For those of you who are interested in learning more about executive coaching or are thinking about working with a coach Fast Company’s blog site features a helpful introduction to coaching by Grace Andrews.
Andrews writes in her post Executive Coaching – Fuel or Folly?:
I believe that the answer to this question comes down to who is selected as the coach and how the selection process is structured. Just like most things you search for, like a good doctor, dentist, hair stylist or mechanic, it generally comes down to how well you know what you want and how good you are at researching who is the real deal versus who is a quack.
You have to be careful. I agree with Andrews that it is important to have a clear goal for what you want to get out of coaching and that you find a coach whose approach best suits you. She also provides a great list of questions for you to ask your potential coach, here are a few of them:
1. Tell me about your coaching process and philosophy? (Here, you are looking for a feel of what type of coach the person is and the length of the process, time commitment, and frequency of meetings. Also probe for some of the tools and resources the coach might use.)
2. Give me an example of a previous coaching experience that you would consider a success and what made it so?
3. How would you describe your coaching style?
4. How do you measure success?
In addition to the questions she recommends I would say look into the coach’s background. What education and training have they received? How much experience do they have? What references can they provide? Try out a couple of coaches. Many coaches will provide you with a short sample session. It’s a great way to find the coach that will work best with you. The key to achieving powerful results is in the relationship you form with the coach. It is essential to have a strong foundation of trust, respect, and communication. Don’t settle for less!