In 1997, when I graduated from Coach University, and in 1999, when I graduated from Corporate Coach University, the professional coaching industry was in its infancy. In fact, there were only 5000 professionally trained coaches internationally. We had lots of questions from the buying public about what coaching was all about, and more importantly, what sort of outcomes coaching delivered.
The extensive training we received focused on the skills and nuances of this profession called coaching. With over 200 coaching competencies and an extensive body of knowledge, it was no small thing to make it through each class and ultimately receive the pigskin.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a ‘Growth Coach’. When meeting another coach, I can tell by the way they deliver their title whether or not they’ve been trained in the proficiencies of coaching. A hesitancy exists when the word “coach’ is uttered that implies they don’t own or feel comfortable or confident with the designation.
I confess! When I sense that moment of tentativeness, I push the envelope just a bit to question where they received their training. (Is that so wrong?) I generally know the response will be “I’ve been coaching my whole life!” Translation? I’m not a trained coach.
Granted, I’ll admit that many competencies from other professional bodies of knowledge cross into coaching competencies. (Perhaps the coaching profession ‘borrowed’ them?) I’ll also agree that some trained coaches have businesses that resemble train wrecks. I might be exaggerating to make a point but you know what I mean. It’s like the hairdresser whose hairstyle looks like it was created with an egg beater.
There’s something to be said about the extensive body of knowledge and skills that a certified coaching facility can provide to anyone looking to add a coaching skill set to their toolbox in being able to deliver real results. Nonetheless, I’m always amazed by the number of people who hang out there shingle and call themselves a coach – without any training or understanding of what’s involved with the profession of coaching.
So, why should it matter to you, buying public? It matters because you deserve to have the best resource available. When you do, the results achieved with coaching are quantifiable and can change the direction of your business.
Here are a few questions you can use when interviewing coaches:
* Where did you receive your coach training?
* How long have you been coaching?
* How many hours (or clients) have you coached?
* What kind of quantifiable results have you coached your clients to achieve?
* What is your most memorable coaching scenario achieved in the past 6 months?
And, finally, how would you coach me through (fill in the blank)? (It’s not too much to ask for a demonstration of their competencies.)
Once you’ve completed the interview process with several coaches using the same set of questions, conducted your own research, and contacted references, you can rest assured the coach you select will coach you to the result you desire.
Strategic Coaching Takeaway: It’s better to be strategic than sorry when hiring a coach.