Vincy Workplace
October 7, 2005

The value of a coach

Are there some days when you wish you had someone helping you through your week?

Do you have someone who can help you chart a course to achieve your business goals and then cheers you on when you do accomplish them?{{more}}

Business executives have long known the value of a coach and have utilized their services to push their businesses and careers to heights they may not achieve on their own. Fortunately, coaches are no longer the elite’s best kept secret; but before you hire a coach there are a few things you must know.

What is coaching? Coaching is a relationship between two people aimed at achieving a specific goal or goals with the coach using his or her expertise to guide the coachee and teach them new skills.

Are there different types of coaching? Yes, you can hire a personal, executive or business coach.

The personal coach will assist you to achieve personal goals like getting married, dealing with unresolved issues such as anger, fear or building your self-confidence.

A business coach will help you improve the day-to-day operations of your company. The coach may work with executives and staff individually or as a team to evaluate their skills and chart a course to enhance the operations of the organization.

An executive coach works with executives to help them become better leaders while maintaining ba lance in their lives.

A career coach will work to help you advance in your career if you are not an executive.

Be aware that there are lots of different kinds of coaches and lots of people claiming to be coaches. Before you make an investment in a coach consider the following:

Choosing a coach: Request their credentials, why does this person qualify as a coach? Do they have the education to help you get better in the area you seek to enhance? What associations do they belong to? Is the coach known in the industry as an expert? Has the coach written and published articles and or books in their area of expertise?

Consider their style. Many coaching relationships occur over the phone or via email, many also take place in person. What methods does your coach use to get to know you and your goals and how do they plan on addressing the issue you would like resolved?

Get referrals. A good coach will have a host of referrals that can speak about the results they have attained with their clients. Request referrals and speak with the person. Ask questions to make sure you feel comfortable.

Trust your instincts. Ultimately you will pay and work with the coach of your choice. It is a relationship and with any new relationship your instincts often tell you if it is right. The coaching style of your coach must match your personality. Some coaches will gently guide you and others will push you and be very direct with you if you so desire. Know how you want to be treated and then choose accordingly.

Get it in writing. Formalize the agreement and write out the goals of the relationship, terms of payment and time frame in which the work is to be performed. Do not use verbal agreements.

Maintain the relationship. Many times coaching relationships fail because the coachee does not follow through on the assignments and sometimes the coach is the one to receive the blame for the break down. Compile regular progress reports to make sure that the relationship works well for both parties involved.