Celebrating International Coaching Week by sharing some details about my profession has been fun for me and I hope educational for you. We’ll close it out with a discussion regarding how to go about finding a coach who is right for you.
Coaching is an unregulated profession and anyone can call himself or herself a coach. In the 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study released this week, coaches worldwide expressed concern regarding untrained individuals in the field and the marketplace confusion this causes. It all comes down to this – when you as a client are choosing a coach, it’s up to you to do your homework.
The International Coach Federation recommends that potential clients ask the following questions of any prospective coach. Regardless of whether one decides to hire an ICF coach or not, the questions are good ones.
- What is your coaching experience (number of individuals coached, years of experience, types of coaching situations, etc.)?
- What is your coach-specific training (enrolled in an ICF approved training program, other coach-specific training, etc.)?
- What is your coaching specialty or areas in which you most often work?
- What specialized skill or experience do you bring to your coaching?
- What is your philosophy about coaching?
- What is your specific process for coaching (how sessions are conducted, frequency, etc.)?
- What are some coaching success stories (specific examples of individuals who have succeeded as a result of coaching/how the coach has added value)?
After having a conversation that includes answers to these questions and a discussion of hoped-for outcomes, you should have a pretty good idea if the coach you are interviewing is a good “fit” for you. Even if the answers to the questions align with what you are looking for, if there isn’t a “fit” between you and your coach the relationship will likely not work out as well as it otherwise would.
You can dive deeper into the ICF Tips For Hiring A Coach for more information.