A coach can help you accomplish things you would have never dreamed of. Small wonder then more people are trying to find the right person for themselves to take their personal or professional self to another level.
However, as more people are becoming coaches, the quality of an average coach is going down because people without any professional experience are starting to get certified. This is starting to create lack of trust among the consumers.
So, what must one look at when looking for a coach?
Their strengths within their field
Would a professional team pay a tennis coach to teach footballers? Absolutely not! Although they may have some valuable tips, when a buyer looks at the opportunity cost of time and capital invested, they will go with the coach that specializes in their needs and can deliver the best outcome. Majority of coaches are not making great money and have not learned yet that not every client should be taken on. They will say yes and act like they are the best fit for every individual due to needing to make the sale, but they may be only great in some of what the client actually needs.
Look at their reviews and see what qualities people are identifying about them as great. You may be looking for someone in the career coaching field and may have a rocking resume, but need to work on your interview skills. When you look at the potential coaches’ reviews you see that they are extremely praised for their ability to build a resume, but you do not see them being mentioned for interview prep. This is a perfect example of not-the-perfect fit for you as a coach even though they fall under career coach category. Just like within sports there are many sub-categories for all the different coaching types, so the consumer must understand that when making their selection.
Their personal and professional accomplishments
Sure someone can lead you to water having never been there themselves by using a map, but there are plenty of people who can lead you there from experience and not just from knowledge from a book. They will know all the best places to rest along the way as well as what to watch out for on the journey. Best coaches have been through the fire and came out on the other side. They can navigate situations and give you overall better outcomes because they know how to ask better questions. They are better at helping you find your unique way of execution having seen multiple different approaches in their career.
Results talk and recommendations need to be deciphered to matter. Human nature is to please others and avoid conflict. A client and a coach spend many hours together, and develop a deep relationship. So, of course, at the end of the journey, a coach will ask for a review and it is human nature to give a good one even if they were not amazing. They will leave a nice review simply not wanting to start any issues. So when reading reviews, just like a hiring manager does on resumes, look for specific examples of how coaches helped. Look for detail on what measurable results were created. Did they get them to a certain set of goals? Did they help them overcome a specific situation? Do not be fooled by generalities.
Their personality and style
Before you even begin to assess their personality, take a look in the mirror first. What kind of people are best to coach you? In your past whom did you respond to best as a leader or a mentor? What were their qualities and why did you like them? This will help you to create an outline of a personality profile you will be looking for with an understanding of why. Then look for similar traits in your perspective coach.
Some coaches are more of supporters and will always be positive with you. They are like a warm blanket that makes you feel everything is going to be okay when you are freezing in the cold. Some coaches are closer to Marine Drill instructors that will push you to your desired destination. Some are more of answer givers and some are more of question askers. Whichever is your flavor, you will be better off scanning for this than to randomly pick a coach.
It will be difficult to find a perfect match in every category, but at the least, you must try.