How to choose a coach series: part 2

Decision Criteria

Once you’ve made the decision to seek out a professional coach, how do you choose one that fits?

Choosing a coach can feel intimidating. What decision criteria should you use? We seek out decision criteria for doctors, therapists, financial advisors, lawyers….why not for coaches? Here are a few important questions you should ask yourself as you assess potential coaches:

What is their background?

They don’t need to have your exact background, in fact it can be better if they don’t, but knowing the challenges of the environment you operate in can help. What unique insights did they gain from their professional experience that help their effectiveness as a coach?

What are their credentials?

Where did they get their coaching education? Is that institution accredited? Do they have current professional certification through a recognized coaching industry certification organization? Such as ICF or EMCC? What other education/certifications have they obtained?

Why did they choose to become a coach?

What career or life experience led them to commit to becoming a coach? What sustains their desire to further develop themselves? Do they work with their own coach or receive coaching supervision?

What is their coaching approach?

How do they approach their coaching engagements? Do they have a niche? If so, how did they choose that niche? Do they use assessments? What qualities and abilities help them to be effective? What are some success stories? Some stories that weren’t so successful?

Do they have a coaching framework?

Do they have a roadmap for you to follow for the coaching journey – from on-boarding through sustainment? Is it flexible?

What are the logistics of the coaching program?

What are the contracts, pricing, payment process, etc. Is there a technology platform they use?

And lastly….


Do you feel a connection to this person? Do they have a mix of compassion, empathy, presence, patience, communication skills, and ability to challenge your thinking and assumptions – that are helpful?

In my coming posts, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on each of these, but for now I wanted to hear your feedback. What other decision criteria or questions might be important to you?