Selecting External Coaches

Best practices for organization’s coaching programs include having internal coaches (employees) for entry level to mid-level management employees and external coaches (hired service providers) for the top levels of management and those running the coaching program.

When hiring external coaches, it again makes sense to have criteria in place.  The International Coaching Federation, ICF, completed a study that cites untrained coaches as the number one threat to the profession.  The high ROI for coaching is related to the success of the coaching relationship which in turn is directly tied to the skill of the coach.  Given the investment in a coach, it makes sense to ensure they have the appropriate level of training.  Standard criteria for hiring a coach generally includes membership in the ICF because members are required to have 60 hours of training, plus they are accountable to the ICF Code of Ethics.  In addition to asking about their coach training, ask prospective coaches about their related experience.  A common mistake is to focus on subject matter expertise — the ability to establish rapport and quickly be on track with a coachee are the greatest indicators of success in a coaching engagement.

Once the criteria for coaches is in place, the next consideration is sourcing prospective coaches.  Resources for finding coaches include:

After identifying several prospective coaches, provide those that will be coached with one-page bios of the coaches and have them interview several to choose a coach.

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