Choosing a Certified Professional Coach should not be taken lightly. The following steps will help you select your Certified Professional Coach:
Credentials – Does one just say “I am a Coach”:
Some individuals and even organizations are now calling themselves "coach" because it is a huge buzz word and a lucrative way to increase revenue. You need to look at what skills the coach has to solve your problems. Has the coach actually worked at the same experience level of the individual they are coaching (i.e., if they were an executive, then they should understand the executive and below level). If they have had full P&L responsibility, they might be suited to coach at the President and CEO level. A Certified Coach, at least, demonstrates some level of commitment, as does an educated Coach (Bachelor’s or higher academic degree in a business discipline). Couple that with the appropriate experience and you may have found the right one.
Effectiveness – It’s about the Bottom Line:
How do you know the Coach is going to be effective? Are they going to meet a goal or are they just going to meet with you? Good Professional Coaches establish goals with their clients. These are tangible business goals and not soft targets such as being a better person; being a more effective leader, etc. Good goals are measured in dollars and cents against an organizational goal that the coaching supports. If a Coach says that is not how they work or how coaching functions, find another candidate for your coaching needs.
The message is simple. Coach for Business Objectives, Not to FEEL GOOD about your business.
Learning - What will your Coach teach you?:
If all your coach is going to do is talk and motivate you, you have the wrong coach. If all your coach is going to do is hold you accountable, you have the wrong coach. If your coach will teach you how to do things for your business, help you accomplish them, help you with motivation, help hold you accountable, and can demonstrate the improvement to your business BECAUSE of that, then you might have the right coach.
Coaching Background – What did they do before they became a Coach:
What is the Coaches professional background? Does that Coaches background match what you are trying to accomplish. In other words is this someone from one profession claiming to have expertise in another or not having adequate support in the other.
Methodology – How do they do what they do:
Coaches should be able to clearly describe their approaches, but you should wary of coaches who market specific products, tools or unwilling to be flexible in their methodology. Good coaches will use models, techniques and frameworks from a variety of places and experiences. They will match your and the organization's needs with an appropriate process for you…not for them. Coaches should use tools that are a fit for you, the organization and its industry and that they can clearly describe.
How long do I hire a Coach for – This isn’t for life or a month:
As a general rule I always recommend at least 6 months minimum. That does not mean you meet every day for that 6 months. Usually a Coach will meet with you about 1 hour every other week. This gives you an opportunity to practice what you have learned and give feedback to your Coach. If at the end of the 6 months the results are not being met as agreed you should consider the value that the Coach is bringing and make changes, if necessary. (Coaches who make statements that claim they will be with you 24x7, if necessary, are not appropriate coaches. They are more telling you what to do as opposed to “coaching” you in the necessary changes that need to be made.)