The number one indicator of success in a coaching relationship is the rapport between the coach and the client. The rapport means the client fully trusts the coach, knows the conversations are completely confidential, and thus is able to openly communicate. This in turn supports full exploration, strategy development, and focused action planning.
The basic steps for finding and engaging a coach include:
- Prior to looking for a coach a client is well-served to decide their reasons for having a coach. This helps with what they are looking for and also with co-creating the relationship effectively.
- Finding a coach happens most often through referrals. Alternatives include researching coaching firms, searching on LinkedIn, finding coach authors on Amazon, or through online searchable directories.
- Considerations in selecting a coach, according to the Harvard Business Review, are most often experience in a similar setting and a clear methodology. This means learning about both experience and coach training along with discussing the process for an engagement.
- An initial exploratory session is common and a great way for both the client and the coach to decide if they are a good match – back to the rapport.
Additionally, consider the subject matter expertise versus the process expertise of the coach. Subject matter expertise offers the benefits of the coach understanding client circumstances and knowing what to ask. Subject matter expertise also may get in the way of coaching because the coach already ‘knows’ the answers. The ideal is a coach with enough expertise to understand the client and be aware of their considerations. Of course process expertise as a coach is a must and is developed with a solid combination of coach training and experience.