Coaching can transform your performance and therefore your life.
If you have experienced working with a coach you may have glimpsed its potential. If you have been served by a world-class coach, you will want a coach permanently, to serve you as and when needed.
Here is what would be wise to do when selecting a coach.
ALWAYS ask to meet your coach before starting work with her/him. NEVER sign up for any coach services unless you have experienced the coach first hand. Why? So much of the outcome depends on the chemistry between you, and that can only be assessed face-to-face.
Effectively working with a coach normally leads to performance breakthroughs. Ineffective coaches, and there are lots of them around, can and will waste your time, and money.
How can you spot an ineffective coach? If you are not inspired to change your approach, if you are not learning anything new with the coach, then your time is being wasted. Every time you meet your coach s/he should add massive value. If not, you should terminate the arrangement.
The leadership development market, as with all markets, is staffed by a wide range of competence. The largest number of coaches are those who have just been “exited” from businesses, go on a weekend course and set themselves up in business. Six months later their lack of delivery, their lack or results, forces them back into employment. That cohort is then replaced by the next batch, and the process repeats. At any given time, those on the “give-it-a-try-merry-go-round” amount to between 40,000 and 60,000 in the UK alone.
In each batch there are a handful who genuinely have the skills and talent. How, though, is a client supposed to find a coach who can add massive value among the large number who are, diplomatically expressed, better suited for other things?
If a leadership coach has been in practice for several years, and is clearly in it for life, then they are probably at least acceptable. Great coaches usually have a long track record of achievement themselves, perhaps a chain of ground-breaking books, or senior positions, or… All ways of assessing a great coach eventually lead to a trail of supportive evidence.
If that evidence is not there, you are probably dealing with a less than great coach; one of the most recent batch of ‘exitees’.
Coaching is generally delivered in four categories:
Leadership coaching (CEO, MD, Board Director),
Executive coaching (managers),
Professional coaching (well-educated, qualified staff),
and life coaching.
Dr Nigel MacLennan provides the first three.