor, and possibly organisation is involved;
- there is trust, commitment and confidentiality between all parties; and
- expectations are clear.
Good luck in your search for the right coach.
Richard Sivers Associates Ltd can help you through this – just contact us at:
+44(0) 1784 880945