How to Choose a Coach

A coach is different than a consultant, a friend, or a mentor. Different coaches play different roles while calling it coaching. Coaching is a strategic partnership in which the Coach empowers the Client to clarify goals, create action plans, move past obstacles, and achieve what the client chooses. The well-trained Coach serves the client with process that creates a focus on possibilities and follow-through.

When you know what to look for, finding the right coach at the right time is easier. Follow this quick checklist:

* Consider what you want from a coaching relationship
o Professional Development: skills, career, leadership
o Business Growth and Management
o Personal Development: life legacy, relationships, balance

* Explore what skills, experience, and training matter to you
o Interpersonal and communication skills
o Experience in your areas of interest
o Coach-specific training

* Review the resources for finding a coach
o People you know
o Human Resource department

Many coaches offer a free 30-minute session to provide you with the opportunity to experience coaching, gain a sense of their coaching model and process, and decide if they are the right coach for you at the right time.

When you talk with the coach, do they discuss their Code of Ethics? Do they have a written agreement? Do you feel comfortable with their fees and scheduling process?

Coaching is an investment of time and money with a high return on investment. Finding an excellent match in a coach enhances outcomes.

The last series of blog posts reviewed the Core Competencies. The next series of blog posts, beginning Friday, considers excellence in coaching.

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