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Selecting your Coach (or Therapist)

20 February, 2016

Do your research.

Trust your instincts.

Ask questions.

These are three of the most important things to take into account when selecting your Coach.

Coaching Session

The way to achieve the true value of Coaching, is to have a positive, trusting, non-judgmental relationship with your Coach.

It is a relationship where you are empowered at every coaching session to understand more about yourself, and offered strategies to move forward.  By this, I mean having power that brings about positive change, where the focus is on your process, your views, your situation, and the focus is not with the therapist or what he or she knows or has experienced.

You will know when a coaching or therapy relationship is not ‘right’, just as I did when I was working with someone some years back.  This person would spend a lot of each session talking about their experience, their breakthroughs, their issues.

This would have been potentially damaging for someone else who was perhaps in a vulnerable situation.  I always hoped that other clients had the fortitude to walk away from this person if this happened to them.  Fortunately, I was able to see it for what it was, put my Observer Hat on, and quickly conclude that this was a therapist who did NOT suit me at all.

In fact it was downright dangerous.

You need to know that you are getting quality professional care, and it is on that basis that a strong coaching partnership is built.

Interview a few coaches – ask about their training, the organisation that provided it, and what it involved: all professionally trained coaches will be more than willing to give you this information. Ask about their experiences, approach, qualifications (beyond coaching) and skills.

Here’s a general checklist below.

Training and Qualifications:

  1. What are your qualifications?  What coach school did you go to?  Is this a recognised coach training facility?
  2. How many coach specific training hours have you completed?  Is this an internationally recognised level of Coaching.
  3. Do you have certification with any recognised organisation?  You cannot join the ICF unless you have a certain number of hours of training.  I would encourage you to look for a Coach who has done well in excess of these hours,  Beware of short courses that offer ‘certification’.
  4. What is your approach to Coaching, for example, are there coaching strategies you employ, methodologies, professional practices?

Ongoing Professional Development

  1. What training or development do you take part and how often?

Ethics and Code of Conduct

  1. Do you adhere to a code of ethics, what are they, and can I have a copy?
  2. Do you have a Coaching Contract with clients?


  1. Can I see testimonials from other clients?
  2. What would you say your clients most value about coaching with you?

How do you deliver your coaching?

  1. Is it in person, phone, Skype?
  2. How frequently should I have sessions?
  3. How long is each session?
  4. What investment/cost is involved, and how do you take payment?


  1. What are some of the challenges your clients face?
  2. Do you have a specific type of client?
  3. What are the successes your clients have achieved from working with you?

As the demand for coaching increases, coach specific skills are important to meet specific needs.

Be vigilant about your personal growth and development.

Choose someone professional who can inspire, support, challenge you, and hold you accountable.

Most importantly, this must be someone you can laugh with and cry with, without fear of judgement or critique, and someone who is always, ALWAYS, on your team.

Kia kaha ~ be bold and fearless


Claire Porima Coaching.