New Directions

By Jim Ward

New Directions
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Choosing a Coach?

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” – Lao Tzu

Choosing a coach can be a daunting task!  The industry is in flux as the bar for entry is low.  As a practice, coaching dates back centuries; its roots originated in the sports field. Today, there are Life Coaches, Career Coaches, Business Coaches, Executive Coaches, etc. The list goes on. One of the most important things to consider in coach selection is to first ask yourself “what problem are you trying to solve.” Once you decide the answer to that question, choose a coach to help you work on that problem. Easy, right? Not so fast. Once you know what coaching issue you want to work on, finding someone that meets your requirements and expectations is not so easy. What matters most in hiring a coach? First, look for experience. Does the person have specific experience in the area(s) you are looking to improve upon? Second, look for some type of coaching credential.  The coach should be able to articulate their methodology. The International Coach Federation is an excellent source for information on coach credentialing. Keep in mind a PhD is not necessarily the marker for a professional coach. It could be, but you need to probe. Coaching is not therapy. Many individuals with clinical backgrounds use that as a mask for coaching. Coaches do not treat psychological problems. However, they help you move forward when you are stuck, act as a sounding board and help you develop specific capabilities. Thirdly, ask for references. Coaching is a referral business; professional coaches will have no problem providing references. Finally, personal chemistry is very important and critical to driving change and results.

The coaching experience should allow for you to gain insights into yourself that are important to personal and professional growth.

Until next time…


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