Find the Right Coach
By Mary M. Byers
In my last post I talked about working with a coach. This time, we'll address how to find the right coach for you. I suggest the following:
Referrals. Ask friends and colleagues if they can recommend anyone to you. Listen to conversations. If you hear someone mention that they work with a coach, ask if they'd be willing to share the name and contact information. Referrals are by far the best way to find a coach.
Identify specifically what you need help with. Do you need help increasing your income? Decreasing your expenses? Someone to brainstorm marketing ideas with? Or, do you have plenty of ideas but lack the follow through to do them? In this latter case, you'll want someone who can use a little tough love to hold you accountable for getting things done. The more specific you are regarding where you need help, the more likely you'll be to find a coach that's a good fit for you.
Search online. Do a search for coaches online. You'll find plenty! Pick a few sites to go to, read about each coach and his or her philosophy, and watch the videos. You'll get a sense of who you might feel comfortable working with. Narrow the list to these possibilities.
Request a complimentary introductory session. This is THE most important step. I "met" by phone with several coaches before finding mine. One coach spent the whole conversation talking about herself. Another spent the entire time saying, "If you decide to work with me, then..." And a third was not at all focused during our conversation, which led me to believe our coaching sessions would be the same way--frustrating for me.
Make the decision. Know that your coaching relationship won't last forever. This makes it easier to decide who you will work with. Pick the coach you are most interested in. Then, ask if you can sign up for a limited number of sessions (a minimum of three). You'll have a good sense of how the relationship is working after several sessions.
Be willing to do the work. When you enter a coaching relationship, you're making a commitment to help your coach help you. And you're making a commitment to doing homework between sessions as well as to do the heavy thinking required to help take your business to the next level. Coaches see lots of people who are willing to pay for help, but fewer who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Your work with a coach only pays off if you're invested and willing to sweat along with your coach.
Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing to Mary’s free blog at www.makingworkathomework.com. Interested in more articles like this? Join the blog ring here.