If you’re thinking about hiring coaches, it’s an important question, and a decision you should make with some thought.
The community of coaches in the US is amazingly diverse:
- Those with tremendous experience who figured out that the value they provided is now called “coaching”
- Experts who came from other similar disciplines such as therapy or organizational development
- People who have trained and certified as coaches as a second or third career step
- Those who were attracted to coaching because it seems a natural progression: “I’ve always done this but never knew it was called coaching!”
- Life coaches who were attracted to business coaching because of the perception that it is an easy way to make money
Of course, there are a wide range of other backgrounds and motivations, including mixtures of the above.
If you want to hire a coach, what do you look for?
Most important, you look for someone who can reliably help you with what you need done. Not all coaching is the same.
In addition, you look at this funny thing we call “chemistry.” Some people relate well to each other and can achieve great things together, but with others you’ll be spending more energy on maintaining the relationship than on getting useful things done.
A warning, however: The coach/client relationship is not about being friends or best buddies. A coach has to challenge, give honest feedback, and sometimes press into uncomfortable territory – that’s what gets results. It’s similar to the relationship that you have with other professionals in your life.
If you’re putting together a coaching program with some important business goals, you also worry about consistency and professionalism across a variety of coaches. This is where education, experience, and certification come into play. I happen to be most lined up with the International Coach Federation, a worldwide standard-setting body for coaches, but there are others as well. Look into the standards for these bodies and for appropriate coach training schools to see if they are aligned with your business goals and organizational culture.
Realize, too, that some of the greatest value of a credential or certification is that it is a concrete statement of commitment by the coach to maintain a professional standard. This is considerable work and expense they’ve put forward, and it means that your coaches are serious about this as a profession. And, of course, they’ve learned a bunch of important skills which really deliver great value to their clients.
- What is coaching supervision?
- Is your coaching program on track?
- I’m a Small Fish!
- You ALWAYS have more resources than you think
- If I’m leading, why is nobody following?