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What to look for when hiring a coach

If you have never been coached before, finding the right coach, and even knowing what to look for in a great coach, can be a bit daunting. A few tips and guidelines (from my perspective) are below:

Find a credentialed coach

The coaching industry - really only about 40 years old - is governed by the International Coach Federation (ICF) that holds the standards and certification process to ensure coaches are trained professionals and comply with ethical codes. As the industry has evolved, the ICF has helped regulate what it means to be a professional coach by demanding certain number of coaching hours, professional training and final examinations to qualify for one of their three credentials: ACC, PCC and MCC. These three credentials proceed based on your levels of experience and are a good first requirement when hiring a professional coach.

Coach training matters

For my part, I acquired my Professional Coach Certification (PCC) after 500 hours of professional coaching, master coach supervision, 200 hours of training and passing two rigorous exams. This credential also signals that I was trained by an accredited coaching school: The Coach Training Institute (CTI) is one of the top coaching training programs in the world, a pioneer in the coaching industry, and requires a year long foundational and certification program that results in some of the best trained coaches in the industry. CTI's methodology is co-active coaching: an experience of personal and professional development that holds a client as naturally creative, resourceful and whole, and completely capable of finding their own answers to whatever challenges they face.

What to look for in the sample session I recommend that clients always ask for a sample session with a prospective coach to get a sense for chemistry, style and range of the coach. Most coaches also like to get a sense for a client's interest, coachability and commitment in this first session as well. In general, you would be well served by talking with a few different coaches to be able to make a strong choice about the coach you want to work with at a certain time. Generally, sample sessions are free, short (30-45min) and should actually expose you to the way the coach works and how it feels to get coached by them. Client references and online testimonials other great ways to get a sense of how the coach's results manifest. How coaching works The coach’s primary attention is on amplifying the client’s wisdom, thought processes, and directed action toward the future, based on the client’s self-identified agenda around career goals and other transitions. The job of a coach is to ask powerful questions, listen and empower to elicit the skills and creativity a client already possesses, rather than instruct or advise. A supportive and non-judgmental environment is created in which to inquire, challenge, and stimulate critical thinking and new ways of being, thinking, and acting, often resulting in new behaviors applicable to the client’s whole life.

Happy coach sourcing! Questions/comments?

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