2013 – September – Is he the right one? 4 things to look for in a coach.

Have you sat across the table from a good friend and listened to her complain about much work sucks? Or maybe you it was you doing the griping?

Did the conversation help either of you, or did it just feel good for a while?

I faced this same situation the other night.

Two pints and much complaining later, my IT friend was still asking the same question the evening had started with: “What am I going to do now?” Another purge cycle at her firm had resulted in many folks being laid off, including some from her team. She had been given more responsibilities, more direct reports, more projects, and no more time or authority. Life appeared to suck big time, and a few beers were a temporary relief.

But I knew I could move her past this if I took off my “friend” hat and instead used my training and experience as a coach.

As a coach, I help people take action and improve their lives by asking tough questions.

So I asked her:

What are you getting out of staying, besides the money?

“Less sleep and more headaches.”

Complaining isn’t going to change anything.  What can you change?

“Aww … stop trying to coach me, I just want to be bitchy for a while.”

When are you going to act on your decision?

“Which decision is that?”

You’ve already decided, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation. 
How can I help you move forward?

She took a very long sip of beer, put down the glass and leveled a thoughtful glare at me for a long minute.

“Well, how am I going to handle morale issues?  Some of my new team members just lost a boss they respected and admired. And how am I ….”

TThe conversation didn’t end there, and Using coaching she gained the insights she needed  to resolve her situation.

Luckily for my friend, I am an excellent coach, and am willing to piss her off if it means she can move forward. 

Most friends won’t do that.  Heck, not even all coaches will, because they’re  looking for your approval. Rather than focusing on doing what’s best for you, they are completely invested in keeping you as a client.

Ultimately, both you and your coach should be invested in achieving big results.

How do you get what you need out a conversation, specifically, a coaching conversation?

You hire the right coach.

4 things you need to look for in a coach:

1.      Experience.  Experience in coaching that the International Coach Federation  (ICF) recognizes, not just time spent managing employees and advising peers.  Just because someone has “years” of experience doing something doesn’t mean they have ever had the RIGHT experience

2.      Training.  The ICF requires at least 60 hours of training, and 100 hours of coaching experience, for its most junior credential

3.      References.  Talk to former clients.  Ask to speak to a client with whom they had a “bad experience.” We’ve all had them and it’s how we deal with these experiences that matter

4.      Passion.  A passion for their performance and not just yours. Personal growth can be painful.  If they aren’t willing to go there, why should you?

As an ICF-certified Professional Certified Coach, I have more than a thousand hours of experience applying nearly 200 hours of official training. I also have a passion for growth—yours and mine.  Just ask Mike Silverman, Doug Klassen, Eva Coles or any of my other clients who are quoted on my website.

I’m ready to have a powerful conversation that will take you where you want to go.  What about you? Isn’t it time you moved things forward?

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