Coach's Casebook

On the Internet No-one Knows You’re a Dog!

On the Internet No-one Knows You’re a Dog!

For anyone that has been to a networking event or surfed the internet recently, you will have some to the same conclusion that I have. There seems to be a significant number of people who have decided to change their professional lifestyle and become a coach! A Life Coach, a Marketing Coach, a Speech Coach, a Business Coach…The list goes on…I recently heard of a Sex Life Coach!

A friend of mine coined the phrase that really made me think about the coaching industry.

He said, “Every man and his dog seems to be a coach in here! How can you find a good one?”(Buying signal methinks!)

I think that probably gets to the heart of an issue that many people are facing when they are thinking about improving their performance.

Who is a good coach?

Now add the element of the internet and it is very difficult to separate the good coaches from the not so good. On the internet, no-one knows your a dog!

So how do you find a coach that is best for you?

1. Do you trust and like them? You’re going to be opening up to your coach, so a person you like and trust is going to be a better choice for you.

2. Do other people like them? Have they some testimonials that can provide some social proof of their ability to deliver.

3. Have they credibility? Have they done what you want to do or have helped others do what you want to do? Have they achieved more than others in a particular area?

4. Do they offer a selection of communications channels? Not everyone likes face to face coaching and not everyone likes skype. I have clients I coach while walking and others that prefer the telephone. What do you prefer?

5. How do you like to be motivated? Coaching should result in a change and that ALWAYS requires action of some kind. Some people prefer a logical argument to motivate them, others prefer strong emotional engagement and some a combination…What fires you up and can your coach deliver?

6. Does the coach know when to stop? Coaching is also a business proposition and so it can be a challenge for a coach to say, “That’s it, you’ve achieved what you set out to do and so my job here is complete”. You may not want to end the engagement, but a coach that wants you to consider sacking them after a successful engagement is more ethical than one that wants you as a long term revenue stream.  That makes it about YOU and not the MONEY.

7. Have they a variety of things to offer? Sometimes coaching is based around the individual having the personal resources in place that they can tap into.  I’d argue that sometimes, the client needs some tools, techniques and perhaps training to overcome their shortfall or to improve their performance and a good coach will recognise this and provide the tools required.

8. Are they results focused? A coach that puts their arm around you and says ‘It’ll be alright’ is morally bankrupt! Even if its true, the coach has a moral obligation to look at the issues and help you improve.  If it’s an arm around your shoulder that you want, then perhaps therapy is more relevant than coaching.  I’d also suggest that coaching needs to create a Return on Investment. Business coaching should improve the bottom line of your business and life coaching should improve the things in your life that you value.

9. Are they a product of their own product! Do they follow processes, disciplines and strategies that make them personally successful? A good coach has strong personal leadership skills. They know the way, show the way and go the way.

With so many coaches around, the water is a little muddied, but look carefully and you’ll find the coach for you.

Remember coaching is about getting results and that is sometimes a difficult path to walk.  But its the path to success!


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2 thoughts on “On the Internet No-one Knows You’re a Dog!

  1. Jacqueline Bennett

    I Love it! An interesting and amusing look at how to choose from the plethora of coaches out there. A great ‘shopping list’ for someone who wants a coach but doesn’t know how to qualify them.

    The only thing I would add would be, Would they refer you? A good coach will be able to tell you if an alternative coach or therapy would be a better fit for you at this time. Again this is about YOU and not the MONEY.

    Thanks, Jacquelineb

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