What to consider before hiring a coach


Coaching is one of the most effective ways to create sustainable, profound change with leaders. Having the time and space to ruminate on some of the biggest challenges you’re facing with someone who can help you think about things differently, reframe a problem or offer a challenging viewpoint is invaluable. So, it’s perfectly understandable that you’re thinking of making this investment in your development.

Coaching requires an investment of both time and financial resources and there’s no doubt it can deliver an exponential RoI but naturally people are cautious about making the investment. So, in order to help you decide whether or not coaching is right for you we’ve pulled together all the things you need to think about before hiring a coach.

What type of coaching are you looking for?

Without getting into a big debate about what really constitutes ‘coaching’ and what doesn’t it’s worth pointing out that there’s no agreed upon defition of ‘coaching’. Therefore, lots of people use the term to mean a broad range of things. When some people talk about coaching they’re looking for practical insight into a specific problem (e.g. I want to increase my profitability margin by 25% this year) and they’ll seek out a coach who has deep expertise in that specific niche, perhaps someone who hsa walked the path before them and can give practical insight, pointers and tips. Alternatively, some people are perhaps looking for a thought-partner or provocateur who can challenge their assumptions and thinking (e.g. I’m struggling to understand why my leadership style seems to be getting different results in my new company…it worked great in my last place). This type of coaching may centre more on in-depth conversations that help the coachee find their own answers through skillful prodding and questioning.

Be clear on what type of coaching you need, want and expect.

What are you trying to achieve?

Being clear on what you’re trying to achieve will help you make the decision on whether or not coaching is the right solution. We think coaching can help everyone. But, we also believe that coaching isn’t the right solution for every challenge.

One important caveat here is that not all coaching is focussed on ‘achievement’ of a tangible goal. Some are and that’s great - the more specific you can be the more it will help both you and the coach get what you want. However, some coaching relationships because the coachee isn’t even sure what they want to achieve - that only becomes clear during the sessions. Neither is more valuable than the other but it’s important to ask yourself before committing “Do I know what I want to get out of coaching?”

Can you connect with them before making a purchase?

Often you’ll be able to shedule a meeting or initial consultation with a coach for free. This is to determine ‘fit’. Is the coach going to be a good fit for you? Can they help you achieve what you want? And similarly, is the coach confident that the tools, techniques and style of coaching they bring will benefit you? If this consultation goes well and you’re both comfortable with proceeding it’s time to start talking about contracting.

Do you really want coaching?

Finally, coaching is an investment. It often requires significant time and financial commitment, so be really honest with yourself. Are you committed to making a change in some way as a result of coaching? If not, save your money until you’re ready.



If you’re ready to consider coaching we’d love to have a chat with you about the sort of services we can offer. Get in touch with us for more info.