Choosing the Right Coach

Feb 24 22:00 2004 JP Meyers Print This Article

You've done some ... in the field of ... and you're ... by what you've found: coaches can help you get on track toward what you want, whether it's a balanced life, ... car

You've done some investigating in the field of coaching,Guest Posting and you're intrigued by what you've found: coaches can help you get on track toward what you want, whether it's a balanced life, successful career, or harmonious relationships. You've even visited the International Coach Federation website to view some of the coach profiles listed there. And that's where you come to a screeching halt. There are so many! How in the world are you supposed to find a coach? Does it even matter which one you choose?

First of all, the right coach DOES matter. Just as there are certain people with whom you connect and succeed triumphantly, you should have this same thriving connection with a coach. You wouldn't pick just anyone as your business partner, spouse, or friend. You can't just pick anyone off the streets to be your coach. Not that your coach IS your business partner, spouse, or friend, but that same type of connection and rapport is necessary for a successful relationship. Think about it: your coach is the person to whom you entrust you dreams, your goals, even your shortcomings. Not just anyone will do.

So, how should you go about finding the coach that is going to help you create your ideal life? First, think about what area(s) in your life in which you would like the assistance of a coach. Is it business/career, financial, life balance, organization, interpersonal relationships? What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? (Hint: for more detail, see our 'How Amazing is Your Life' quiz.)

Next, with all this in mind, look at each coach with the following in mind:

·Experience: Does the coach have a background and experience that fits your needs? If you're looking for a coach to help you balance your working life with parenting, it might be helpful if your coach has children. Otherwise, how will he/she know how to help you, what might motivate you, what pitfalls you might face? If you're starting a business, you need a coach that has experience in starting a business (and a successful one at that!).
·Training: Working with an untrained coach is like to taking your car to a self-taught mechanic. You're taking a risk. Formal coach training from an ICF accredited coach training program is an indication that this coach is serious about being a coach. Also, take a look at the coach's continuing education. A coach who is certified beyond the initial training shows that she takes coaching, and her business, seriously.
·Personality: Not every great coach is a perfect fit for every person. You will advance toward your goals more quickly and easily if your coach has the right personality to fit you. Do you want a drill sergeant to keep you focused in a very direct, no-nonsense manner? Would you prefer a warm and supportive nurturer to keep you on track? Or somewhere in between? Regardless of their style, a coach should always be honest and direct with you. However, the manner that a coach holds you accountable may vary. Think about the personality type that will motivate you best.

Now that you know what to look for, have a plan for choosing a coach. First, ask for referrals from colleagues and friends who use a coach. Do a web search for coaching web sites. Look for testimonials and references from past clients. Once you have a list of several coaches from which to choose, interview them or take advantage of their complimentary sample sessions or consultations. Do you like this coach? Do you trust this coach? Do you believe that this is a person who can help stretch you, and yet support you?

Planning ahead will help you find the right coach. Trust your instinct as you follow these steps. You'll be well on your way to creating the life you crave.

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About Article Author

JP Meyers
JP Meyers

Jacqueline (“JP”) Meyers, a principal at PSG, coaches clients to find their best potential: as entrepreneurs, business leaders, individuals and in life. After earning her MBA JP has spent the past sixteen years working as both an internal and external consultant and coach, implementing HR systems and facilitating change locally and internationally. Her background involves consulting in the health care, retail and manufacturing industries.

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