This article is a short extract from our fantastic Coaching Whitepaper looking at all of the issues in the industry and the implications it could have on your company. To download the full whitepaper, click here.
Due to the lack of regulation and presence of any one recognised qualification, the coaching industry can be a potentially risky place. Companies are often unsure what to do and what to think about hiring a coach as the act of coaching in general requires so much to consider. We have therefore compiled a list of 13 points to consider before you make your decision in order to cover every angle.
Carry out a needs analysis – it is essential that a clear picture is established of what the aim of the coaching will be. This will affect the type of coach you should choose. If the needs are open-ended and more general, an experienced coach might be most suitable as they will be more able to adapt and develop their techniques as the coaching progresses. If there are very specific objectives that need to be achieved, less experience may be necessary in the coach.
Ask about their coaching experience – consider questions about how many hours of coaching they have delivered, what coaching assignments they have produced, what issues they have experience of coaching on, and how senior their learners have been.
Think about the relevance of their business experience – While the coach’s role is primarily to aid the learner’s development, they do need a good understanding of organisational dynamics and business.
Check their references – all coaches should supply you with references and you should contact former clients to understand the coach’s style and approach.
Consider their occupational background – coaches can come from many different professional areas and it is important to consider what expertise your learner will benefit most from.
Question what their supervision arrangements are – Not all coaches will have a formal supervision arrangement with a professional colleague. However, you need to ask about their reflective practices and how they monitor and develop their techniques.
Look at the variety of tools and techniques that they use – Coaches will have a favoured approach that they should be able to explain to you clearly. However, they should not push one model or method and they should be flexible in their approach to the issues facing their learners.
Check their qualifications and their membership of a professional body – the level of qualifications needed by a coach to provide a great programme vary depending on the seniority of the learner and their needs. A large number of qualifications do not automatically mean that the coaching will be successful. However, these qualifications should come from a reputable provider. Similarly, you should ensure that the coach is accredited by a professional body and be familiar with their codes of ethics.
Check if they have professional indemnity insurance – this will help in cases where anything goes wrong in the coaching. It also provides legal protection for the company. Always ask to see a certificate of insurance.
Match the employee with the coach – personal rapport between the learner and the coach is essential. Don’t underestimate the degree to which personality traits matter!
Consider using group interviews – this is particularly useful if you are using coaching for a team and want to see how the coach interacts with a larger group.
Develop a full evaluation of the coaching – look at the impact of the coaching at an individual and team level. Maybe consider its impact across the company if you are looking to introduce a coaching culture. Make sure your measures reflect the original aims of the coaching.
Look to spend your time as effectively as you can – break up the procurement process and establish practically how much time can be spent on what without cutting corners. At this point it might be useful to consider what specialist help is available to assist with filtering, monitoring and evaluating the coaching programme.
To read more about the subject, make sure you read the full whitepaper to find out more about the history of the industry as well as the current issues.