7 Signs of a Poor Coach

Coaching is a very foreign concept which is often confused with therapy or consulting. It is in fact neither. Coaching is the process of helping people understand what they want, why they want it and how to get it. When applied correctly, coaching can produce 7X the ROI of the initial investment*. Unfortunately, many who seek coaching don’t know what to expect and many coaches don’t know what they are doing. As a profession coaching has little or no bar for entry. While there are some reputable institutions which do a good job on training coaches, there is few which issue credentials as long as you pay for the tuition.

Below are some of the qualities of a poor “coach”. If you run into one, keep your wallet in your pocket and move on!

1. Poor coach begins coaching you without your permission. Professionals ask for permission first – no exceptions.

2. Poor coach loves giving you advise. Coaching is not about selling your own solutions but rather guiding people to seek their own.

3. Poor coach doesn’t invest in herself. She doesn’t read or attend seminars or lectures to grow. How can such a person help you grow?

4. Poor coach doesn’t have a coach. She doesn’t have faith in the power of coaching to pay for coaching, however, she will gladly ask you to pay.

5. Poor coach tries to please her customers and keep them comfortable, instead of serving them and pushing them out of their comfort zone.

6. Poor coach has poor health conditions – smoker, over-weight, depressed, etc. If you cannot influence yourself to get healthy, how can you influence others?

7. Poor coach loves and chases more credentials – not results for her customers.

If the coach you are considering passes the sniff test above, phew! But again, that’s just the bare minimum. If you want outstanding results, consider working with a coach who has significant life achievements. After all, any meaningful success comes from a series of failures. You want to work with a coach who has failed before and knows the pain of growth. A coach who comes with the added bonus of wisdom is more likely to take your life to the next level.

* International Coaching Federation’s, 2009 ICF Global Coaching Client Study.

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7 thoughts on “7 Signs of a Poor Coach”

  1. yup, i spent almost thousand bucks on a career coach last year who was certified coach. I’d call him a certified clown! My advice, get someone who’s been there done that. Yelp may be helpful for finding a restaurant but when it comes to finding a coach, i dont think so.

  2. I met a coach couple months ago. For some reason, he left a bad taste in my mouth. I think it was because he began coaching me right away. It’s uber disrespectful to start performing your own thing on me without asking for permission first – not to mention we were at a cocktail party. It’s really hard to find a good coach. I have a feeling you two are solid. I just need to get my sh*t together first then I will shoot you an email. I could really your support.

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