7 TIPS BEFORE YOU HIRE A BUSINESS COACH
1. If the coach isn’t currently being coached him or herself, you may want to disqualify that person immediately. It’s important that people “practice what they preach.”
2. Don’t get caught up with “razzle-dazzle.” Choose the business coach that you feel a connection with and who you enjoy being around. You’ll invest a lot of time with your business coach, so choose someone you like and respect.
3. Make sure that person understands business. There are a lot of coaches out there who are “life coaches” who choose to work with business owners. But they may or may not have the necessary business skills required to help you achieve your objectives. Ask business coach-candidates about their own personal business experience and be sure you’re comfortable that that person’s talents and abilities are a match with what you’re looking for.
4. Check References. Ask to speak with current clients, and also former clients!
5. Ask what professional affiliations the business coach-candidate is involved in and how that translates into a value for you.
6. Don’t lock yourself into a long-term contract. Business transformation takes time and you should not expect “quick fixes.” So you should be committed to your business coach relationship being an ongoing, long-term commitment. That said, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your business and to yourself to make sure you have an “easy out” if you ever want to terminate the relationship. I would be concerned about the integrity or skill level of any person who felt a need to “lock me in” with a long-term contract without providing me an easy-out provision. A business coaching relationship is important and valuable, but it should always be a mutually voluntary relationship.
7.When you hire a business coach, take it seriously. You can have the best business coach on the planet, but if you aren’t willing to live up to your end of the bargain, then it won’t work. Conversely, if you’re committed to change and are driven to get the results you’ve always wanted, hiring a business coach can make all the difference for you. Business coaching works extremely well, but a good coach won’t “carry you.” You have to be committed to doing the work and leaving your comfort zone from time to time. Don’t get me wrong: You’re ultimately calling all the shots! A good coach won’t “bully” you into doing anything you don’t want to do. You should never agree to or execute a plan you don’t personally support. But when you make a commitment with your coach to do something, you have to deliver. Good intentions alone are meaningless. You have to do the work. Your coach provides the benefit of clarity, focus, encouragement, different ideas or perspective, and someone to continually challenge you to be better at your job and in your life, but at the end of it all, the success of this relationship depends on your commitment to the process.