I’m a coach and have hired many coaches to help me so I’m qualified to share with you some red flags. If I found any of these to be true I’d keep looking.
- A coach who considers all other coaches competition. Even if you consider only volume of business, doesn’t it stand to reason that one coach couldn’t possibly serve everyone who wants or needs a coach? The way I look at it, the larger number of coaches out there doing good, the better for the industry and the better for the clients they serve, which is better for business in general. A coach who thinks every other coach is a competitor is thinking small and you don’t need that.
- A coach who says she can help you with any and every challenge. If you needed brain surgery would you go to an orthopedic surgeon? If you needed your electrical panel replaced would you go to a plumber? All are skilled people but they each have an area of expertise. As do coaches. I can help you with time and people. I cannot help you with sales development, business strategy, career change, succession planning, etc. and I’d be stealing your money if I said I could do it as effectively as someone who specializes in that area.
- A coach who hasn’t established relationships with other coaches. This one is a bit of a combination of #1 and #2. I can’t help you with everything, nor could I handle the volume of everyone who needs help with time and people. That’s why I seek out relationships with other coaches I trust. Then I can still help you by sharing names so you can shorten your vetting process.
- A coach who says any coach can help you with time management. Nope. If it was so easy why would there be thousands of books on the subject? What that coach may be able to do is tell you what works for him, or perhaps share some common generic practices. I’ve spent more than 20 years developing expertise in this area and a big part of that is being skilled at figuring out the nuances in you. What’s standing in the way of you using your time in a way that feels successful?
- A coach who doesn’t seem to consider personality fit when you’re in preliminary discussions. Coaching can go deep and not every style is right for every person. I’ve turned clients away when I just knew it wasn’t going to work. And frankly, there are probably people who took a hike because I wasn’t their cup of tea. Fit is critically important.
- The coach won’t give you a test drive. This an investment of your time and money and you need to make sure this is the right coach for you. Don’t expect him to give away services, but he should be willing to work through one small challenge so you get a feel for his methods and style.
Armed with this information, take this quick quiz to see whether where you are right now merits some changes!