Have you heard about coaching but you are not entirely sure exactly what it is? Or maybe you already know (more or less) what coaching is but you don’t know how or where to find resources to begin your coach journey? I am glad you found this article then. Here are some good tips for you!
First of all - what coaching really is and what it is not?
I am going to start with what is not. We need to differentiate between coaching and other similar processes described below.
Therapy is very similar to coaching as it helps a client to achieve a certain agreed set of results. This process often requires a deep psychological evaluation and ‘digs’ into one’s past experiences to help one resolve underlying issues. Everything that feels deep, e.g. trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. require this type of intervention. Coaching is not recommended until the individual is emotionally healthy. A trained coach will refer such a person to a qualified General Practitioner (GP) or a therapist if he/she assesses and makes a professional judgement that this type of intervention is necessary as a first step. Please note - this does not mean that the client cannot work through coaching in the future.
Mentoring is another process that is often mixed up with coaching. The goal of mentoring is to help more ‘junior individuals’ to obtain specific knowledge or skills. It is believed to be more knowledge transfer and allows the person to aspire to a higher level in their job or in an area of expertise. If one wants to obtain more awareness in one’s profession, definitely mentoring can tremendously help one to ‘get there’.
Consulting is the process where a professional provides an expert opinion to an individual or an organisation. That could be in the form of specific feedback on a proposed resolution based on their own experience.
Coaching is a process of unlocking clients’ potential to help them perform better and achieve desired goals. In this premise, it is very pertinent to state categorically that a coach is not in a position of advising a client what they need to do. Coaches believe that human potential is much more than what they realise. With the focus on what it is now and what the coachee can do to achieve their goals, the process is to prepare a plan for that. Coaches believe that you are the ‘expert in you’ and therefore you know what is the best for you. There also could be certain blocks and thinking errors that might prevent someone from achieving what they really want in life.
What should I consider when finding a coach?
I cannot stress enough the importance of this when searching for a coach. There are certain criteria that allow for coaching certification. The requirement usually involves delivering minimum practice hours, continuous learning and self reflection.
Many coaches are also members of professional coaching associations (e.g. ICF - International Coaching Federation, AC - Association for Coaching, EMCC- The European Mentoring & Coaching Council) which require them to operate under specific code of conduct and undergo supervision process. That ensures the quality of their services is of the highest standard.
Check the offer - what do they do and what is their specialisation
What type of coaching your selected coach specialises in? For example, if you want to focus on your career , then a career/executive coach would be the most suitable. There is also life coaching (more broad), family coaching, couples coaching, business coaching, parenting coaching. You will definitely find something tailored to your needs. Note also that though your coach is not focusing on the specific area, they can still help you. They are trained to use the coaching process and know a range of coaching techniques that can help you.
Refer to their social media - do you find a connection
A first glimpse on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn can be very helpful. Observe the coach that you would like to work with. What are their social media posts all about? What’s their attitude? Do you like them? Remember that you will be spending time with their company for sometime. Is their social media posts an antithesis of what they preach as a coach?
Chemistry is everything!
Before you go ahead with a coaching process it is really worth having the initial chat to see if you are a ‘good match’. Most coaches offer discovery calls (often free) as a form of first contact. You should be able to tell after that if you would like to work with your selected coach of choice.
Price - value for money
Before signing up for coaching, you need to ask yourself - What do I want out of this coaching process? What should be my coaching level and end game? With these answers in mind, you might then consider a coach appropriately tailored to your level, end game, and one who is also earlier in their coaching career and has their charge rates within your budget range.
I hope this article was helpful to help you gain more insight to coaching.
In the next article, I will be discussing ‘what you should expect from a coaching process’. Stay tuned!