Image: by Alfonso Chulvi

Why should I consider hiring a coach?

You can hire a coach as part of a personal development strategy when you want to improve on something specific: your communication skills, for example. A coach is a great choice and a very good investments if you want to get clarity around a specific goal and how to achieve it, say you might want to change job but you are not sure this is the right thing for you career. Definitely consider a coach, if you feel that no matter how much time you spend thinking about your goals you seem to be running in circles.

What does make a coach different from asking my family and friends?

A coach is someone who gets to know you very well and supports you on the journey but is a neutral third party. Unlike your close circle of family and friends or your work colleagues, a coach has no stake in your success. They can be honest with you about how you are doing, reminding you of what you have said you want to achieve and holding you accountable.

Will my coach provide answers to help with my leadership strategy?

A coach is a specialist in asking questions aimed at generating a creative thinking process that is exclusive to each client in content and in scope. A coach doesn’t provide answers to specific questions relating to strategy. They might provide resources that can broaden the client’s mindset. Ultimately any decision will be an outcome of the client’s thinking process.

Who is the ideal coach?

The ideal coach is somebody who can reflect back without judgment the inner dynamic of the client. If anything proves to be an obstacle to achieving a successful outcome, the coach will work with the client to create awareness and devise strategies to use in everyday life. An effective coach will enable their client to maximise their chance to create the future they want for themselves.

How long should I hire a coach for?

This is very difficult to say as it all depends on what your goals are. I would suggest a minimum commitment of 3 sessions. This will allow both the client and the coach to start outlining a plan to achieving the client’s goals and see if they could create a good working relationship.

Is it important that my coach is certified?

It is a good idea to choose a certified coach because it means that they have received proper training. However, the most important thing to look in a coaching relationship is good chemistry. You must feel comfortable talking to your coach and opening up; ideally you should leave each session with a positive feeling, never feel undermined or inadequate and definitely never experience judgment.

What else should I look for when hiring a coach?

A good coach should be able to walk the client through a process which includes core challenges, the client’s starting point and their main goals. This should give the client a good idea of what to expect, even if this might eventually change. They should make you feel comfortable to ask any questions they might have and also hold their client’s agenda.

What about confidentiality?

Confidentiality is another important point. The coach has a duty of confidentiality towards the coachee as stated in ICF code of practise unless release is requested by law. If the sessions are sponsored by your company, your coach will have to update your company on the progress you are making but they cannot reveal any details of what is discussed during the sessions unless previously agreed with you. Make sure your coach is clear about what’s being shared and what is confidential.

Why should I book a complimentary session?

The complimentary session is very useful for both the coach and the client. The client will be able to create a general first impression. It is important for the client to feel if they can have a pleasant working relationship with the coach. Remember that the coach is a neutral third party and not judgemental. If anything makes you feel uneasy maybe it is better to look elsewhere. During the complimentary session you can also ask about the process, the commitment, costs and practicalities (cancellation policy and more). The client should also inform the coach if they are seeing another specialist, a therapist for example or anything that might be relevant to an open and honest relationship.

The complimentary session is also important for the coach to see if they are the right specialist for the client’s needs or if they need to be referred. They will answer to any questions you might have and start to draft a program suitable for you.

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