How to Find a Professional Coach
Many successful finance and investment professionals have found that using the services of a Professional Coach can help them achieve their goals.
A Coach assumes the role of your business advisor, your mentor, and your partner, yet doesn’t share in your income. Finding the Coach that's right for you takes research and a little intuition. Here are some tips on finding the right Coach for you.
1. Coaching differs from Consulting
Determine if your candidate has received coach training.
If you want the help of an expert in your industry, you go to a consultant. If you want someone who will teach you to think for yourself, find your hidden strengths, and create a lucrative career path, you go to a Professional Coach.
A professionally-trained Coach will want to know a lot about you and your background. What motivates you and moves you forward? What approach takes away motivation and hinders growth?
A Coach will help you to realize your true values, your needs, and your wants, and will help you co-create a plan to build a career based upon your authentic self.
A Coach will step in with advice when you are lost and need guidance. Through training a Coach knows that the client usually has the answers, and through questioning, a Coach is able to draw out possible solutions that work for the client, not the Coach.
2. Does the Coach have a credential through the International Coach Federation?
The International Coach Federation (ICF) is an independent organization that is to coaching what the American Medical Association (AMA) is to the medical profession.
The ICF provides three levels of certification for the coaching profession: Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC).
Each level has specific requirements including accredited training hours, client coaching hours, letters of recommendation from accredited Coaches, and an oral exam.
There are many people calling themselves a Coach who have never had formal training. It’s easy to jump on a popular buzz-word bandwagon, so be conscientious about hiring a Coach who is either certified by the ICF or is working towards certification. You can go to www.coachfederation.org to verify whether a Coach is certified.
As you interview candidates, ask if they are a member of the ICF. If so, they have consented to a strict code of ethics that prevents them from divulging your company secrets. An ICF certified Coach will not identify a client without their permission due to ethics and confidentiality.
3. Does the Coach have experience in the financial services field?
Visit Coach websites, read their bios, their qualifications and testimonials, to see if they have experience in finance and investments. If not, you could spend too much time explaining your industry. A Coach who specializes in work-life balance may not be the right Coach for you if you need help with your career, marketing, sales, or time management. You can ask for references from clients who were in a similar situation that you face today.
4. Give the Coach a test drive
Most coaches offer a complimentary interview session. During the consultation, try to get a feel for the Coach’s style. Some may be more inclined to push you and hold you accountable for your actions, while others may prefer to allow you to gain ground according to your own timeframe.
What does your intuition tell you about the Coach? Is there is a good fit between the Coach and your personality style? Did you laugh during the session and share important information about your background? Did you feel as though you were heard? Did the Coach “get” who you are?
5. What's included in the coaching package?
Most coaching professionals offer various packages to choose from with telephone coaching being the most common option. In-person coaching tends to be more expensive due to commuting and other variables.
Coaching via telephone is usually offered in 30-minute or 45-minute options carried out two to three times per month, usually with a minimum time commitment of three to six months.
Coaching fees range from $350 to $1000 per month for experienced, credentialed Coaches. Find out what else is included in the coaching arrangement, such as job search coaching resources, sample business plans, exercises, and whether the coach sends a recap after each call.
Successful finance and investment professionals who are determined to play a bigger game and be the best in their field usually hire a Coach. Some of my clients call me their “secret weapon.” They understand the true value of coaching and realize that athletes have coaches, so why not professionals? Just imagine what you could achieve with your own Coach.