Find the Right Leadership Coach

Since when the pandemic forcibly came into our lives, most of us have had to reevaluate our priorities, goals, plans and in general our life! Many of us asked ourselves several questions and one of the most common ones that I hear from clients whether in therapy, conflict resolution or coaching is, “this sucks but I want to use this (see this) as an opportunity to intentionally make some much needed changes that I have been thinking about and how the heck can I sustain this feeling enough to do something about it?”

We all want to grow, make changes, get better, not procrastinate, check the long list of things to do that keeps growing, be consistently productive (not have one great day and 3 not so great days), make time for self care, not feel shitty, not compare with others, compete with ourselves and not others, shut our inner critic etc. etc. In the midst of all of these thoughts and feelings, we are constantly going through everyday life while trying to make the most of our time with friends, family, pets and loved ones. 

There’s so many things to tackle and as a therapist, I want to focus on inner work (please do good research before hiring a life coach vs. a licensed therapist) and as a leadership and executive coach, I want to focus on thriving every day at work while thinking about leadership sustainability and self care. In this post, I am going to speak more to, “how the heck do I find the support I need before I lose this feeling of wanting to make some changes in my work life?” 

The first step is awareness that you want help, not need help. 

The second step is advocating for yourself within your organization and seeking the resources you need to get going. 

The final step is finding the right human to be your collaborative and accountability partner. 

Sorry, this is an extra step before the last one! 

Here’s what I believe to be some of the important things you need to think about before looking for a coach — 

  • Read articles on coaching and how it can help you
  • Talk to some of your colleagues who have worked with coach’s
  • Start a practice of (for a week or two) writing down your concerns/ struggles/ difficulties with the current nature of your work  
  • Now at least five reasons for wanting a coach for yourself 
  • Write  2-5 goals that you want to achieve in this process.
  • Finally, think about the outcomes you want to achieve from this process. 

Anywhere from 5 – 9 things to think about before hiring a leadership coach

  1. Get recommendations from colleagues, friends etc. 
  2. Once you have a list in hand, do some research on all of them. Check their websites, business social media profiles, linkedin profile and if they have videos, articles or blogs then read a couple of them. Write down pros/cons for each coach.
  3. Schedule a time with each of them for an exploratory call. Pay attention to their professionalism in getting back to you and setting up time etc. Don’t make any assumptions but make observations. 
  4. Make a list of questions that you want to ask every coach based on your self reflection work prior to this process. 
  5. Before the call, look at the list that you made on their profile and write down a list of specific questions for each one respectively based on their experience, expertise, scope of competence, background etc. 
  6. During the call some of the important questions to ask —
    1. Why did you become a coach? 
    2. What’s the scope of your practice and what’s the scope of your competence? 
    3. Are you credentialed or certified? If so, by what program?
    4. Do you have any training in the field of psychology or human development/behavior? (Most coaching is drawn from the vast field of psychology so if someone has education and practical experience in this field then it’s always a plus!) 
    5. Ask about confidentiality and if the company pays for the sessions then will the coach disclose information to your boss or HR?   
    6. How often do you see your clients? 
    7. What makes you different from other coaches? 
    8. How do you think you can support me in this journey? 
    9. How do you price your sessions? 
    10. Question to ask yourself as you are making observations and writing key points — do you like the energy, personality, temperament, and style of this coach? 

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