If you are thinking about hiring a coach, you will eventually face the daunting task of figuring out who is best qualified for the job.
When that time comes, you’ll want to be sure you are not comparing apples to oranges.
Here’s a quick primer on the most commonly used terms in the coaching field to help you choose the right coach.
Coach Training – A program designed to provide individuals with coach education. Some coach training is focused on a field of practice like Executive Coaching, Leadership Coaching, Business Coaching or Life Coaching. Others are centered around a particular coaching model. Colleges, universities, and numerous private organizations provide coach training in various formats, depths, and durations.
Accredited Coach Training – A program that meets the standards for delivery of coach training as set out by a recognized regulatory association like The International Coach Federation.
Coach Credential – A designation given by a coaching association to a coach who has completed a required number of hours of accredited coach training, who agrees to abide by a Code of Ethics and Standards, and who has completed a required number of paid coaching hours.
Coach – An individual who provides coaching services to a particular target market and who may or may not have received coach training.
Certified Coach – An individual who has participated in a coach training program and received a certificate of completion from the organization providing the training.
Credentialed Coach – An individual who has participated in a coach training program that has been officially recognized by a regulatory association as one which meets its professional standards; and who has earned a coach credential.
Consultant/Specialist – An individual with expert knowledge that is shared with clients in an advisory capacity. Consultants typically provide tips, techniques, direction and advice to their clients.
Mentor – An individual with extensive personal or professional experience in a particular organization, field, role or situation. Mentors often share feedback, strategies and lessons learned from their own experience.
Mentor Coach – An individual with extensive professional experience in coaching who is hired by coaches to assist them in developing their coaching skills through observation and feedback.
So, how do you hire the right coach? Just like you would hire anyone else. Do your homework! The first step is understanding the various labels that are used in the profession and what they mean. Hope this quick primer has helped.
In the meantime, if you are thinking about hiring a leadership coach, you’ll want to do a little pre-work. Grab a free copy of the QUICK Leadership Development Assessment. It will help you hit the ground running!
But wait, before you go, take a minute to add your thoughts to the conversation. Jot them down in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
Author: Cathy Shaughnessy
Cathy Shaughnessy is a PRISM award winning ICF Master Certified Coach and author of the book series The Really Competent Coach. Cathy coaches senior leaders, mentors credentialed coaches, trains fledgling coaches and helps organizations build strong coaching cultures.
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