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Do you have a coach? Are you ready to hire a coach? This blog will share a summary of the information I collected with the intention of giving some guidance to people who are looking for coaches. Who is the right coach for you?

Different types of coaches are as follows:

  • ICF Coaches: These coaches usually have gone through ICF (International Coach Federation) certified coaching schools to receive 125+ hour’s personal growth and coaching skills training. They have ICF credentials as ACC, PCC or MCC and are required to renew their credential every three years with continuous coaching education.
  • Coaches trained through ICF certified coaching program: they might be in the process of pursuing their ICF credentials or they might not want to obtain  ICF credentials.
  • Short term Trained Coaches: These coaches have undergone short term training programs, such as the John Maxwell  Team, 3-day “Advanced Leadership Certification Program”, to obtain their coaching skills and marketing packages.
  • Consultant Coaches:  These coaches have expertise in a specific area and act more like consultants. They might provide direct advice such as, “I think this is what you should do…” to their clients instead of asking open ended questions.
  • Vistage Coaches:  Vistage is a coaching company that recruits individuals with rich industry experience. They are trained as coaches / facilitators in a short program and use specific formats to resolve issues. They might also serve as mentors or consultants.
  • Experiential Coaches: These individuals obtained training and experience through their own personal growth work in structured programs, such as Landmark Education, which offer opportunities for coach training after their completion. They use concepts and terminology unique to their programs.
  • Franchise Coaches: These coaches use a coaching system designed by accomplished coaches; for example, FocalPoint Business Coaching powered by Brian Tracy. They leverage the brand and the resources provided by the franchise to coach their clients.

All these coaches are out there to call us into action. How do you choose the right coach?

The most effective coaches are the ones who

 1.  Possess competent coaching skills

The following are the coaching skills competencies defined by ICF. It gives you some ideas about most important coaching skills. It takes training to master these skills.

A. Setting the Foundation
1. Meeting Ethical Guidelines and Professional Standards
2. Establishing the Coaching Agreement

B. Co-creating the Relationship
3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
4. Coaching Presence

C. Communicating Effectively 
5. Active Listening
6. Powerful Questioning
7. Direct Communication

D. Facilitating Learning and Results
8. Creating Awareness
9. Designing Actions
10. Planning and Goal Setting
11. Managing Progress and Accountability

2.  Demonstrate significant personal growth in their own lives

  • Personal growth empowers a coach to be clear and confident in order to listen without judgment and inquire without attachment.
  • Maturity allows a coach to see their client’s experience as part of their sense-making process and support their clients in moving beyond their story and situation.

3.  Relevant working or life experience

This one is important for me but might not be critical for others. For example, I would not hire a coach for my teen if he/she hasn’t had experience to parent teens. I would not recommend hiring a corporate executive coach who doesn’t have working experience in corporations. To me, relevant working or life experience does add value.

In summary,

We all can use a coach in different times in our lives for personal or professional growth.  We may choose different coaches over time based on our needs. In order to get the best benefit of coaching, it is important to know the coaching skills and maturity of your potential coach. After an initial conversation, you would know if you are a good fit.

Are you ready to hire a coach? Hopefully this article helps you to choose a right coach.

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