What to Look for in a Coach

The hunt for a top-notch coach whether you’re a leader, business owner, or someone who wants to make an impact worth their effort, is a tough one. Here are a few tips to help you accurately determine who is the right coach for you.

When evaluating prospective coaches, hone in on the following:

Expertise. An effective coach combines a deep understanding of human behavior, emotions, and personality with an equally rich knowledge of organizational dynamics and development. You’ll find that executive and business coaches with the keenest abilities in this area frequently have a background in Organizational Development, Psychology, Consulting, Team Building, Performance and Talent Management, and/or Leadership Development. This foundation permits them to bring key insights to challenges you’re facing in work and in life.

Passion & Enthusiasm. If your coach can’t get excited about what value she brings to your partnership, odds are, she’s not providing much of it. Coaches who produce results crave supporting others in meaningful ways. If they could eat it over their Wheaties in the morning – they would.

Fit. You want to partner with someone who gets you and who you genuinely enjoy interacting with on a regular basis. You needn’t be best friends, but you should have a profound sense of respect and trust for your coach. Your time together should be something you incessantly anticipate. And afterward it should leave you feeling validated, clear, and a few steps closer to where you want to be. If you don’t get that sense, keep searching. These days in the era of specialization and growth, there’s a talented, skilled, and supportive coach out there to support anyone who has a sincere motivation to find one.

Challenge. As with any good relationship, there needs to be an element of intrigue – of inherent challenge in your dynamic. You should have total certainty you’ll get honest feedback if at any point you try to shirk responsibility or wither back into your comfort zone. If you’re not growing in the relationship, you’re not sufficiently challenged and you’re maintaining a pattern of limiting yourself.

Bottom line: Don’t settle in your life – and don’t settle on your coach. Make sure who you’re seeking out to help you with your most critical personal and professional struggles meets these criteria.

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