How can you tell who is the right mentor coach for you? Vetting a coach online is not easy. However, I think there are several things you can do to come close to finding the right person to invest your time, money and future in. This could be psychologists, counselors, certified coach or a social worker so long as they have the training and understanding necessary to coach you.
Find Your Mentor Coach and “Let’s Get To Work!”
1. Skip the Sizzle. Find the Substance.
A good coach or mentor doesn’t need to sell you on themselves or their style of coaching. Look and listen for The benefits that their coaching can give you. Does their website go on and on about their accomplishments with liberal sprinkling of name dropping? Or do they get down to business and let you know what and how they can offer you? You may need chat with them on the phone to get a good read on this
Obviously different coaches have different styles. Some are exuberant cheerleaders. Others are more matter-of-fact plodding problem solvers. There are the coaches who believe that if you believe and have a dream, things will magically work out. And the other coaches who sounded as though if you complete enough testing you’ll get an idea that may lead to success. All of these styles have their advantages and pitfalls. What ever their style, they need to “believe in better” for you.
If you know what kind of coach and what style of coaching and mentoring works best for you, it will be a lot easier to find the substantial coach for you.
2. Avoid At-large. Go Local.
There are many national coaching organizations that work with national clients. More so than not, these are groups who send teams to work with corporations. If you are a corporation then this may be your answer. On the other hand if you are an individual looking for a personal career or executive coach you want somebody who’s comfortable working with people one by one.
Even still, corporate or personal coach, start local because with somebody from your community you get a couple of advantages: A. They’re going to be more familiar with regional job realities and opportunities. They can point you in the direction of resources that you can access easily and if need be use with face-to-face, real-time convenience. B. Local coaches are easier for you to check out through local references. Ask around amongst your connections and networks and see if they’ve heard of “Coach So-and-So.” Are they listed in local directories or have reviews and recommendations from real, local people that you may even know?
A further advantage of using a local coach in your area is that the richest of human experiences is not telephonic or electronic but personal and face-to-face. This is not to say that every time you do a coaching session you need to go to your mentor’s office. However, even one face-to-face live session with your coach can give you a solid read on whether this is the coach for you. I usually encourage meeting together with people at least for the first time to establish a more solid beginning for what ever we may do in the future, including phone and email contacts.
Additional Keys To Bulletproof Coaching:
Do you trust your coach to ask them any question, tell him or her anything, even about topics you wouldn’t tell another soul? Do you feel emotionally safe with this coach or mentor? Is your process with them judgment free?
Remember who hired whom. You’re the one in charge. You’re the one using your coach to help you achieve your success goals. You may not know what your coach knows, but you have the final veto on whether what your coach is providing works for you.
A BulletProof Coach never argues with you. If you say, “No,” they accept and honor your request. If an assignment or piece of homework your coach gives you doesn’t feel comfortable, don’t be bullied into going against your inner wisdom.
With the right BulletProof Coach you should not have to guess what they are saying to you. The best coach not only has good timing, meaning the right suggestion for you when you’re ready for it, but they are to the point, never mean, concise, practical and clear in what direction they provide.
Good coaching involves periodic review and reevaluation points to consider your progress. A BulletProof Coach will not take control away from you, but steps out your strategies incrementally and is always willing to pause or stop or proceed according to your wishes.
Finally, a BulletProof Coach is someone you look forward to meeting with and talking with and working with, not someone you dread or want to avoid. Coaching should be fun and have some energy to it. That doesn’t mean that there are not aspects of career coaching that are challenging. But it should be the task or assignment that may become difficult, not your BulletProof Coach.
Your mentor or coach may not be perfect. However, you can find a mentor coach that does fit you and your career needs pretty darn well. (Image by Ambro)