A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Personal Coaching - Part II
Dear Readers: Last week's column
addressed the growing trend of working with a coach. There are many
benefits, and selecting the right coach to work with is crucial. If you
think you would benefit from working with a coach, before you invest your
precious time, energy and money, spend some time learning about coaching.
There are hundreds of articles written on the subject in the last few
years; take the time to do your research. If you know someone who has
worked with a coach, ask about their experience and try to find out if it
was beneficial, and if so, in what way.
When you hire a coach you are making an investment in yourself.
Identify your objectives for seeking a coach, and determine what you are
willing to invest in time and money. Shop around to find the best coach
for you, and interview at least three coaches before making a decision.
Ask them about their experience, qualifications and skills, and ask for at
least two references. The following are suggested questions to ask when
interviewing a coach, and was put together with the help of Kate Larsen, a
Minneapolis business and life coach, and the International Coach
Federation, which has loads of valuable information at
- Are you certified?
- What training programs have you participated in?
- Do you attend conferences for coaches? If yes, what was the last
conference you attended? If not, why not? (Those that are committed and
contributing to the industry participate in conventions and training in
order to stay on top of the industry trends and improve their own
- What corporate or business experience do you have? (This is
especially important to know if you are looking for a coach for business
- How can I contact you between sessions? (Although most coaches will
not have time to have ongoing conversations between sessions; it seems
appropriate to be able to contact your coach via email or fax between
- How would you handle this scenario? Give the coach a situation or
scenario that you are challenged by and ask their opinion on how they
would coach you on that issue.
When making your decision, it is important to trust your "gut"
feelings; you need to feel comfortable with the coach you select to work
Jim Doyle, author of the book, ”The Business Coach A Game Plan for the
New Work Environment”, stresses the importance of holding yourself
accountable when working with a coach, and recommends setting realistic
goals. Don’t pretend to know more than your coach does. Listen to your
coach and be willing to learn, change, and adapt to the new skills,
attitudes and behaviors you are acquiring by putting them into practice.
When it comes to coaching, one size does not fit all. Some coaches are
better at certain things than others. Too often people hope things will
work out and wait too long before terminating a coaching relationship. If
you are doing your part and are not getting what you want or need from
your coach, don't be afraid to say something, or if necessary, end the
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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