Selecting a Coach

Once you have determined that you are ready, willing and able to begin working with a coach, the question becomes, “How can you ensure you select a coach who will be most effective in helping you to accomplish your goals?” Here are some tips for selecting the right coach for you…

1. Begin with the end in mind. Consider what you want to get out of the coaching relationship.

  • What goals or objectives do you want to achieve through coaching?
  • What is a key challenge for you right now?
  • Do you need to learn new skills or get rid of bad habits?
  • What expectations do you have about coaching?
  • What type of coaching style would most helpful to you?
  • What do you want to learn about yourself through coaching?
  • What do you want to learn from your coach?
  • What kind of support do you need?

2. Prepare your questions in advance of meeting with a potential coach. Based on your reflections about what you want out of a coaching relationship, write down several questions that will help you make a decision about moving forward with hiring a coach. Here are some questions to start your thinking:

  • What is your business experience? Where have you worked?
  • What kinds of issues, challenges, or problems have you coached clients on?
  • How long have you worked as a coach?
  • What professional coach training have you completed?
  • What coaching process or framework do you use? Why?
  • What tools, techniques, or methods do you like to use? Why?
  • Which psychometric assessments are you qualified to administer?
  • Which professional code of ethics or conduct do you adhere to? How do you handle confidentiality?
  • How do you maintain your objectivity and perspective with coaching clients?
  • How do you suggest evaluating the success or impact of our coaching?
  • What are your policies around coaching?
  • What is your coaching format (F2F or phone options? how often? how long?)
  • How do you select coaching clients? Do you ever turn away potential clients? If so, for what reasons?
  • What is your fees structure?
  • Who can I contact as your coaching references?
  • Click here to find out some answers to look for

3. Get quality referrals.

  • Ask people you trust whom they know works with a coach they find helpful.
  • There are many coach referral services including
    • St. Louis Coaches Association
    • International Coach Federation
    • Worldwide Association of Business Coaches
    • Most professional coaching schools will provide referrals, e.g. the International Coach Academy.

4. Interview two or three prospective coaches to test the “chemistry” between you and the coach and to discover which one may be best for you with your particular objectives and expectations.

  • Most coaches offer a short complimentary coaching session to help you explore how they can assist you.
  • While several coaches may be able to give you competent assistance, find one that you feel naturally drawn to work with.