About 18 months ago, I decided I wouldn't pursue a coaching qualification because in my words 'Dubai has enough coaches!' It is true that Dubai and many other places have a lot of coaches and like other unregulated industries (hello financial advisors) the landscape can be daunting. I changed my mind after deciding I did have value to add in this field and coaching could help my clients to get even more value from the training and assessments they were already doing with me. In this crowded landscape too often people pick the wrong coach and are turned off the industry altogether. This is a shame as finding the right coach can help you to reach the next level in your career and life.
So how do you pick the right coach for you? Follow these guidelines and you should be well on your way to finding a good coach:
1. Decide what type of coach you need. If you can think of it, there is a coach who specializes in it. Do you need a specific coach for your health; to improve your skills in sport; for relationship challenges; for career growth; are you an entrepreneur or an experienced CEO. There are even coaches who specialize in coaching coaches! Finding a specialist coach for your needs will ensure you have someone experienced in dealing with the issues you will bring them and they will be best placed to help you. Having said that great coaches will also be able to flex to your needs and will be OK with you changing he focus of the coaching if required. You may find you need to discuss a personal issue with your business coach. After all you are one person and often resolving an issue in our private life can significantly help us in our work life!
2. Meet your coach and check for rapport. You will spend many hours with your coach, discussing issues that you may not share with someone else. They will share your highs and lows. It is important you get on with them. They don't need to be your best friend, at times they will push you in areas that make you feel uncomfortable and you may not like them very much! But it is important that beneath all of that you are able to get along with each and you feel comfortable opening up to them. Most coaches will offer a complimentary session so you can get a feel for their coaching style. If a coach doesn't offer to this, ask for it!
3. Check their credentials. As there is no requirement to become a coach literally anyone can decide to declare themselves a coach, print some business cards and start 'coaching'. Ask what coaching qualifications your coach has. The ICF is the internationally recognized coaching accreditation body and your coach should have taken an ICF accredited coaching qualification. If they have ICF accreditation it means they have demonstrated a certain level of competence in coaching and have completed over 100 hours coaching. You can check if they are accredited through the ICF website.
4. Know your coaches background. Most people will go into coaching following a career in a different area. Ask your coach for their story and understand what value that experience can add beyond just their coaching qualification.
5. Get an idea about the process they will use for coaching. Good coaches will have a defined process that they will follow and tools that they will use throughout the process. Ask your coach about this to get a feel for what your sessions will be like and to ensure your coach has a system and isn't just 'winging it'. The best coaches will remain flexible and adaptable to your needs but they will also have a process that will help you to achieve deep self awareness and reach your goals.
6. Check the price point of your coach. Coaches will charge more or less depending on their area of specialty, target market and their length of experience. A new coach working in life coaching for a mass market will charge significantly less than an experienced coach who targets C level executives. Normally leadership coaching is more expensive because the number of people and the results affected by the coaching is far greater than for personal life coaching. Get prices from different coaches and find the right fit for you. Pay too little and you could end up with the wrong coach and pay too much and you may start to resent rather than look forward to your sessions!
Once you find the right coach it will add significant value to your life. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss how we can help you find the right coach for you.