This isn’t going to be a list. There are many great articles already written about this. In fact, this one by Ruth Christie is good and worth checking out.
And quite frankly, you already know how to make good decisions, you’ve made plenty of good decisions about who to work with, and who not to work with.
Here I want to focus on some of the signs that help you know.
Someone you feel safe with.
Safe enough so that you can go to scary places. To the unknown where we all feel a bit twitchy, and tend to stay away from.
To those uncomfortable places where growth is (outside your comfort zone).
To those places, you want to go to, but just thinking about them makes you gulp, thinking “ooh I want this, but I don’t know how to do it, but I want this”.
Someone who will challenge you AND you will welcome it.
I know plenty of people that challenge me.
Some of them aggravate me and I find myself resisting them, defending my current point of view.
Some of them have me look at myself and my situation differently. That when they challenge my view of myself, of others, of my circumstances, I’m prepared to look (even if I disagree).
You want the second kind.
Someone you click with
My hyper-rational brain can’t think of anything vaguer than this but let’s not get swayed by our hyper-rational selves.
Click doesn’t mean that you like someone (you might like them anyway).
The click is that feeling that you get with someone that lets you know:
- they get me
- I get them
- we can work together
Someone who makes you think: oh damn, things might actually change
A little bit of nervous excitement might have you thinking of choosing someone else instead but I promise you, that would be the safe “not much will happen” choice. If you’re going to spend time and money on this, you want results, right? That tingle of nervous excitement is telling you that something will happen.
How I chose my coaches (I’ve worked with two).
First one – this is what I knew:
She’ll kick my ass when I need it, and challenge me, but she’ll be kind when she does it. She’s warm and has got my back, believed in me and will keep me focused on the big picture/my why.
(As I write this I realise that this describes me too. Oh, how funny).
The second one (currently working with)
I’d met her during my coach training. She’s edgy, hilarious, and coaches so effortlessly. She has an amazing capacity to see the best in me and reflect it back to me in a way I believe. All while fully acknowledging all my warts and darkness, in the most matter-of-fact way (so it’s easy to be with this side of myself)
I knew I could be fully, completely myself. No wasted energy on hiding anything. As a result, all my energy goes into creating the changes I want. It’s liberating.
(this is also what I aim to give my clients. One day I hope to reach a similar level of mastery)
Basically, if you are looking for a coach, you are looking to change something in your life (work, personal, etc).
And let’s face it, change is hard.
So find someone who makes you feel that it is no longer a chore or an obstacle, but something you can totally do, with some work.
This post is part of my special Coaching Tips Series. This series was inspired by my clients and the core themes in their challenges. When we can apply these tips, we bring a lot of ease into our lives and step into our leadership. Want to talk it through with me? Call me and let’s make a Game Plan together.