20 Nov Should I hire a Coach?
Every couple of weeks I see the same question come up in forums I’m on, or I get asked the question: Should I hire a Coach and What should I look for in a Coach?
Unfortunately, Coaching is not a regulated industry, which means anyone can claim to be a Coach. This makes it so much harder to choose a Coach so today I am covering who should hire a Coach and more importantly, HOW to find a Coach thats right for you.
Who can benefit from Coaching?
I have done a detailed Introduction to Coaching in an earlier post so I won’t go into too much detail. In general, if you have big goals and you need support in developing and implementing a plan, Coaching will be right for you.
What do I need to consider?
Firstly, there is no formal qualification required to become a Coach. Obviously most people do study before they begin practicing, but there is no requirement to do so. There is also no Professional Body regulating the industry. Basically this means anybody can decide to begin practicing in the morning.
This doesn’t mean that they may not be great, but like all industries, not all Coaches are equal.
Secondly, there are many different types of Coaches with their own speciality. There are Life, Career, Business, Art, Soul, Money, Relationship… you name it , theres a Coach for it! This means that the clearer you are about what area you want to work on with a Coach, the easier it will be to find the right one.
How should I choose a Coach?
The absolute best way to recruit a Coach is through a personal recommendation. Try and find someone who has already successfully worked with someone you know.
If you can’t find a personal recommendation, which happens as Coaching is still new in Ireland, I would suggest this one piece of advice that I use in my life but is particularly useful when choosing a Coach:
Only take advice off someone who is better at the thing than you are
I don’t mean that your Coach has to be a better person than you, but realistically in order for your to improve, you need to learn from someone with more experience than you.
For instance, I would expect any practicing Career Coach to have an excellent Professional Career path in place. I’d also expect them to have a lot of valuable experience in high end career elements, like Management, Finance and HR. I would expect a Money Coach to be good with their own finances and I would expect a Life Coach to have a good attitude to Life.
If I was to go to a Personal Trainer in the gym I would expect them to be fitter than me, and I expect the same of a Life or Career Coach.
How will I know?
In general most Coaches are self-employed and are very good at emphasising their sales points, but if you can’t get a Personal Recommendation and you can’t find the info on-line, don’t be afraid to ask. Instead of reading about the Coaching process, simply ask what makes them qualified or experienced in their areas to offer coaching. You should know by their answer whether or not you can learn something from them.
Many have public testimonials either on their Website or rated on their Social Media which is another way of gauging how successful they are. Try and not take their own word for it, its very easy to promote yourself these days, try and get someone else’s word for it.
A lot of people run free information sessions or evenings to build their profiles so you could always attend one of those.
What happens if I get it wrong?
Every coach I know offers a free or extremely discounted session before Coaching begins. They call them a variety of things from intro sessions, clarity sessions, discovery sessions etc… Ultimately you should use this session to gauge if the person is a right fit. Find out about their processes and approach and see if you like it. If you don’t, or if you have doubts, don’t stay in the relationship. Thats not to say it might not be difficult, but if you don’t feel like you’re making progress don’t waste your time or money.
Top Tip: Opposites Attract
They say we are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Socially we tend to attract and be drawn to people just like us. This is lovely, but in general if you want to get ahead you should take a new approach. Often I have found the best coaching relationships are ones where the coach and coachee are different, and they capitalise on those differences.
I am a do-er. I like goals and plans and intentions. My favourite clients to work with, and the ones I attract most, are creatives. People who are amazing artists in their own right, but who need coaching in getting the ‘paperwork’ done. I can’t create for the life of me, so I bring a different skill set to their pot.
Try and find a coach thats different to you and it should really maximise your input.
So there you have it. I think Coaching is great! But always remember the following:
- Anyone can claim to be a coach, its an unregulated industry
- Try and get a personal recommendation, if not directly then from testimonials or attending an event
- The Coach should have direct experience in the area you are interested in and be able to showcase their success
- Try and pick a coach with different skills than you so to maximise your impact.