Coaching is a really powerful way to unlock creative solutions and figure out exactly what to do to achieve a goal or objective.

It’s a fast growing industry and coaches are popping up everywhere.
It’s really important to find a coach who has 3 things:

Coaching skills

Sounds obvious but coaching is very different to consulting, training or mentoring and, as the coaching industry grows, the 3 are becoming less and less defined. Coaching requires a very specific set of skills and a good coach will create a space where you can explore, understand and decide what you need to do. A good coach will create a relationship with you that allows you to feel safe to stretch your thinking and look at situations you may have previously felt uncomfortable with. A good coach will challenge you to go that bit further than you would have and help you see potential where before there was only stalling or stopped.

Experience of what they are coaching

This is controversial. Coaching training courses can provide a lot of information and guidance around the specific type of coaching they are directed towards. It is possible to become certified to coach in a certain field based on a training course. The need for a coach to hear what is being said and not being said and then ask the right questions is critical. I have found through being a coach and also a recipient of coaching, that experience in a field allows the coach to hear different nuances in your responses and to ask more relevant questions. There is a fine line and the coach should only share their experience when agreed and the aim is not for them to declare their experience to be the only possible experience.

A fit with you

A coach should be someone you trust and feel comfortable with and who you believe can help you. This may be the most important because without this, the other two aren’t going to enough. Good coaching skills should mean that the coach can build a strong relationship with you so the risk of not being a good fit is low. But it’s worth bearing in mind the importance of fit and that it goes both ways. A good coach should be able to tell you if they don’t feel they are right for you and what you are looking for.

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