How to know if a coach is good? I often hear this question. During my workshops I answer through an exercise called ‘On the other side of the mirror’. I will use a metaphor here: Imagine a conversation with your best friend, somebody who truly listens to you, who is able to understand you, concentrates on you, doesn’t give advice, doesn’t talk about himself/herself. They are discreet and honest. At the same time he/she has knowledge and skills. What kind? We’ll get back to that in a moment. This is how a good coach behaves. Good coach.
Poniżej znajdziesz listę rzeczy, na które warto zwrócić uwagę, wybierając coacha. Jeśli masz dodatkowe pytania, napisz do mnie – z chęcią odpowiem na nie.
Why Socrates is considered to be the first coach?
Socrates was a Greek philosopher who taught in Athens. What is characteristic of his teaching methods? He was the first teacher who did not teach through lecturing his students but through asking them questions. The Greek philosopher inspired his students to think through questions he asked them. A coach also works through asking questions. Open ones which allow you to look for answers on your own.
What else should interest you?
According to International Coaching Federation a coach is a person who helps individuals and organizations develop faster and achieve more satisfying results.
What about my difficult childhood?
A coach does not analyze the past. He/she concentrates on the goals you choose. A coach provides a new and fresh perspective and supports building your own strength. Coaching assumptions state that you, the client, are creative and full of resources and you work to achieve your goals. An honest coach will tell you not to undergo a therapy at the same time as the coaching process. Those are two powerful processes and it’s best to finish your therapy before starting a coaching process. A good coach should also be able to recognize which option is the best for you at the moment: therapy, coaching or training.
My coach forever
No, not forever. A good coach doesn’t get anybody addicted to him/her, their knowledge or skills. That is why it is important to specify at the beginning in a so called contract the length and number of sessions.
What is a contract?
A contract in coaching is a set of rules and regulations governing the cooperation between the coach and the person undergoing the coaching process. If we’re dealing with a sponsor (most often it’s the company that pays for its employee’s coaching process) then there can be a three-party contract. Who are the parties? In this case one is the coach, that is the person providing coaching services. The second party is the person undergoing the process, that is the client. In case a different person pays for the coaching, a so called sponsor, then the contract may (even should) include rules describing cooperation with the sponsor, for example HR manager or supervisor.
Who is the star?
In this relationship you are the star, not the coach. The coach plays second fiddle. You should pay attention to how the coach addresses you; whether it’s from the position of an expert, authority, an all-knowing or a healing person. Your relationship should be a partnership.
The coach’s experience in your field
A good football coach doesn’t have to be like Diego Maradona, and the other way around, even the best footballer in the world doesn’t have to be a great coach. A coach doesn’t need to be a master in your field, but it is good if he is familiar with it already instead of learning about it from you. You will save a lot of time.
The coach’s self-development
Note if your coach is developing himself/herself. Whether he/she reads, learns, regularly takes part in supervising meetings. What are they? You might say that they are coaching sessions for coaches about coaching. Supervising meetings enable professional coaches to take a closer at the quality of their own work and to evaluate others.
A coach will be recommended by somebody you trust and who has had good experiences with the person they’re recommending. You can also ask directly the coach for other people’s recommendations.
The number of hours
A good coach knows how many hours of coaching he/she has conducted. Not consultations, therapy, counselling or training. Ask him/her about it.
If you’ve learned that your session is your coach’s tenth session that day, your watchfulness should be heightened. A good coach pays attention to OSH of his/her work. This particular profession is liable to a faster burnout due to powerful emotions that coaches work with during sessions. Ask your coach how he/she takes care of his/her OSH.
A certified coach is… a good coach
Most schools issue a certificate after a person passes the final coach’s exam. For you a certificate is a piece of information that the coach’s qualifications are proven and confirmed. You will find more information about coaching schools in Poland in the following link
Where to start?
You may ask for a trial session in order to find out whether you feel good during the conversation and whether you see any benefits coming from the meeting. It’s worth arranging such trial meetings with a few coaches before you make your final decision. Both: you and the coach can withdraw from the cooperation after the first session. If you both decide to continue the coach should establish with you the frequency and number of meetings. The coach is going to agree with you on the type of conversion that should take place at the end of the coaching process and what is your goal. He/she will also inform you about his/her work methods that he/she uses as coaching tools and the approach he/she represents.