Don’t just take their word for it…
Sadly, coaching is yet unregulated and therefore those with limited education (if any at all) and experience can call themselves a coach. The title is not yet protected in Canada for the profession which means as a client or “coachee”, you need to ask the right questions. With so many so called “coaches” out there here are some tips in choosing a coach.
What we suggest you look for in a coach;
1. A coaching education with a reputable institution. Ideally one that is accredited by the International Coaching Federation, the profession’s only oversight and regulating organization.
2. A background in the helping profession. Ideally the coach you choose should have experience in the helping profession (social work, social services, counselling, support services, etc.).
3. A post secondary education and extensive professional development with supervision / guidance from other professionals. In addition to a specific coaching program, at an absolute minimum your coach should have an undergraduate degree from a recognized university and optimally graduate studies in a related field (education, counselling, social work, etc). Ensuring that your coach has had mentorship and supervision from experienced practitioners means they have had feedback and learned to turn theory into practice.
4. Experience matters. Ask the coach how long they have been practicing. What experience do they have and what kind of people have they worked with.
5. Motivation matters. Those of us in the helping profession, including coaches, get some sort of personal fulfillment out of helping others. But that has to be genuine and the coach has to be healthy and motivated for the right reason – dealing with their unresolved needs and issues won’t help you. If they tell you that they like giving advice, that’s a red flag. Coaching is about facilitating a process of self exploration it’s never about advice or guidance.
The time you take to investigate your future coach is worth it. Your success and well-being matters and is worth the investment.