Five sure fire ways to spot a Great Coach
You don’t clearly see yourself; no one does.
- You sell yourself short – you need to be lifted.
- You’re arrogant – you need a courageous push-back.
- Your ideas seem right because they’re yours – you need tough questions.
You don’t need someone to do your job. You need someone to bring out the best you, to minimize weaknesses and maximize strengths.
All leaders need someone who is insightful, honest, and courageous enough to ask the right questions and share what they hear and see. All leaders need a coach.
5 ways to identify a capable coach:
- Skilled coaches help you slow down by nurturing curiosity.
- Gifted coaches repeat your thoughts in ways that help you think in new ways.
- Wise coaches ask questions that help you find your answers.
- Prudent coaches hold you accountable to yourself.
- Encouraging coaches believe in you.
The first two questions great coaches ask:
Over my career scores of people have offered me suggestions, counsel, recommendations and advice. Often they have their own agenda, not mine. Most of them demonstrated their incompetence because they didn’t ask the most important questions.
- What are you trying to achieve “today”?
- Who do you want to be “tomorrow”?
- What is the way forward?
One of the best things a coach offers:
You need someone that believes in you; someone whose sole interest is lifting you higher. You need a great coach.
How do you identify a skilled coach?
Great post Dan, there are loads of Coaches out there and one needs to pick the Coach that has a style that works for you as a person! We are all on a long journey of discovery so it’s good to have someone in your camp who gets you and where it is you wish to go and help you stay focused on that agenda.
Finding someone that matches you and your style is another important observation.
Wise words, Dan. I would just add a third question: “What do you need to get from where you are to where you want to go?” This encourages examination of values, assets (capabilities), and what you need to learn or acquire to accomplish your goals.
Thanks for adding a third question. Moving from where do you want to go to how will you get there and then, what will it take to achieve the objective completes the circle.
Great article and good advise. When you’re done learning – you’re done. If you look for a coach that will agree with you all the time, why would you look for one? Finding someone that will let you know when you’re out of line is key. I was once told that I assumed everyone would be as passionate as me about common goals and that was just not the case. Wasting time focusing on the lack of progress from co-workers adds no value to your own growth. Get busy living or get busy dying.
Your passion comes through on this comment. Thanks for adding to the conversation.
Love “when you’re done learning – you’re done.”
A Good thought-provoking post
Finding a coach is not much difficult. The person may be just around you either at the work place or in the neighborhood. He/She has to be an elderly person and with whom you have been able to develop a good rapport with your good manners and the will to grow. This person will take better interest in you and shall check on your progress from time to time. He/She will encourage you in meeting your planned goals and will guide you based on his experience. The only condition is that you need to approach this well-wisher at certain intervals and share your progress.
what you describe sounds more like a mentor than a coach. 😉
Enjoyed your wisdom
Great article Dan…The last two questions can really help a person put a plan into place. Which is really the third question that M.P Friedman asked. A person may have a great idea or concept, but if they haven’t got the plan in place to get it from point A to point B, it usually stays as an idea or concept. Ask me where I’m going and how I plan to get there; then coach me to achieve my goals.
In addition to these, I learned a lot about hiring a great coach from watching The King’s Speech. Here is what I learned from Geoffrey Rush’s character::
1. Being Current: The first thing to do in hiring a coach is ask the individual if he/she has seen “The King’s Speech.” If they have not, simply thank the individual for his/her time and end the meeting. It is vital that coaches stay current on relevant themes in both business as well as art/literature etc. Our belief systems are framed by our cultural exposures.
2. Integrity to the Model: Lionel Logue has a process that worked and he didn’t shift his design to accommodate a client–even if that client was the king. A method has to be respected regardless of the audience. It is that level of commitment that facilitates true break throughs. Ask for the method and the model and how it might be altered. If you hear “accommodation”– excuse yourself gracefully.
3. Ask the Hardest Questions. Lionel knew that asking the most important question would put his relationship with his client on the line. It was his commitment to “truth” regardless of the outcome that exemplified his personal integrity. Ask, “When have you lost a client because of your courage?” A good coach will have an example. Others might say, “I have never lost a client.” If you hear this (Exiunt).
These are only a few examples from The King’s Speech. I do believe the ability to be current, having a very precise model and being willing to ask questions that will get your fired are excellent attributes of a business coach that can facilitate your success.
My best to your journey,
“if he/she hasn’t seen “The King’s Speech”, don’t work with him/her.”
Isn’t a bit caricatural ?
Great advice to people try to figure out what coaching is and if they want one. I plan to send people to this site as background to my own explanations. Athough it is implicit in the way you describe the coach’s ability to reframe the client’s words so the client can hear them more clearly, I would add the importance of the coach’s ability to listen – ro listen deeply for the words, the meaning, the music under the words
Thanks for making me thinkj
When I selected a coach a few years back, I went through an interview process where I asked various questions. And most of the candidates offered a free no-obligation sample session. These were very telling for me as I could easily discern which coaches I could work with effectively. When it came down to making a choice between two coaches, I used my intuition and my gut to make the final decision (a la Blink).
For me personally (and as a coach), I believe having a flexible process with various tools to choose from are important. Not every process will resonate or work for every client. The key for me is whether a trust-based relationship can be formed where the I (as a client) feel safe AND challenged, knowing that my growth and goals are the primary objective of the coach.
Just because I’m curious, could you describe a bit what did the coaches do during the free no-obligation sample session?
I recently came across about leadership freak & posted my two comments. I am too young to contribute in a bigger way even you will gona find my post little immature but thats the way I am trying to improve my self. Hope I will get timely encouragement & support from you.
as far as coaching is concern Faith & honesty on part of both the party i.e one who is at the receiving end & one at the giving end is very important. Getting a right coach opens a sky of success for a person.
A coach can act as a guiding force in searching the answer for several questions that where I am?Where I want to go? What really I want? & what should I do to to accomplish my wants? Real Coach is nothing but GURU who always wants to see his Disciple shining bright.
Talking about self from the time I have got my coach I feel that a have got a wing to fly. The boost, the trust, the timely encouragement given to me never allow me to sit relax. It always pushes me from inside that I have to achieve & i will achieve my Dreams.
Personally I hesitate using the term ‘Coach’ because it’s my experience that ‘they’ don’t operate under these principles. Mainly because their egos get in the way.
Love the 5 points; these should be a ‘Coach’s Manifesto’.
you are such right.
These are great points, I would add that a good coach also helps clients :
1. Get rich insights
2. Reduce cluttered, fuzzy thinking and overwhelm
3. Realize importance of purpose, meaning in life
4. Understand that making peace with what you cannot change is healthy
5. Increase their level of empathy