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Coaching Q&A: How Does One Choose the Right Coach?

(Reprinted with permission from "IMPressions", your newsletter from www.TheImpJournal.com
by Bev Howden, "The Imp Lady", Issue # 39, May 2006)

This month's column is written by my Buddy Coach, Maureen Miller.
We've been coaching each other for about four years.

"I have my own coach right now but my friend is interested in finding a coach. I could recommend mine but I think she needs to explore other coaches and not just take my word for it. How can I guide her in this choice?" Janice

Dear Janice,

The first thing is to decide how you want to be coached. Coaches have different styles of coaching.

For example, ask yourself:

  1. Do I want someone who is gentle and slow with me or someone who
    really pushes me?
  2. Do I want someone who is going to challenge me?
  3. Do I want someone who is high energy or quiet?
  4. Do I want someone who is ultra sensitive when I'm resisting?

You will want to discuss fees. Do they have a payment plan or scholarship program? Some coaches take a few clients as 'pro bono' until you can afford to pay. Some are willing to exchange services.
For example, if you are a whiz at creating websites, they might be willing to have you revamp their website in exchange for coaching.

Some coaches work specifically in certain areas, their specialty. This might be important to you.

It might also be important to you for the Coach to be Certified. The referral sites listed below,will tell you their certification process and whether or not a coach is certified.

Coaches will be just as interested in seeing if you are a good fit for them as they are for you. The coach you are interviewing may ask you questions. If they don't think you are a fit or you don't like their approach, they often will suggest other coaches.

If you asked me (Maureen) such questions, I'd answer:
I'm not a gentle coach. I'm quite forthright and like to get to the bottom of things.
I'm definitely a challenging coach and high energy. I sometimes exchange services but not often. It would depend on what you have to offer. I offer a free half hour session to let you 'test drive' my style. I'm aware of 'resistance' and will not let you 'walk around' something that's in your way. I don't believe in giving advice or offering you solutions. I think you have the answers you need, right inside yourself, to deal with all your issues. All I do is ask the right questions and offer resources once
you figure out what it is you want to change. I feel confident coaching in business and personal issues. I believe that the content of an issue doesn't matter since YOU are already an expert in your life. I don't need to know the details of what's 'up for you' to be able to coach you to a place where you can change your life the way you want. My style is based on current research on how the mind works.

Some sites to check out are:



Maureen coaches both Personal and Business Clients. She has several areas she likes to coach in (expertise and interest): families, creative issues, small businesses and education.

Maureen has been coaching since 1995 and has logged over 850 hours coaching all types of people on all types of issues.

By July 1, 2006 Maureen will have her Associate Coaching Certification with the International Coaching Federation.

Maureen Miller
"Coaching Personally"
Maureen can be reached at whizmobc@telus.net
Her website is coming soon: www.LeadYourLife.ca

Copyright 2002-2007.
All rights reserved. Bev Howden, www.TheImpJournal.com