I’ve worked with coaches, both professionally and personally, and have had some pretty amazing experiences. That said, I’m often asked about my process for hiring a coach. The question reminds me of an illustration a friend of mine (who is a leading Allergist & Immunologist in the Greater Boston Area) uses: What do you call a someone who barely graduated from Medical School? DOCTOR. Makes you kind of wonder, are all doctors created equal? And really, how does one typically go about selecting someone as a doctor?
When it comes to coaches, consultants, and mentors, the waters get even murkier. Today, these titles can be used without any particular standards or requirements in place to practice. Yes, there are programs for consultants and coaches. But the fact of the matter is, someone who went to coaching school and has only two years of experience is in the same pool as someone with over 20 years experience and a vast education.
If you are considering beginning the process of hiring a coach, I’d like to offer you this advice:
1) Know what you want to change. What is the specific outcome you are looking for when you hire someone?
2) Have clarity in measurement. How are you going to measure the the change you are seeking? When will you know you have made progress and what will that look like? What is the timeline for the engagement?
3) Research your candidates. How is the person qualified to coach you? Call their references. Have they been able to help others with similar problems? Do they live what they teach? I have met many business coaches that are barely getting by financially–how are they qualified to advise on the health of someone else’s business?
If you are not creating the results you are looking for in your life–either professionally, personally, or both–I highly recommend finding someone to work with (assuming you are ready to change and grow.) Hiring a coach/consultant is helpful to get the mindset, strategy, and skills necessary to produce new results. Working with someone who can see things that you cannot, and has access to additional wisdom, can radically accelerate your breakthroughs.