Matching with a coach is about more than just selecting one at random or going blindly by someone else’s recommendation. We’ll take you through the steps to find a coach that will fit your needs, and help you reach your goals.
To find a coach is about finding the right match for you, your business, life and career. It’s essential to give it some time and consideration to set yourself up for success.
But we have your back – we have designed the Upskill Coach coaching software to connect those looking to upskill with qualified coaches around the globe.
When you’re trying to find a coach, there are two key things to consider:
- Your own needs, challenges and preferences; and,
- The characteristics and style of your coach
In this post, we’ll help you identify both so that you’re well informed to find a coach that’s the perfect match for you.
The world is a complicated place. At the workplace, the top businesses are becoming more and more competitive. The best companies have access to top talent from all over the world. Even if you’re a highly qualified job seeker, it can be challenging to compete. People change jobs more often. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employer now change jobs 12 times during their working life. The average time per job was just over 4 years. For us as employees, that means that we have to prepare for change, in our jobs and our careers.
On the personal side of things, life can be difficult, too. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorder is now affecting 18.1% of the adult population every year. An uncertain world, combined with the effects of trying to fit into a technology and social media-driven society result in stress and anxiety levels that are at all-time highs, especially for individuals between the ages of 22 and 38.
These obstacles are often made worse within a person’s mind. Their inner voice or mental perspective can sometimes be the thing that holds them back the most. It’s important to note that if you’re suffering from anxiety or depression, you should see a therapist. Coaches are generally not qualified to help. However, if you want help managing your life better, setting goals and how to achieve them, a coaching expert can help you. Coaches help people overcome fears, grow as individuals and live their fullest lives.
Are you thinking about working with a coach? The ultimate benefit of discussing your challenges with a coach is that your secrets are safe with them. A coach is also a great neutral third party to use as a sounding board. They don’t know you or your personal or professional circles. They won’t sell out your secrets to your roommates and friends. And, because they don’t have direct involvement in your current situation, they can provide objective advice, based on their experience and qualifications. Often, their information offers a perspective that you could never possibly have imagined.
A coach’s interest is always to be a unique and positive influence in your life and empower you to solve your problems rather than to offer vague or over-simplified solutions.
The first thing to think about when you’re trying to find a coach is to assess your willingness and whether you’re ‘coachable’.
Are you ready to find a coach? To find out, we recommend that you do a self-assessment first. Here are some examples of questions that you can ask yourself to determine your own needs.
- Do you have the time (usually a few hours per week) to commit to your development?
The coach can work with your schedule, but it’s good to know beforehand how much time you can commit so that the coach can help create a realistic plan for you.
- What do you want from a coach – do you want personal advice? What about guidance in your career path? Or help with your business?
- If you want help at the workplace, what specifically are you interested in – business, leadership or networking advice?
- When you’ve identified what you want advice on, does that require a specific industry knowledge or familiarity with your field of expertise?
Depending on what you need, you should look for a business, life or career coach. We know life isn’t always this easy and you might want help with several areas. Don’t worry, a business coach will also be able to help you with your personal goals, but by identifying the key area where you want guidance or coaching you can find a coach with that as their primary field of expertise.
- Do you want to work with a coach in-person or online?
If you want to work with a coach in-person, you are restricted to your local area unless you’re willing to travel to meet a coach.
- How much are you willing to spend on a guided development path? Coaching can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars per hour in consultation fees to thousands of dollars in development programmes.
The answers to all of these questions will help you find a coach. Use the answers as filters for what types of coach you think will work best to suit your needs, schedule and budget.
Screening your coach
After you’ve done some self-reflection, it’s time to check out the kinds of coaches that are out there. You’ll be narrowing down your search based on some of the following aspects, keep in mind that not all of these might be relevant to you. It will depend on your answers in the questions above.
- Credentials. Check out where a coach received their coaching certificate. Further, what kind of education do they have (college, masters, PhD)? If you want advice related to a field of expertise, do they have the experience to understand you?
- Affiliations. Is the coach affiliated with any governing bodies such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF)? Does an authorised body certify their training program?
- Description. How does the coach describe themselves? You can learn lots from the language and wording from a coach’s bio alone. Does this sound like a person you’ll get along with?
- Previous clients. Some coaches will describe their type of client. For example, some coaches deal mainly with high-profile CEOs and senior leaders, while others work with small business owners or early-career professionals.
- Testimonials. Similar to checking out the kinds of clients that a coach works with, testimonials are an excellent way to verify the success of a coach’s previous work. If you find dozens of happy reviews for a coach, it can be a reliable, trust-worthy signal of your future success. It’s an added level of security and credibility, so you know what you’re getting into!
- Price. The hourly rates of coaches vary depending on experience and qualifications. Use price as part of your screening exercise and be sure to focus your search on finding a coach that’s within your budget.
If you find it challenging to learn some of this information, try sending them a message! It can’t hurt to reach out and ask. For instance, if you find an affordable coach that seems to be a good fit for you, but can’t find any testimonials on their profile, don’t get discouraged! Send them a message. Most coaches will be able to refer you to a former client who can share their testimonial with you.
We asked some of our coaches what their top tips were for finding the right coach. Here’s what they had to say:
‘Look for a coach whose bio resonates with you. Does the language that they use strike a chord with you? Making a connection with your coach is vital to the coaching process. Your coach needs to be someone who you feel you can relate to and have an open and honest dialogue with. When you are reading through their bio do you get a sense of their coaching style, does it resonate with you? Do you feel you could connect with this coach? Do you feel they are a good fit for your needs?
One of the most effective ways of selecting your coach is to book a free 15-minute introduction or as I like to call it a ‘clarity call’. Connecting with them in person will give you a real feel for their energy and it will give both you and the coach the opportunity to see if you are a good fit for each other. In my opinion, coaching is not a ‘one size fits all’ modality so it is vital that you find a coach that you feel confident is capable of giving you the support and guidance that you need.’
Kathryn Lott, Life Coach
‘The most important (besides the personal connection) is to choose a coach that has a game plan and set work frames. We need to create a certainty in our clients and it is difficult to do if a coach him/herself doesn’t know what will be the steps to get the client closer to the set goals’.
Ben Isakov, Business Coach
What to ask your coach
Once you screen some of the basic parameters of your own needs and the suitability of your coach, it’s time to reach out to your top choices. Don’t be shy – the easiest way to connect with a coach is to message them.
The best and easiest advice we can give is, to be honest. Don’t lie about your credentials or achievements – it’ll only make the coach’s job more difficult! Remember – a coach is a non-judgemental resource who only wants to help.
Try sending them a short description of yourself, the challenges you face, and what your interests are. You can even note down your doubts about coaching in general. A top coach will thoroughly and pleasantly answer all your questions, and they won’t make you feel silly for asking questions.
If you’re ever in doubt, a great option to kick off your coaching journey is to book a free call with an expert coach. Many coaches offer a short 15-minute consultation call that can help you gauge whether it’s right for you. It also helps as an added layer of screening. Sometimes, a coach might seem perfect on paper, but due to the nuances of relationships, might not match your personality or style.
All in all, if you’re thorough about your self-reflection and screening, we promise that you’ll be well equipped to find a coach that’s a perfect coaching match – one where you’re comfortable sharing your dreams and goals.