For a decade or more, coaching has almost been seen as a perk of the executive position in large corporations. In the past few years, interesting is growing in developing coaching as a method of interaction and development at virtually all company levels in all sizes of companies. More and more, businesses are working to build coaching into the DNA of their culture. The initial steps don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, but you do have to make a commitment. While most philosophers will tell you that the first step is the most important one, the step you choose need to be the right one. Here is one informed suggestion.
Get a Coach. When I say, “get a coach,” I mean get a credentialed coach or one who received their coach training through an accredited program. You want someone who has the knowledge to interact well with you in a coaching encounter. You want a coach who has been trained by professionals. At a recent leadership training program, Betty (the name is to protect the innocent) approached me to have a conversation around coaching. She said, “I tried coaching once, and it didn’t
work.” As we continued the discussion, it became very apparent to both of us what went wrong. Betty’s friend persuaded her to start coaching with a friend of a friend who was just beginning their coaching business. This coach had no professional training other than “he had been to several weekend retreats where they taught coaching.” Furthermore, he started his coaching career because a lot of “people at his old job told him that he would be good at it.” While a step of this kind can be successful, it is more often the wrong one.
As with any buying decision, don’t take it lightly.
- Google a phrase like “find a coach” or “hire a coach.” Then research it like you would buying a car.
- Go to a website of a professional organization like the International Coach Federation. Most of them will let you search for coaches with credentials.
- Talk to the coach before you hire. Go with your gut. How does this coach make you feel?
Start your coaching culture by working with a coach. You’ll learn from the inside of the experience how it works; what you feel, think and do. By experiencing coaching, you know how to grow the culture that fits your company.