Does the coach have experience and the appropriate skills level?
The coaching industry has exploded across the globe and all of a sudden anyone can call themselves a coach of some sort.
In a 2016 survey conducted by the International Coaching Federation 45% of clients and 44% of qualified coaches considered the lack of formal training or certification one of the biggest stumbling blocks to making use of coaching services. A coach who does not know how to coach can do a lot of harm to an organisation and will be a total waste of money.
Coaching is a skill which takes a lot of education and practice to master. Unfortunately, the Coaching industry is unregulated, so anyone can call themselves a coach whether they have the appropriate experience and training or not. Select someone that has a proven track record and appropriate training/certification. A coach who has been a business owner or who has served at senior and/or executive management levels in successful companies can be a huge asset. Ask the prospective coach, how long they have been a coach? How many clients have they worked with and in how many industries? Look for someone with depth and breadth of experience in a range of industries and with a proved track record.
Coaching as an essential business tool continues to gain legitimacy, but the fundamentals of the industry are still in flux. In this market, as in so many others today, the old saying still applies: Buyer beware!
A coach who has both consulting and coaching skills is an advantage.
Coaching is all about getting unstuck, taking action, living to your potential, and managing your time. Consulting is giving expert, appropriate and effective advice. As a business owner, you might need support with for e.g. marketing, business strategy, planning or good time-management. Make sure your coach is an expert in the particular area(s) for which you are seeking coaching. In this regard a coach who has consulting experience is an added bonus.
Is it a good fit?
After your initial consultation, do you feel that it’s a good fit, both personality or style wise? Do you have a good rapport with him/her? What does your gut tell you about working with this coach?
Flexibility and agility
An experienced coach should offer flexibility. You should not be ‘forced’ into a pre-set program of training or orientation that often runs over weeks or months. This means that you pay (sometimes exorbitant prices) for learning or wasting time on what your business doesn’t need. A good coach must have the necessary experience to introduce a program or a set of steps that specifically suits your particular requirement.
Does the coach challenge you to step up to your best level, to be accountable for getting things done? Does the coach not let you get away with being less than you want to be?
Is the coach clear on what they charge and do you understand what you will get for the price you pay?
Ask the coach for a list of references and check them. It is crucial to check the coach’s track record and reputation in the industry.
Only work with business coaches who will provide you with a written contract that specifies amongst other things, the rules of engagement, the scope of the relationship, the period of the relationship, the payment and invoicing guidelines, priorities for action and the specific desired outcomes.