This is Part 1 in our two-part coaching series, which looks at best practices for finding a coach as well as connecting with the credentials to become a coach.
The field of business coaching is difficult to navigate.
There are currently no industry standards or regulatory bodies to give guidance on which of the thousands of coaches in the nearly $2 billion industry in the U.S are legitimate. (The International Coaching Federation is currently the “gold standard,” but it is not regulated).
In this sea of coaches, finding the right one is often hard work, requiring searching for recommendations, trialing several coaches to find a fit, and then the difficult task of building a working relationship.
First, what are the benefits of coaching programs? Why should anyone think of becoming or looking for a coach?
The answer is in the research. In general, coaches improve skills across self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-leadership.
Across a diverse body of research, coaching has a significant impact on an individual's performance in an organization. Not only does it increase their progress and emotional intelligence, but it also helps them build better relationships with their own teams and the leadership of their organizations.
However, the foundation to all this success is two key items that the individual brings into their coaching experience:
Coaching is a heavily unregulated field, so individuals can offer coaching services with little to no experience or credentials. Here is what you need to do.
In addition to rapport with your coach, your own commitment is the other crucial factor in finding success. Evaluate whether a coach is what you need. List out what you want from your relationship with the coach. If it is tending toward more emotional and psychological needs, it may be better to see someone who focuses more on psychology or counseling.*
*People commonly misconstrue the difference between coaches, consultants, and therapists. While these roles
are interwoven, they are not quite the same.
Now that you have your list of what you want from your coaching relationship, use it to shape what kind of coach you are looking for and impact questions you can ask when interviewing possible coaches. Think through the below list as you prepare to meet with potential coaches:
Once you know what you are looking for, go to your networks to find good recommendations. Use LinkedIn, or ask your manager or leaders in your organization if they work with someone who could be a good fit. Use resources like the International Coaching Federation’s certified coach search to find individuals in your area. As you search, begin whittling down your list to 3-5 coaches who you think would be a good match for your needs.
Once you have created a list of 3-5 coaches, plan your first meeting with them. Use your impact questions to guide the conversation and make sure they can meet your needs. Bring these to each possible coach so you have clear benchmarks to measure who will be the most beneficial coach for you. Do not hesitate to ask them for their formal Coaching Philosophy or Coaching Commitments.
Once you choose a coach, make sure the relationship feels right. If you have 2-3 sessions and are not making progress, reassess the relationship. Some coaches will have a minimum agreement term, so this may be tougher in some circumstances. However, most coaches will be open to ending a relationship if it is not going well. If you need to, go back to step #1 and reaffirm your own commitment and needs.
Coaching is just one of the services that Ethos provides clients to help them reach their full potential. In our practice:
As Ethos continues to grow and offer resources to our clients, coaching has been an incredible option for us to make a significant impact in organizations, both at the individual level and in taking those lessons to construct company-wide training.
Finding a good coach is difficult work. The best way forward is often through preparation, research, and trial. Ethos offers a number of options for coaching. If you think it could be a fit, do not hesitate to reach out to us
Check out Part 2 of this series if you are interested in the credentials and skills it takes to become a business coach.