PCC logo John De Marco

Coaching is a thought partnership between two individuals, a coach and a coachee, who collaborate through trust, questions, and active listening to help the coachee gain fresh insights on goals and the action steps needed to achieve them.

I believe that everyone can enhance their learning agility and get clearer on their goals by hiring an executive or life coach at some point in their career

However, selecting the right kind of coach is just as paramount as the decision to get coaching in the first place.

First Steps

A key first step when interviewing prospective coaches is to ensure the coach is well-grounded in the profession through extensive, formal training in coaching, as well as having earned a certification from an established accreditation organization such as the International Coach Federation, the Center for Credentialing and Education, or Newfield Network, among others.

This is important because you want to ensure your potential coach abides by a clear set of ethics and standards, has demonstrated proficiency in a core set of coaching competencies, and is deeply conversant in an effective coaching framework that helps them help you to achieve your goals. Your prospective coach should have a bio such as this ready to send you, so that you can quickly get a grasp of their credentials and experience.

What Coaching Is Not

When interviewing potential coaches, it’s also wise to ensure each coach can clearly delineate the differences and distinctions between coaching, psychotherapy, consulting, and other support professions. One behavior that will make you want to consider them for future coaching is the coach discerning that you’d be best served right now by one of those other helping professions, and putting their desire to see you get what you need above their personal desire to get a new client.

John M. DeMarco is a writer, executive coach, and activist based in Nashville, Tennessee.