I’m a coach. I coach people to a target.
I also have a coach.
I decided to write this article when someone asked me today if as a coach, I had a coach myself.
There are many reasons you might be looking for a coach. This article is intended to give you pointers when looking for one. From coaching hundreds of clients in-person and online to having worked with business, fitness and life coaches, here is what I’ve learned
Whether it’s fitness, business or relationship, there’s no doubt that the coaching and self-development market is booming.
Some coaches will turn out to be the best investment of your life, other will be an horrible experience you would want to forget – just like drunk sex.
If you’ve made the decision or are currently contemplating whether or not to get some sort of coaching, here is what you should be asking yourself:
1. Do I like to take instruction from someone else.
This is by far the back bone of coaching. Telling you exactly what to do. Ask yourself, when was the last time I received an instruction from somebody else and implemented it fully. It could be at work, around your family and friends.
Many people need a coach for accountability at first, but I believe the willingness to listen and implement task is bar far most important. If you don’t like to receive “orders”, there’s still hope for you. Luckily, some coaches also specialise in difficult cases like you.
2. Dealing with conflict and criticism
Clearly things are not going to be all glossy. You are probably getting a coach because you’ve realised that you need help. You are seeking external support and expertise other the ones immediately available to you.
There will be friction along the way just like any relationships. Think about it, I’m sure you’ve argued with your wife/husband, brother/sister or even friend at least once. The same will happen with your coach. There will be disagreements along the way.
Things will get uncomfortable but remember there’s a fine line between unhealthy conflict and constructive criticism. A great coach will give you the latter.
3. Finding the perfect coach
Once you’ve decided that you need a coach, then comes the second part of the hurdle: finding one.
The whole experience can be like when I met my wife: love at first sight.
Or, you may end up going through a few bad Tinder dates, kiss a few (maybe a lot) ugly frogs before finding the ONE.
From coaching hundreds of clients and getting coached by well over a two dozen of coaches in business, life and fitness, there are three key things you cannot afford to overlook.
- Results: Results matter, in fact they are everything. Does your coach have a consistent track-record of producing results. Does he have raving fans, testimonials from current and clients available? When it comes to fitness, please do not rely on before and after pictures.
I guarantee you that Photoshop ruined the fitness industry. A great parameter is to to get the phone number of a previous client, whose situation is related to yours and discuss your prospective coach performance, and the results they bring to the table.
- Methods: You need to be willing to accept your coach methods. Some coaches are specialised in producing short-term burst of results, others have a long-term view on things. It all comes down to aligning your goals with their methods. However, don’t expect a coach to be a magician and transform your life at the snap of a finger.
- Pricing: Get very clear on the money side of things. Ask questions, a lot of them. Everything which is said and discussed should be written and signed for. More importantly, your coaching should be able to give you a breakdown of the implication of a coaching plan.
For example, when getting a fitness program from a coach, (which you certainly paid for). Your coach should be in the position to give you a costing range for groceries, gym membership fees, recovery and sport massage and every other costs associated your desired program.
It takes a lot to accept that we might need external help. Finding a coach a coach could be an overwhelming task, sometimes painful, sometimes extremely rewarding.
Just like in relationships, remember, once you found the one, never let go.