This is one reason I don’t promote my coaching services. It’s a relationship that is built from chemistry, so I find that a coaching relationship rarely comes first – it usually comes after other work or partnership.
I guess one could argue that a blog helps you get to know a coach and how she or he is likely to react. But that is only half the chemistry equation, right?
I have met many coaches that I thought I would not want to spend time with even if they paid ME to receive the coaching. There are too many schools turning out "certified" coaches. I once got an email from someone who wanted to coach managers. I asked her if she had ever been a manager – no. I asked her if she ever coached people – no. Then I told her that she has some work to do before she should consider management coaching.
Does a management or executive coach HAVE to have experience being a leader? I think so, but I am willing to include many OD jobs as experience – it’s a kind of leadership in and of itself. That said, if I were a leader looking for a coach, I would not select one who had not been in my shoes.
Does a coach need to be certified? No. In fact, I think the certification process often ruins a good coach. That said, I know many certified people who are also wonderful, but I think they are great in spite of not because of the certification process. I am sure most coaches reading this will disagree and might even get angry with me. Well, that’s how feel, sorry. If you have read my book Coaching Basics, you know where I stand on coaching.
We all need coaching and we should seek it. Many times, this can be a reciprocal colleague relationship and does not have to be a separate paid gig. If you need extra and objective attention, fork out a few bucks and get great coaching – base your selection on style, the coach’s areas of emphasis, and references.
One other thing. The coaching schools are turning out way too many people who are trained to help you find yourself. This sort of fuzzy coaching is needed, but not in the proportions taught. Most leaders I work with need help being more effective results-making-machines who can also build their organization’s capacity and culture. Getting the job done, that’s an important focus and skill set. And, oh by the way, you will learn a few important things about yourself in the process of kicking butt!
OK, I will get off my box now. 🙂