Business coaching: How to choose a business coach
A coach provides advice and guidance based on their own experiences and capabilities, so it pays to take the time to find the business coaching that's right for you. So how do you choose a coach relevant to your needs?
There are three essential areas of understanding in the business coaching relationship:
1. A clear understanding of the issues that drive the need for a coach, and even more importantly, the desired outcomes of the business coaching relationship.
A few questions you should ask yourself before selecting a coach:
- Why do I need a coach?
- Is there a particular personality style that would prefer my coach to have?
- What experience should my coach have?
- Does this coach’s resume and referrals prove that experience?
- What are the specific positives and negatives of my current situation?
- What is my desired destination and why?
- Is this particular coach capable of helping me reach that destination?
- Most importantly, am I willing to play my part (e.g. most swimming coaches stay dry.)
2. A clear understanding of the process that will be used is vital as you must ensure you are happy with the business coaching process. Examples of process-related questions are:
- Are techniques such as TA and NLP are to be used?
- Are the procedures documented in advance e.g. is the relationship to be based on a fixed program?
- Are books required reading?
- What other demands are made?
- How often will progress be reviewed?
- What does the review entail?
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3. Then, the environmental factors must be considered. Environmental factors in this context are any external elements that may influence the comfort of the relationship.
- Is the business coaching to be face-to-face or by telephone?
- Can the client pick up the phone at any time for a quick discussion?
- Can the client send a quick email and expect a prompt reply?
- Is weekend contact allowable?
- How often will contact be made as a regular part of the business coaching process?
- Is the client locked into an agreement for a fixed period of time?
- Is the client locked into an agreement for a fixed amount of money?
- And finally, the easiest question of all to answer “is this particular coach worth the money?” It’s an easy question to answer because if you’ve followed the above steps, you will have the answer before you’ve asked the question!