Individual Development

I am not selling me as a coach. Sure, if you would like to discuss coaching or individual development with me then feel free, but more importantly is that you receive the right advice to find the right coach for you…and the chances are it won’t be me. Let me explain why…

Coaching is not for everyone

Let’s not beat around the bush – coaching is not for everyone. Or more specifically, anyone can be coached, but not everyone is coachable, and even less are willing to put the effort into getting better between coaching sessions. That’s right, it is hard work, coaching is not an easy fix.

If you are willing to embrace new horizons in your thinking, to open yourself up to challenges, and to revealing things about you that you really didn’t want to admit, then coaching may be for you. If you are willing to do the hard work between coaching sessions, then it is even more likely that coaching will be a significant step in the direction you want to go.

If you’re not, then, despite what marketing you may receive, keep your money in your pocket because coaching will be a waste of money for you. Things may change, but right now, the truth is you’re not ready.

What do you want a coach for?

I honestly think that there are more coaches than most other businesses now. That’s because it is easy to set up as a coach. One of the first things coaches are advised to do is to “find your niche, find your ideal client.” In my humble opinion, there are pros and cons for this.

I will contradict my own advice later down this page, but make sure your coach can help. You wouldn’t hire a tennis coach to improve your golf swing. So why would you hire a business coach to help with a mindset or character growth? Why would you hire a life coach  to help with some business growth technical issues.

Be clear what it is you want to focus on, and seek the right coach  that can demonstrate their skills in the area you need coaching for.

Not all coaches are made equal!

Fact of life, in any group of people, there is a top, middle and bottom when it comes to skills, coaching is no different. The bottom may still be very, very good, but they are still not as good as the middle and top.

I will contradict myself as promised, because I think the best coaches have very transferrable skills and can help many individuals will different goals. They have no “niche”, but can absolutely help us.

If you do want to find a coach, you need to find the right one for you. When you go shopping for a car, you may be drawn to a particular make. It may not have everything you want if you’d have written a list, but it has most. You are willing to forego some of these things you want because what you are getting is more valuable to you. This is down to you, and you may not be able to justify why they are important, but they are.

Look for a coach in the same way you look for a car. They may not have all the skills you would have wanted in terms of their experience, but if you can find a coach who you can trust, who you know will be honest (sometimes painfully) with you, that want to develop their own skills, and have a genuine desire to help you…then this may well be a worthwhile investment of your time, money and effort.

Importance of credentials

Again this is my opinion only, please, please bear this in mind.

Formal credentials don’t matter!

There you go, if anyone from the national or international coaching bodies read this then I’m in trouble, but the truth is they don’t. Let me give you an example to tell you why.

Think of your own occupation or experience in life where someone has received training, yet still don’t seem to be very good at what they do. Anyone spring to mind?

In the police service where my experience comes from, it is the same. To be an SIO (Senior Investigating Officer), which enables you to lead murder investigations, you have to complete a portfolio and undertake Continued Professional Development. The fact is, some SIO’s are vastly better than others. Some are frankly not very good, but they still have the accreditation.

So explain to me why formal accreditation for coaching is any different? Do not be fooled by all the bells and whistles, look for quality. Quality coaches may well have  the accreditations from coaching bodies, but it is no guarantee they are the right coach for you.

Shop Around

You will be investing a great deal. Coaching costs money, but more importantly, it will cost you time, it will be hard work, and it can play with your emotions. Don’t invest all of this in the wrong coach. You may need to meet with several (because most offer a “free” initial conversation) before you are happy you can make a decision. Be wise, not impulsive.

The final word is about money. The more you pay does not mean the better the  coach. Nor does it mean the less you pay, the worse the coach. Be willing to pay what you think the coaching is worth to you, what you think is a fair price to achieve what you want to achieve. Haggle if necessary, because coaches have to make a living, but they should also have an inherent need and desire to help.