You did our non-scientific quiz and decided to get a coach – now what? Here are our 10 top tips to maximise your coaching experience.
Tip One: Choose your coach carefully
Isn’t that obvious, I hear you think? Well yes, and here are some pointers to get you going.
- Ask for recommendations from friends, family, colleagues, even competitors. Personal recommendations are valuable
- Remember that a coach who does a great job with your friend who is dealing with a messy divorce is perhaps not as well suited to coaching you on developing your start-up business
- Talk to more than one coach before you settle on one. Sleep on it if that helps
They don’t need to be mate material, but you do need to be able to trust your chosen coach with your innermost thoughts. If you feel that you could, that’s a good sign.
Tip Two: Decide what matters in a coach
Once you have identified a few potential coaches to talk to, give some thought to what you consider essential and what would be nice to have in your coach. You may need to make a trade-off. For example, are you more interested in:
- Experience or formal coaching qualifications?
- Personal recommendations or proven experience with clients similar to you?
- A lower rate or more experience/better qualifications/glowing recommendations?
Tip Three: Ask everything about them
Make sure you ask everything you want to know about the coach and their practice. In addition to practical questions you should find out about the way they work. Here are some sample questions:
- Can they explain their approach and method to you?
- How often do they have coaching supervision?
- When was the last time they worked with a coach themselves as a client?
If you feel uneasy about asking about these things, if the coach becomes defensive or rushes you, do take that as a sign that you need to look further before deciding.
Tip Four: Have a clear coaching question
When you are clear how you want your coaching experience to make a difference to you, it is much easier to find the right coach.
To define your question as clearly as possible, work backwards: (more…)
Have you always wondered what it’s really like to work with a coach? And would you like to know what type of coaching consumer you are yourself?
For a bit of Friday fun, take the below non-scientific quiz and find out your coaching client type. Jot down the number of your answers as you go along.
What’s your coaching client type?
Your boss has decided to offer you sessions with an executive coach. Your first thought is:
- &$%*! I’m in trouble. Time to update my CV…
- Err, what is it, exactly?
- Coaching? New age fluffy stuff, get me out of here!
- YES!! I have made it to the ivory tower, obvs
Your first session with your shiny new coach is in 10 minutes. You are:
- Mentally reciting your list of strictly off-limit topics
- Glad you found your coach’s website, now you have only 16 questions left to ask them
- Loading up on coffee so you’ll politely stay awake
- Wondering if you should have worn your Armani instead
Your coach suggests some tasks to do before your next session and explains you will be expected to report back on your experiences. You think:
- Is this a test? Is it??
- Hadn’t thought of that. I guess I could do that, sure
- Oh please, who has time for that…
- I’m going to nail this thing, you’ll see
Your boss is asking how it’s going with your new coach. You tell him:
- My sessions are confidential, right? RIGHT??
- It’s interesting, ask me again later.
- It’s alright but I don’t think I need it
- I really appreciate the opportunity to progress my
career development, sir
You’ve just had your final coaching session. You are thinking:
- I feel oddly relieved. Is that a good or a bad sign?
- That was good, got some important new insights from that. Hah
- Maybe I could have done more with that. Hey ho, we live and learn
- Tick. What’s next?
Now, scroll down for your profile…
And some more – no peeking!
OK, here we go!
If you answered mostly 1s
Clearly you are in the wrong job in the wrong organisation and the world is coming to an end because of this. It is best to download all of Netflix and stock up on tinned foods. Tin foil hat optional.
If you answered mostly 2s
Aren’t you a curious thing? Good for you. Now, pick up the phone and call the number below, you are prime coaching client material.
If you answered mostly 3s
The world has nothing on you. You also wear Eeyore pyjamas to bed. Sometimes you wonder whether there is anything in between these two worldly extremes, but then the moment passes. That’s fine by you.
If you answered mostly 4
OK, you are a bit stuck in the 1980s, Gordon. Shall we try that again when you’re ready?