You know, all it takes is a few simple steps, and I want to share them with you here.
Step 1: Know why you want to work with a coach.
The worst reason to work with a coach is because everyone else has one! Be clear about why you want to work with a coach. Write out your brief of the kind of coach you want, how they will support you and what you want to get out of working with them. Be really specific so that when you get carried away with marketing hype you can return to your list to check that the coach fits your criteria.
Step 2: Know what outcomes you want to achieve in your business.
It's great to have a coach to pass things by, but you'll get the most out of working with your coach when you know what outcomes you're working towards. You can then choose a coach who has expertise in taking people to your outcomes. Make sure you ask about their expertise linked to your outcomes.
Step 3: Ask other people about coaches they have worked with.
Ask people you actually know about the coaches that they have experience of. Beware of the syndicates where people shout out about how awesome somebody is - and yes, these do exist.
Step 4: Do your research.
Find out about the background of the coach. Do you want someone who has only been a coach, or someone who has a track record of running other businesses as well? What kind of experience do you want the coach to have? Also find out how long they've been coaching for, and what training they have undergone. There is a growing trend that you don't need training to be a coach, just experience. I disagree with this as the training teaches you to take clients through a process of transformation. Coaching is about so much more than giving advice (though this is a part of it, for sure). A trained coach knows how to go beyond the advice giving, and how to help you transform your thinking and work practices so that you really can make a difference with your business.
Step 5: Check out the coach's website and prices
I'm often amazed at the people who talk with me with an interest in booking in with me who have never looked at my website. Make sure you check out the website, Facebook fan page, prices, and more.
Step 6: Beware of great copy and no coaching substance. Also known as fur coat and no knicks!
Some coaches have cleverly created the perfect website without having developed the substance behind their coaching. It may well be that the copy is all true - but dig deeper so that you can be sure you're not being taken in by hype. This is a big investment, and you need to be sure that the coach can deliver with you.
Step 7: Interview a selection of coaches.
Most coaches offer 'strategy sessions' 'discovery calls' and 'power hours' to 'find out if we're a good fit'. Remember, this is your opportunity to ask questions so come prepared to the meeting and ask the questions that will help you make your decision. Ask the coach about what they do when things go wrong, and ask about the last time when a relationship didn't work out. Be bold - this is your investment.
Step 8: Speak to people who have worked with this coach.
Ask the coach for 3-5 people that you can speak to. And when you speak to them ask them what they loved, AND what they wish had been different. Again, be bold.
Step 9: Be sure to check back with your brief.
Remember step 1? Creating your brief for the kind of coach you want? This is where you now check back to make sure that the coach you're thinking of hiring fits your criteria. If they don't there has to be a good reason for you to book in with them.
And remember, if you have any doubts, move on. It's nothing personal - this person just isn't right for you at this time. They may be right for you at some time in the future.
Did you read this post on the blog about how to transition into working for yourself? It's worth a read -Surviving Transition