How To Choose The Right Coach
Coaching can offer numerous benefits to you. It’s known to facilitate results and changes you’re looking for in your life, as well as positive affect the people around you. You might wonder if Coaching is only for ‘people with problems’ – on the contrary, Coaching is recommended for functional, responsible individuals who are seeking for more in life, health, love or career/business fulfilment. This list goes on. The reason why Coaching is effective is because it is highly customized to YOU.
This page aims to guide you in “how to choose a coach” who could work with you for best results.
Your coach will work intimately with you to address those unique challenges you face that stand in the way of your goals. You might also discover hidden talent and strengths, and emerge with more confidence and purpose. Read more about the key benefits thousands of others have enjoyed with the help of a personal coach: Benefits of Coaching (Survey)
Step 1: Educate Yourself
Educate yourself on Coaching. Understand what Coaching does (and what it doesn’t), what a Coach does and the part you need to play to ensure your Coaching is effective. An easy Google search will bring up hundreds of articles, surveys and success stories.
They are many different styles of coaching, different methods and schools of thought.
For research articles, you can start here: Coaching Research (Portal)
Step 2: Decide on What Results You Want
Sit down, reflect and come up with your personal objectives for hiring a coach. Think about:
- Where in your life are you unfulfilled and wanting more? Or where might you feel something is missing?
- Your goal: what are you hoping to see, feel, experience, have?
- How serious you are: what are you willing to change, give up, challenge yourself in?
- What you need from a coach: Expertise? Guidance? Ass-kicking? Direction? Someone you can trust who is willing to listen? Does gender matter? Make a list describing this work partnership.
Don’t worry about ‘sounding too ambitious’ or getting the above ‘wrong’. Brainstorm first. You will eventually discuss this and shape it further with your Coach. It is better to be clear about what you’re hoping for instead of searching for a Coach without a clue of what you want.
Step 3: Shortlist
Browse our Categories of coaches (screenshot below). Read through as many profiles as you like, make a list of coaches you feel attracted to in terms of:
- approach & personality
- background & skill sets you feel can value-add you
- qualification or areas of expertise you want to benefit from
Business Coaches – are often business advisers and/or mentors who have direct experience on starting or running a business. They may offer advice on specialist areas such as strategy, marketing, digital communication, addressing business challenges, growing or exiting a business etc.
Career Coaches – are a mix of career advisor and coach, to help people transition careers, either due to retrenchment or wanting a career change. They can offer a mix of practical help such as improving CV’s to helping you find ‘your calling’.
Executive Coaches – experienced coaches, often with experience of working in corporate environments to help executives boost their professional performance . Typical areas they focus on can include personal /team performance, work/relationship/team effectiveness, stepping into leadership, leading effectively and authentically, leadership style, managing self and teams, navigating organizational change, tackling organizational challenges
Health & Fitness Coaches – are a mix of health advisers who advice you with nutrition and life style, to fitness coaches who specialise in specific sporting and fitness activities (e.g. swimming, tennis, yoga, dance etc). This can include obtaining optimal health and wellness, losing/gaining weight, building strength, eating well, living a balanced lifestyle, feeling more energized, taking care of self, physical healing
Life Coaches – experienced coaches who can help you with personal issues or struggles. Many coaches may specialise on specific areas such as relationships, phobias, anxiety, self-discovery, family dynamics etc…
Personal Branding and Image Coaches – can help you improve your digital personal brand, or learn how to dress more powerfully (personal presence and increase gravitas)
Soft Skill Coaches focus on – specific areas of expertise e.g. Public speaking, sports, learning a new skill, business-related skills like sales, marketing or PR, management skills like conflict-resolution, negotiation or learning how to coach people
You can click on the category tabs at the top of the page (the black bar) to visit each page and read more in detail.
Step 4: Contact and Meet
Contact the coaches whom you have shortlisted.
We recommend contacting at least 3 coaches.
You can find each coach’s contact details right at the top of their profile pages. It is best to contact them via email or mobile. You can kick off with something like:
“Hello XXX, my name is YYY. I came across your coaching profile on CoachingGoWhere.com. I am interested in engaging a coach for ABC reasons. I would like to find out more about your coaching strengths and approach for my consideration. Kindly respond if you’re interested to explore more with me. Thank you.”
It is common practice for a coach to offer a phone call or a face-to-face coffee chat to discuss your needs with you, and to explore synergy. This is called a ‘chemistry session’. It is typically free, with the understanding that the aim is to discuss the business/partnership needs before proceeding further. A chemistry session can last 30 – 60 minutes. You could clarify this ‘next step’ with the coach first before setting up an appointment, as each coach has their own preferred practice.
Step 5: Interview
Prepare a list of questions you might want to ask and explore with your coach in your chemistry session. This will make the session more focused and effective.
These questions could be:
- What is your coaching experience (number of individuals coached, years of experience, types of coaching situations, etc.)?
- What are you trained in, where were you trained?
- What is your coaching specialty or areas in which you most often work?
- What types of businesses/clients do you work with most often? And, at what levels (executives, upper management, middle management, etc.)?
- What is your philosophy about coaching?
- What is your style and approach?
- What are some of your coaching success stories (specific examples of individuals who have succeeded as a result of coaching)?
Get ready to share personally:
- Your objective and purpose of engaging a coach
- Your current situation/challenge (briefly)
- What you hope to achieve
- What you hope for and need from a coach (reference your list prepared in Step 2)
- Your ideal time frame and budget for the full coaching engagement
By the end of the session, you don’t have to agree on any contract yet. Take your time to compare and consider. You can also request references (past clients) from the coach to speak with to help with your decision-making.
Ensure you are clear about the coach’s availability, fees, recommended time frame (# of session or months) and method of coaching support (phone call? face-to-face? Skype? what happens in-between sessions? email support?)
Step 6: Choose
Now, it is about narrowing down to on a coach you intend to engage. Consider:
- Whom you intuitively felt connected to, felt you can trust and converse with comfortably
- How well he/she demonstrated his/her understanding of your challenge/situation
- How confident you feel about the coach, how confident the coach appeared
- If the coach is qualified to support you – credentials, experience, achievements or skill sets mentioned that you want to gain from
Is it better to pick a coach who is similar in personality? Well, this depends – there are pros and cons to this. Similarities are important for the initial chemistry and that “you understand me!” feeling, but in the long run these similarities might get in the way. You can benefit greatly from someone who is quite ‘different’ from you (new perspectives, new approaches), however differing values can cause discomfort in the relationship. The balance is to feel comfortable enough to open up and share, and yet form a partnership that focuses on challenging you. This partnership takes several sessions to find its optimal pace, so be patient and cooperative in achieving this with your coach.
It is common (and almost ‘proper’) for you to feel discomfort at times in the coaching from challenging and changing your perspectives and comfort zone.
If you don’t feel connected to any of the coaches you met, feel free to contact more. It is okay to turn a coach down. Likewise, a coach can turn you down if he/she feels that he/she isn’t in the best position to support you.
Your Part In Coaching
The Coaching partnership is a 50-50 dynamic. This means that while you might rely on and trust your coach to guide, challenge and equip you with new perspectives and tools, you also rely on yourself to play an active role in achieving the results you want. This means:
- Owning the partnership, shaping it with your coach, speaking out where necessary
- Sharing and being honest, asking questions, actively reflecting and discussing
- Being willing to change instead of fighting against your coach
- Owning creative solutions, options, attempts and efforts
- Focusing on your desire for breakthroughs
- Honoring meeting times, agreements and homework/agreed upon accountabilities
Thank you for using CoachingGoWhere, Asia’s #1 portal for professional coaches.
Have further questions? Feel free to email us at email@example.com