How do I know if this coaching company is right for me?

You know what you want, or at least have some idea of what you want. Now, what is the best pathway for getting there?

If you haven’t worked with coaching organisations, you will find it difficult to tell the difference between the myriad of offerings and may view ‘coaching as coaching’. That would be akin to relating to all accountants or lawyers or doctors as all being the same.

What should you consider when comparing potential coaches for yourself or your organisation.

1.   Approach

There are many different approaches and models used in coaching. Two fundamental approaches are:

  • Prescriptive coaching – this is working out what you should be ‘doing’ to achieve outcomes you want. The GROW model is an example. This approach is very widely used by many coaching organisations.
  • Developmental or transformational coaching – this first addresses what are the worldviews or paradigms that define people’s behaviours before addressing what they should be ‘doing’. This approach asserts that ‘doing’ always aligns with the way people see things, and if their view does not align with taking the right actions, they will not take the right actions no matter how much they know they should. Look at things like delegation, difficult conversations, speaking up when you don’t agree etc. This is the approach Hewsons takes.

2. Experience

  • This is not how long someone has been coaching but how they ‘live what they preach’. Ask for evidence that their lives reflect the principles of their coaching. This is what defines the value of the coach. You want a coach who lives their coaching, not ‘delivers’ or teaches their coaching.
  • Ask for referees and then ask the referees “What are the key values that your coach embodied” and “how did those values change your life?” If they can’t answer this question, then the coach did not make a big impact.
  • If assessing a coaching organisation for your organisation, find out how many organisations they are exclusive or primary provider of coaching/leadership development and how long have they been provided their services in that organisation. Being an exclusive provider or primary provider for a number of years is a measure of the value being produced organisationally.
  • What are the values of the coaching organisation, and how are these values incorporated into the design of their services.

3. Pricing

  • How the coaching impacts what is of value to you and the organisation determines its value and is what produces increases in productivity. If you can get the same impact spending less, then spend less. However, look closely at what approach, and the kind of experience that is likely to provide the outcomes required. Once you decide who would best take care of what’s important to you, then talk to them about what you can afford and what they can provide for your budget.
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