When I first considered getting involved in coaching, back in the late 90’s, the first thing I did was arrange to meet some coaches.
The coaches I met made me sure that this was a career choice I wanted to make. Â The coaches were centered, down-to-earth, wise but not pushy. Â They were creative and aware. Â Clearly grown-ups. Â Clearly able to focus fully on another, without any fanfare for themselves. Â These were well-actualized human beings and I wanted to be like them.
I’m very glad these were the coaches I met…not all coaches…are like that.
I’ve gone on to meet hundreds of coaches in the subsequent 15 years or so I’ve been involved in this career area. Â Most coaches are great people that “get it”.
Every once in a while you run into a coach that just seems to have everything backwards. Â It’s all about them, and clearly they are the expert and they have the answers. Â They definitely know better than the client. Â They are quite sure that they know exactly what steps the client needs to go through.
First I’ll give a list of 5, in my opinion as an experienced coach, traits in a coach that, for me, would be deal breakers. Â I would run in the other direction if a coach displayed any of the following!
Top 5 Things NOT to Look For in a Coach (hard stops)
- Coach frequently interrupts. Â In a tie the coach wins.
- Coach gives a lot of advice about what to do.
- Coach gets their back up about *any* thing
- Coach knows more about you than you do
- Coach knows more about your career area/business than you do
Then, there are the little things that are not necessarily bad coaching, but not the most effective kind, in my opinion. Â Some of the following things might be good to have in a coach if you want to reach a specific goal, but may not help you improve your overall effectiveness and satisfaction as a human being.
Another 5 Things NOT to Look For in a Coach Â (cautions)
- Coach has a guru/mentor that you’ve seen yelling a lot in their public speaking
- Coach focuses on external goals only (some “thing” to have, get, achieve)
- Coach wants to meet with you very frequently
- Coach always has a relevant anecdote from their life
- Coach *really* thinks it’s important for you to continue with coaching
When looking for a coach, pay close attention to how you feel during and after a free session. Â And watch out for these warning signs!
Michele specializes in working with high performers desiring better, easier results and greater fulfillment.
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