Copyright Emily Hodge
This tool supports people who are looking for a coach to help with their business to find the best type or niche of coach for the issue they’re experiencing. We’ve been told it also helps coaches to define their niche too, although it’s primarily aimed at people wanting to find a coach (who might also be coaches themselves – confusing?!)
If you’re looking for a coach to help you in your business you can use the tool to answer a series of questions that will help you clarify the kind of coach you might want to then look up, contact and get support from.
If you’re a coach yourself you can use the tool to help you clarify your niche and how you might articulate that to your audience.
Why a coaching tool?
ICF (the world’s leading coach training organisation) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.”
We LOVE coaching and we think you might do too – if and when you can find the right coach.
We know that when you’re looking for a coach to help start, build or grow your business it’s not always clear who would be best to support you.
You and your business are unique and each coach is too – with different types of training and experience, and approaches and specialties on offer too. We also know there’s lots of coaches to choose from, so we want to help business owners like you get to the right kind of coach quicker and easier – to save you time and money and hopefully build and grow your business way quicker and happier.
Choosing and finding the right type of coach leads to the start of a great coaching relationship. The coach will be able to provide guidance on what they do and how they support their clients. And if the client knows what they might need before they’ve made contact they can enjoy a more empowered start to the relationship.
When potential coachees understand what might be provided in a coaching relationship, coaches will get contacts by more of the right people.
What the coaching decision tree INCLUDES
- Questions and responses to help you get clearer on the area of support you might need in your business
- Suggestions of the most appropriate business related coach
What the coaching decision tree DOESN’T INCLUDE
There are lots of ways to describe coaches and what they do. The tool won’t account for everything or nuances – but it’s a good start.
Currently, we don’t include coaches related to anything other than self-employment and small business. Such as:
- Coaches who support life outside of work or business – such a life coaches, physical activity coaches
- Coaches who focus on careers within organisations
- Counselling and mental health support services
- Training and facilitators
- Definitions of all types of coaching styles, accreditation and training
- Specific coaches to contact once you’ve decided on an area you need support in (but we have provided great questions and routes for you to find them)
There is also no recommendation tool for specific coaches nor how much you should pay or they should charge, but guidance below on what to do after you’ve found the type of coach you want.
We’re updating the coaching tool as frequently as possible and would love your feedback on what is and isn’t included. Scroll to the end on how to give feedback.
Here’s some questions to consider before you use the tool:
- We’re referring to coaches throughout – sometimes people call themselves coaches, consultants, mentors and they might mean them interchangeably.
- You might want support from coaches for a number of reasons – ultimately perhaps to reach more people, make more money and feel brilliant about your business. Don’t forget the ultimate reason that you started your business, and tap into how any coach you decide to work with can help you get that.
- If you find yourself answering yes to lots of the questions, make a note of your strongest reaction, and top 3 ‘yeses’ so you can start getting clearer on the areas you want support in overall. Then you can plan and make strategic decisions about what to invest in FIRST.
USE THIS SECTION ONCE YOU’VE FOUND YOUR TYPE OF COACH
Choosing a qualified, experienced or other coach
There is heavy debate in the professional coaching world about coaching qualifications and experience – knowing you are working with someone who has the ability to support you effectively is vital.
There are coaches who have multiple levels of qualifications and are amazing at their work, and others with the same or more who are not amazing.
There are coaches who have few or no formal qualifications to coach and are amazing at their work, and others with the same or less who are not amazing.
people can call themselves a coach based on very little training (which we don’t condone, but definitely would love to see more rigour in the industry).
Decide if it’s important to you for your coach to have a qualification.
Here’s the things YOU can decide as a potential client – ask yourself:
- How do I want to FEEL as a client of any coach?
And, do I want:
- someone who is going to direct me or be more non directive?
- someone who has qualifications in a certain area / level or not
- someone who has the same experience as me to learn from?
- someone who is going to also teach/mentor me as well as coach?
Once you’ve found the TYPE or NICHE of coach that might suit you here’s what you can do:
- Ask your networks off and online for recommendations of a coach in that area
- Head to the online directories with key search terms (link)
- Create a targeted set of questions you know you want to ask this type of coach
- Once you’ve made contact with a coach or few, you’re likely to be offered a free call of some sorts to discuss your needs. Use this as an opportunity to ask questions, discover your and their expectations and feel whether there’s rapport with this person
Great questions to ask a prospective coach once you’ve found them:
- How have you helped others with similar issues to this before?
- What is your experience in the area that I’m looking for support in?
- What qualifications do you have to coach?
- How long can we expect to work together for?
- What’s your style as a coach?
- What are your hopes and expectations for me as a client?
Having a great coaching relationship
- You can ask questions about your progress during your time together – a great coach would welcome this
- There are boundaries to think about as a coachee (and a coach) and knowing the difference between yourself as a client and their friend, peer or otherwise is important
What about other business support services?
We know there are other types of support services for businesses not in the coaching world – such as VAs, accountants – and this tool isn’t a replacement for the wide variety of other support that you might look for or want in your business.
We also know that some support services, whilst not acting as and calling themselves coaches, certainly can provide an amazing impact and feeling for you as a business owner that is equally powerful.
What if I’m not sure if it’s a coach I need?
Here’s some questions to ask in case you’re not sure if it’s a coach that you need:
- Do you want someone to help with your future rather than support with something from your past? = coaching versus counseling
- Do you want someone to help with your work or business or life outside of it? = business and career related coaches versus life and other types of coaches
- Do you want to work with someone privately/one to one/do you need help for you or a group of people? (trainer/facilitator – groups)
How the coaching decision tree will be updated
We expect this to be a living, breathing tool that will change and grow with time and learning.
Do you have comments or thoughts on the tree that we can use for the next iteration?
If you have comments or thoughts on the coaching decision tree please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can compile them for the next iteration.
Let us know what you would like to see on there instead
Are you a coach and don’t see yourself on there?
Send us an email to let us know for future iterations of the tree
About the author
This tool was developed by Emily Hodge, Psychologist and Coach at coachingemily.com
To feedback or comment please email email@example.com with reference ‘Coaching Decision Tree Comments’
With support from Cat Hase, Creativity Coach, Imagine IF LTD