We all want to be better; better leaders, managers, spouses, community members. In our efforts to improve, more and more people are realizing the value of hiring a coach. While not new, the coaching industry has witnessed a significant growth in recent years, in particular to the value that good coaches bring, in some instances an ROI upwards of 50x the initial investment.
The coaching story can be a great one (with the right coach), and I’ve witnessed it’s value. However, I have had countless conversations with people who have a desire to hire a coach to help them, however don’t know where to start. Here are the three basic checkpoints I share with everyone on how to help guide your decision:
1. They should be certified.
There is no official regulating body for the coaching industry, so do your homework to make sure that the coach is certified by a legitimate organization (and not a fly-by-night correspondence course). Many higher levels of education (i.e. Columbia University) have invested in coaching programs, which is a good place to start.
2. They should know what they are talking about.
It sounds so basic, yet it shouldn’t be overlooked. If you are looking for leadership coaching, have they had success coaching leaders? If you are looking for business coaching, can they read a balance sheet? True understanding comes from experience, and a coach needs to understand what you are dealing with to properly direct you. Ask for references or client lists. Don’t assume that a coach has experience in your area. Because we all know what happens when we assume.
3. You should like them.
This may be most important. Your coach isn’t meant to be your friend, but you will be sharing your secrets with them. Your coach will be challenging you; pushing the limits of your comfort zone. The more you share with a coach, the more they can help you. This person is meant to be pushing you further than you thought was possible – so it’s a bit easier when you actually like them.
There is no shortage of coaches out there, for sure, but the really good ones can be found if you use that as a starting point. Self-awareness is the key to success, and a coach is generally one of the best investments you can make in yourself or your business. And, as always, I’m happy to introduce you to anyone that may be able to help. Fundamentally – that’s what coaches do!
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