Coaching is the universal language of change and learning. Research shows that working with a trusted advisor can dramatically enhance your success in life and work. But with so many counselors, coaches, and consultants out there, it can be hard to choose the right one. After determining you would like to accelerate change, how do you find your champion of change?

Below are some quick tips for what to look for in a coach:

Training & Expertise
You wouldn’t hire a contractor to begin framing the walls to your new home without seeing some credentials first. The same theory applies to reframing your mindset. Be sure to inquire with prospective coaches as to what type of training they have received, which credentials they have earned, and their overall approach to ongoing education.

I work with several coaches in different areas of my life. Why? Because I want an access to experts that have been trained in the specific arena wherein I am seeking change. When I need guidance on promoting my brand, I go to a marketing expert. When I want to fine tune my presentation skills, I work through ideas with a speaking coach. You will get the best results working with a trained professional with specific expertise and demonstrated success in your area of focus.

Testimonials & Proof of Work
You want to do business with someone you know, like, and trust. The best way to establish a baseline of trust with a coach is in learning about the success of their past clients. Whenever possible, obtain a recommendation from friends and colleagues.

If personal referrals are not available, ask the coach to share testimonials from past clients. Check LinkedIn and other online sources to hear firsthand from others about their experience. You may also request that the coach provide case studies of clients they have worked with in the past. Gather any and all information you can as to who they have worked with and what was achieved as a result of the engagement.

Framework & Fit
Not all coaches are created equal. There is a broad range of strategies to support personal change and learning. You need to assess which approach will be most conducive to your progress. Moreover, you need to consider personality as coaching is incredibly personal, and a particular disposition might work well for your colleague or friend but could be a disaster for you.

Have an active discussion with your prospective coach to gain a full understanding of their service model and style. Keep in mind that you have to be an active participant in your own change. Choosing someone who will help you stay engaged and inspired can be a significant contributing factor to your sustained success.

Many coaches offer a free introductory session to allowing you to assess compatibility prior to signing a contract. If you are interested in scheduling a free strategy session to learn more about what coaching can do for you, please visit www.professionalcourage.com/freeconsult.