Top 10 Qualities to Look for When Picking a Coach
Coaching is a relatively new field, so there is much less research about what works in coaching than there is about what works in fields such as therapy. Also, anyone can call himself or herself a coach, so it is particularly important to consider how to identify someone who is likely to help you.
- Connection – If you can’t connect with your coach, you are unlikely to do your best work together. Notice if you feel connected to the coach and consider exploring how important it is to the coach to feel a connection.
- Trust – Is this coach someone you feel you can or will be able to trust? You will probably be talking about difficult topics at times and is this someone you feel you might be comfortable with as you explore these sensitive topics. A sense of security and safety allows us to explore things that might otherwise never be addressed.
- Caring – There are different ways of showing that we care, but ultimately you should have the feeling that your coach cares about you and about your success.
- Training – Coaches are not required to have any training to call themselves a coach. There are many coaching schools and programs with different approaches and time commitments. Consider finding out more about what sorts of training the coach has received.
- Orientation – There are many ways to coach. Some coaches focus on behavior modification, others on the body, and others on beliefs and assumptions. Ultimately, it will help to find an approach that feels like a good fit for you. An approach that might work well for someone else might not resonate with you.
- Personal Development – How committed to his or her own personal development is the coach. What do they do to continue to develop and to improve their coaching skills?
- Coaching Experience –Some people have more natural coaching skills than others, but it may be helpful to know how much coaching experience a potential coach has.
- Practical Experience – It isn’t always necessary for a coach to have specific experience with the sorts goals you are trying to achieve, but it may be helpful to consider what, if any, relevant experience a coach has with the obstacles you are trying to overcome. For example, if you are dealing with business issues, what sort of work experience does the coach have?
- Openness – Does this coach appear to be open to feedback about what is and isn’t working in your coaching engagement? Does the coach actively ask for feedback from you and act on that feedback? If you are able to provide feedback and address issues between you and your coach as they come up, you are much more likely to make progress.
- Hope – Does the coach instill a sense of hope? Of course, this doesn’t mean false hope, but a realistic sense about the potential for positive change.