5 questions to help you choose the right coach for you
You’ve decided to invest in coaching for yourself or your organisation and are looking for someone to work with. But how do you know when a coach is the right person you’re looking for? Here are 5 things to ask a coach to help you get the most out of your experience.
What’s your background and how did you get into coaching?
It’s not so much the question here that’s important but the conversation that it will start. By opening up the floor to the coach you’ll get an idea of their personality and interests.
You’ll be working closely with your coach and at times exploring your values, confronting limiting beliefs and finding the key to becoming your best self. It’s common for people to work with a coach for six months or more, therefore it’s crucial you feel at ease with the person you’re working with or bringing into your organisation.
Coaching sessions are focused on the client with occasional input from your coach. You want to feel you can trust them completely. Through asking these questions, you’ll get more of a feel if you “click” with them before you commit to ongoing sessions. You don’t need to have the same interests or background, but it's worth getting a sense of if you would feel comfortable opening up to them.
Similarly, if you are an organisation looking to work with a coach you may want to find someone with similar values to your business and who you feel your team will work well with.
The key here is finding a connection and trust in your coach so that you can get the most out of every session. Sessions should not only be productive but enjoyable, so find someone you’ll look forward to working with!
What accreditation or training do you have?
Coaching is not currently a regulated profession, so it’s possible for anybody to call themselves a coach, which can cause obvious issues! It’s worth asking what accreditation or training your coach has and I would recommend working with someone that at least has some form of core training.
There are several professional bodies that set a professional standard, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF), Association for Coaching (AC) and European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). Each body has differing requirements, however an accreditation with one of these provides you with some reassurance they have met a minimum criteria and that they abide by a professional code of ethics.
You can find out more about the different bodies and accreditations here. We’ll look in more detail at accreditations on the next blog.
Can I speak to one of your previous clients for a reference?
Often people find a coach through a recommendation or are referred to a specific coach. If you have found a coach through a direct search, you may want to ask for a reference from a past client.
Many coaches will have testimonials on their website but if they don’t, or if they’re limited, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask for a further reference. Again, it’s your time and investment so worth the extra research.
Do you have insurance?
Like any business, it’s important for a coach to have their own professional insurance. It’s mainly for the protection of the coach and their services but proof of insurance demonstrates the integrity of their business.
Most organisations check if a coach is covered by insurance before working with them, as an individual it’s recommended you do the same. It’s peace of mind for the coach and it’s peace of mind for you or your organisation.
What personal development/training do you do?
Coaches can always improve and evolve. Knowing a coach is investing in themselves and their own development is a good indication of the quality of the coach and their commitment to providing the best service they can. You want to work with a coach that is passionate about self-development, so check that they walk the walk and not just talk the talk!
Hopefully this has been a useful guide to help make sure you find the right coach for you. Look for someone you trust and enjoy working with and be reassured in the quality of their work. If you tick these boxes, you’re on the road to a great partnership!
What other questions have you been asked as a coach or do you ask when looking for a coach?
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