I need a coach … but how do I choose?

There are a lot of coaches out there and it’s not always easy to make a choice.  Here are some ideas from us, not necessarily in order of importance:

Background.  Ok, a coach isn’t a mentor (nothing wrong with mentoring, so let’s not confuse two disciplines) but it’s helpful that the person you choose has some understanding of the world that you live in.  Most people have had other careers before they become coaches, and their back stories might be of importance to you.  We think that’s ok.

Certifications and Training. Look for coaches who have credible certifications from recognised organisations such as the ICF, EMCC, BACP, BPS, or similar. These certifications ensure the coach has undergone rigorous training and adheres to professional standards.  Steer clear of people who have done very limited training:  it’s not enough.

Coaching Style. Coaching styles vary widely, from more directive approaches to those that are more exploratory or reflective. Some coaches are also dual/triple qualified (most Sixth Sense coaches are). Consider what style might work best for you and look for a coach whose approach aligns with your preferences and needs.  If you need a coach who can offer counselling/therapy techniques as part of their approach, make sure that you pick people with the right qualifications.

Success Stories and References. A reputable coach should be able to provide testimonials or references from previous clients. Success stories can give you an idea of the coach’s effectiveness and the types of challenges they are skilled at addressing.  But beware of big egos … coaching is about you, not the fame and fortune of your coach!

Chemistry and Compatibility.  Critical one, this. The relationship between a coach and client is foundational to successful coaching.  It accounts for about 50% of the efficacy of coaching. Look for someone you feel comfortable with, can be open and honest with, and who you believe will challenge you in constructive ways.

Flexibility. A good executive coach should offer a tailored approach rather than a one-size-fits-all method. They should be willing to understand your specific goals, challenges, and context and adapt their coaching accordingly – otherwise you might as well use an app (hey, that’s another story ….)!

Ethics and Confidentiality. Ensure the coach has a strong ethical framework, particularly regarding confidentiality. Trust is critical, and you should feel confident that your discussions will remain private.  And ask your coach if they are in regular supervision.  They should be.

Professional Development and Learning. Good coaches continue to learn and develop in their field and that’s not just about doing a bit of CPD in case they are audited by their professional body! Ask about their ongoing professional development to ensure they stay up to date with the latest in coaching practices and theories.

Choosing the right executive coach can be a transformative investment in your professional growth, so taking the time to carefully select someone who meets these criteria is crucial.  Happy hunting.

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Tel: 0800 048 8615
Email: info@sixthsenseconsulting.co.uk


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