- Educate yourself about coaching. Thousands of articles have been written about coaching in the past few years. The ICF Research Portal also hosts coaching-research articles, case studies, journals, and more.
- Know your objectives for working with a coach.
- Interview three coaches before you decide on one. Ask each about his or her experience, qualifications and skills. Also ask for at least two references.
- Remember, coaching is an important relationship. Make sure a connection exists between you and the coach you choose.
Questions to Ask a Prospective Coach
ICF recommends asking the following questions:
- What is your coaching experience (number of individuals coached, years of experience, types of coaching situations, etc.)?
- What is your coach-specific training (enrolled in an ICF approved training program, other coach-specific training, etc.)?
- What is your coaching specialty or areas in which you most often work?
- What types of businesses do you work with most often? And, at what levels (executives, upper management, middle management, etc.)?
- What is your philosophy about coaching?
- What types of assessments are you certified to deliver?
- What are some of your coaching success stories (specific examples of individuals who have succeeded as a result of coaching)?
- Are you a member of ICF? Do you hold an ICF Credential?
Why Should I Choose an ICF Credentialed Coach?
The mission of the ICF Credentialing program is to:
- Protect and serve consumers of coaching services
- Measure and certify competence of individuals
- Inspire pursuit of continuous development
A coach who has been credentialed by the ICF has completed stringent education and experience requirements and has demonstrated a strong commitment to excellence in coaching.
Certification from the ICF is extremely important when considering which coach to hire. It means the coach:
- Has received professional training from a program specifically designed to teach coaching skills in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies and Code of Ethics
- Has demonstrated a proficient understanding and use of the coaching competencies as outlined by the ICF
- Is accountable to the ethics and standards set forth by the ICF
According to the 2010 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, 84 percent of adult consumers who had experienced a coaching relationship reported they thought it was important for coaches to hold a credential.
Working with an ICF Credentialed coach ensures consumers they aren’t in a partnership with someone merely calling him or herself a coach. When you hire an ICF Credentialed coach, you can be assured your coach comes with highly recognizable, global coaching qualifications. Coaches credentialed by ICF have received coach-specific training, achieved a designated number of experience hours and been coached by a Mentor Coach.
If you are considering hiring a coach, be diligent in asking the coach whether he or she has been specifically trained in coaching skills and currently holds or in the process of acquiring an ICF Credential. Don’t be misled into thinking someone is a competent coach because he or she has other professional credentials or sets high fees.
From the International Coach Federation