Are certifications the key to finding a qualified coach? Past experience? Personal empathy? Whether you are considering an assist for your personal life or your business, consider the one thing that consistently creates great coaches.
The best mentor or coach is the person who has had to overcome adversity in his/her career, to create great accomplishment. It’s easy to reach home plate if you start on third base; the best coaches are the ones who had to fight their way out of the dugout, just to get to bat – then, after they lead the league in RBIs, they start teaching others to do the same. I believe great obstacles make great coaches. Overcoming obstacles teaches you how to win; effective coaches pass that experience on to others.
Business coaching doesn’t necessarily require a particular certification.
Consider instead: Has your mentor or coach achieved what you seek, or can they demonstrate how they have helped others to reach their goals?
That track record is more important than any certification, because it is personal to you, and to your needs (or your company’s needs). Plus, a long list of degrees (certifications) doesn’t necessarily mean that the coach will be effective for you (will you get along? can they truly help you and meet your needs? does this individual fit with the culture of my organizations? certifications won’t tell you that).
Experience in the face of difficulty is what matters most, combined with personal rapport. The track record of accomplishment should give you the personal confirmation you need.
Certifications are not the same as results, although they can help to establish credibility. Hiring a coach is really about creating outcomes – accelerating results in ways that you can’t find with just Google alone.
The wisest question to ask, and the secret to finding a great coach, is quite simple. Rarely is this question asked, but when it is presented simply (and answered professionally) the results can be quite profound.
See if this question makes a difference:
Can You Help Us?
Beyond certifications and experience is trust. The past serves as a reference point, but the results that you can create, right here and right now, are much more important. Ask your coach what they have had to overcome. Ask about adversity, especially if you expect to be guided through yours. Find a context that resonates, based on the simple question: ”Can You Help Us?” And make sure your coach is focused on your outcomes. Is your success the most important objective in the room?
I believe great obstacles make great coaches. How about you?