Six Tips to Finding the Right Coach

All world-class athletes employ coaches to improve their skills, strategy and tactics. Coaches are also employed by CEO’s and key managers in all major business sectors. Non-profit executives, physicians, dentists, lawyers, heart-attack survivors and all sorts of individuals with ADHD and concerns about their behavior use coaches.

In fact you would be hard pressed to find a field or profession, a health concern or skill area that hasn’t embraced coaching as a way to increase quality and effective implementation. Coaching is recognized as a proven way to learn, and get support to start new skills, habits and behaviors. It has been demonstrated as very straightforward and effective.

Here are six things to pay attention to when looking for a coach who might be right for you:

  1. A quality coach has studied the neuroscience of emotions and intellect. At best, this means a degree in psychology or a related field with the focus that comes with a master’s level degree or higher. All the most effective coaches base their work on the latest research findings.
  2. Experience with a wide variety of issues gives a more solid foundation. Even if you want help in a specific area, it would still be helpful for your coach to have worked in a number of fields and situations.
  3. A significant block of experience in the area you want help in is crucial. You want both a wide base of understanding and an expertise in your area of concern, i.e., a coach with business experience is important when you’re looking for help learning to manage employees better.
  4. Coaching is not advice giving or therapy. Look for a coach who has good suggestions but also asks interesting, probing questions and listens to your answers. Be leery of coaches who want to spend too much time talking about your past emotional traumas and family influences.
  5. If your attention bounces around quite a bit, look for a coach who gives small steps to try, but doesn’t seem to forget the big picture goals you want to achieve. Be certain they have lots of experience with your particular challenges.
  6. Find a coach who you like. An important part of coaching is that you feel supported and motivated. Respect, a sense of humor, acceptance of your weaknesses and an ability to explain things so you understand are all critical attributes of an effective coach.