Choosing a Leadership Coach (and How to Find a Good One)
Coaching is different. It is often lumped in with consulting, which offers advice on how to tactically operate, or therapy, which tends to reflect on the past and uncover root causes. Coaching looks towards the future. Through focused conversation, dedicated thinking, and an insightful relationship, progress is made to get you from where you are to where you want to be. To help you become the person you need to be to achieve your goals.
A coach is a trusted advisor who adds the tiny pressure of accountability. For the partnership to work, there is an expectation of action, commitment, follow through, discipline, and perseverance.
How do you determine the right coach for you?
For any relationship to work, there must be chemistry, trust, mutual admiration, and some fun. Nothing important is easy and leadership development has its own set of challenges. There will be frustrations and bumps in the road, having a coach you look forward to talking to is imperative to tap into success together.
Does their story resonate with you?
Read their blog or website to understand their perspective for what you want to be coached on. If what is being expressed through these channels resonates with how you think and feel, if you are inspired by what you read, chances are it will be a really great match.
Once you have determined that their point of view aligns with yours, does their professional resume and experience speak to you? Have they helped others in similar situations you find yourself in? Is their approach in integrity with yours? If so, then the potential is likely that they can help you too.
To Credential or not to Credential
I do not believe having a credential is absolutely necessary. I do think of it as a nice compliment to a body of work if the coach chooses that route. I hold my Associate Coach Credential (ACC) level accreditation with the International Coach Federation (ICF), and am proud to have earned this professional milestone. I know it is my gold star, but I like it. Regardless of credentials, the best coaches are dedicated to their continued training and development to serve you best.
Credentialing comes up because being a coach is a pretty low barrier to entry. Those coaches get weeded out along the way but they can definitely damage the industry's reputation. Of course, some of the best coaches in the world are not credentialed (Tony Robbins is the one that immediately comes to mind). It is up to you to determine how important this piece is when choosing your coach.
I learned in my first year of entrepreneurship that Bill Gates is right: “We tend to overestimate what we can do in 1 year, but greatly underestimate what we can do in 10.”
What Bill doesn’t consider is what we can do when we have the right help.
Because I can tell you this, once you commit with hell-bent, all in, nothing will get in my way cuz I’m making this happen for me type commitment…your whole mindset shifts.
Once you have skin in the game, you go from questioning whether you’re worth it to doing whatever you can to make it happen.
Betting on yourself affirms that you believe in yourself. That’s your biggest source of strength.