How to choose the right business coach
A business coach can be an invaluable resource to help you develop, maintain and sustain high performance habits. But what should you look for in a coach to ensure they’re right for you?
This three-step approach can help you identify the type of coaching you require and help you select the right business coach.
Step 1: Define the coaching domain
There are so many different types of coaching services available, both for individuals and organisations. To help define the type of coaching you require, you need to identify the specific “domain of focus” that your coaching program will concentrate on.
The eight domains of focus outlined in Standards Australia’s Coaching in Organisations guidelines include:
- Workplace coaching: formal coaching that takes place in workplace settings.
- Executive coaching: provided to executives and line managers for the purpose of improving skills, performance or work-related professional and personal development.
- Leadership coaching: develops the skills, abilities and capacities of leaders for the purpose of enhancing leadership.
- Business coaching: focuses on the performance of the business and includes design of business systems, business financials and marketing strategies.
- Health coaching: guides people to address their health and make behavioural changes to improve health. As with traditional coaching, health coaching utilises goal setting, identification of obstacles and use of personal support systems.
- Life coaching: provided to an individual for the purpose of development. Life coaching tends to adopt a “whole life” approach and can involve work and non work-related development.
Defining which domain of focus best applies to you situation will help identify the type of coaching you require.
Step 2: Define your preferred outcome
Identifying your desired outcomes or goals will help with selecting a coach whose skills and coaching approach best suit you.
"Just as you wouldn’t hire a builder to renovate your home based on reading a directory listing, you wouldn’t hire a coach to rebuild your life based on information you find on the internet."
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I need to learn new skills? If so, skills coaching may suit you.
- Do I need to develop already existing skills or my ability to implement them more effectively? If so, performance coaching may suit you.
- Do I need to develop an entirely new mindset or perspective? If so, developmental coaching may suit you.
- Do I need to change behaviours that are unproductive/disruptive? If so, remedial coaching may suit you.
If you are still unsure about the type of coaching you require, try answering these additional questions:
- How would you like to act, think or behave differently after your coaching program finished?
- What are they key challenges or areas you want to focus on in your coaching program?
- Assuming your coaching program has been successful, what would people you work with notice is different about you?
- Assuming your coaching program has been successful, what changes would family/friends/your significant other notice in you?
- What is your motivation behind wanting to invest in a coaching program?
Want more articles like this? Check out the performance section.
Step 3: Assessing your business coach
Step 3 is all about choosing the right coach for you. Just as you wouldn’t hire a builder to renovate your home based on reading a directory listing, you wouldn’t hire a coach to rebuild your life based on information you find on the internet. It is recommended you meet the coach in person and ask the following questions:
Education and qualifications
Do they have specific qualifications?
Do they have formal tertiary qualifications specific to coaching, psychology or human behaviour?
Do they span areas of behavioural science, adult education or business?
What workshops or training programs have they attended to expand their coaching knowledge?
Do they engage in regular supervision practices?
How do they maintain ongoing professional development?
How are they supervised or monitored?
What theoretical methods underpin the coach’s approach?
Do they prescribe to an evidence-based approach to coaching?
Do they use a non peer-reviewed proprietary model of coaching?
Is the business model based on a coaching franchise or scientific basis?
How much experience do they have as a coach?
Have they got experience in sport or leading in other parts of industry?
How long have they been coaching?
Does the coach have specialist expertise?
Do they have experience working in the same/similar industries as you?
Have they achieved results with other clients/companies in your industry?
What type of assessment and selection instruments do they use in their coaching programs?
Has the coach worked in business?
Have they worked in the public sector, private or both?
Have they run their own business?
What previous roles have they held?
How do they manage their business?
Does the coach have appropriate Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance?
Does the coach demonstrate professional commercial acumen in your dealings with them?
Do they hold membership with professional or industry bodies?
Do they abide by a code of ethics?
What code do they follow?
Would you feel comfortable being coached by this person?
Do they show an ability to listen to you, respect you and demonstrate the ability to achieve results for you?
Follow these steps when choosing your coach and coaching program
Are you thinking about hiring a business coach or have you received coaching before? How did you choose the right coach?
*This content has been adapted from the Standards Australia guidelines, Coaching in Organisations.