Picking a coach is as important as the selection of a job. But it can be tough to know what you should be looking for in a coach, especially if you have not worked with one before.
How do you make sure your coach will be the right fit for you, has the right background and will focus on the things that are important to you?
Use these seven important questions to gauge how you feel the coach matches your situation and will stretch your capacity as an individual.
Question 1: What is your background and work experience?
One of the first things you should look for in a coach is the depth of their work experience. You should understand how long have they been working, as well as how much experience they have working in the real world.
Question 2: Why did you become a coach?
In getting to know your potential coach, you are looking for the coach’s value statement with this question. What value does the coach feel she can bring to your success? What problems do they feel they are solving? How does that align with your needs?
Question 3: What is your coaching experience?
Similar to work experience, the coach’s actual coaching experience is vitally important. You should seek to understand the variation in the experience of the coach. What experience has the coach had that is similar to your situation?
Question 4: What is your coaching specialty or the areas with which you most often work?
Coaches typically specialize or work in certain areas consistently. Look for those areas the coach has worked in that you can relate too. Finding a coach that specializes in something that directly relates to you and your situation is very desirable.
Question 5: What is your approach or philosophy about coaching?
What you want to look for here is the coach’s emphasis on capacity building, not problem solving. The coaches overall philosophy should revolve around building your capacity to achieve your goals and objectives.
Question 6: What are some coaching success stories?
Ask for some specific examples of individuals who have done well. You are looking to see if your ideas of success match. Can you picture yourself as the next success story with this coach?
Question 7: What are some examples of failure as a coach or a situation that you felt like you failed in?
Everyone, including coaches, have situations where they have had less than desirable results. You should be looking for humility, honesty and personal evaluation in your coach. These are vital characteristics that are found in great coaches.
While these questions are designed to help you choose a coach, you were probably also thinking about and defining what your needs really are in each of these areas. Choosing a coach is one decision where you get to be totally selfish and find an individual that can support and advocate the challenges and opportunities you face in your work world. These seven questions should give you a good start to find the right coach.