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What to Look for When Hiring a Coach


There are many reasons why people hire a coach, and we covered several in our blog post titled Why work with a coach?.

If you have never worked with a coach before, it’s worthwhile to give some thought as to what you want your selection criteria to be. The quality of the relationship between coach and client is a key success component – the level of trust between both, and how “safe” the conversation feels to both is crucial in

Here are a few questions you should ask when searching for a coach:

1.      How much experience does your coach have in their work? What relevant or interesting pre-coaching career experience that the coach have that may interest you?

2.      What training have they taken? Are they certified and/or credentialed by a reputable training organization?

3.      Are they a member or the International Coach Federation (ICF)? The ICF is the governing body of professional coaches, so members of the ICF are governed by professional practice and ethics guidelines. This is an important point.

4.      Are they a full time coach? These day many people “borrow” the name coach, but they might actually work in other areas, or are trainers or facilitators.

5.      Do they meet with you in person or by telephone/email? Find out the price difference in case they offer both options.

6.      If your prospective coach offers a free practise session, take them up on it. Look for level of ease in the conversation flow, professionalism, rapport between you, and listening skills (who talks more, the coach or you? It should be you!|). Also: A real professional does not need to do a hard sell!

7.      What is your budget? More experienced coaches typically charge more than junior coaches – but there are a number of trade-off’s to offset the price differential that come with more experience and training.

Finally, you need to know that working with a coach is most often an enjoyable, rewarding, enriching and often life changing growth experience. Who else focuses entirely on you in any of your conversations, with no other agenda other than to have YOU be successful – however YOU define success for yourself? Listen to your gut when you are ready to make the final decision – it is almost never wrong. Integra Leadership keeps in touch with numerous coaches with various skill sets and background experience, so there is always a choice for you. You will know when you have found the right person.

For those of you who have searched a coach before, what did you find?

Do you have additional selection criteria to add? Let us know – let’s add to the list!

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A New Kind of Leader

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”  Albert Einstein

For some reason this quote has been ringing in my ears as I look at the world we’re living in with birds dropping dead out of the sky, extreme weather patterns wreaking havoc around the globe, economic volatility unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes, and soaring fuel and food prices.  More than ever before, a new kind of leadership is being called for to get us through or we’re surely not going to make it… succumbing to the ironic fate of our own species’ making.

It will be the unconventional and unofficial leaders that will need to emerge to make a difference, challenge the status quo, dare to share a new dream.  Because so many of the designated leaders are blinded and bound by the system in which they operate that they can’t remove themselves sufficiently to get a realistic view of the situation.

These challenging times call for full spectrum leaders, according to Richard Barrett, world renowned for his cultural transformation tools and levels of consciousness model. Solving today’s problems requires a higher level of consciousness than that which created the problems to begin with.

So as you go about your day or week, as you make choices and decisions, try making them not from your past experiences or from your beliefs (which are often limiting in possibilities) but rather make your decisions from your personal values.  What choice is most in alignment with my values and therefore my aspirations and vision for the future?

I highly recommend Richard Barrett’s latest project – more than a book; a learning system – called The New Leadership Paradigm: http://tnlp.valuescentre.com/

What do you notice is different when you make values-based decisions, rather than business-as-usual decisions?

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The Corporate Valentine

It is here again – Valentine’s Day! Roses, chocolate, intimate dinners, handholding, gazing into each others eyes – it is so wonderful to connect at this intimate level with a loved one. It really is a little piece of paradise – a cloud of wonder and delicious bliss that surrounds us at that moment.
Ok – so you are at work, and you don’t have a loved one to share a moment like that with. No reason to cry the blues, because here is the good news…you are ALWAYS in relationship, whether you have a lover or not. If you are at work, you are certainly in relationship with a number of people and concepts. Booooring – you say. No romance here. Well yes, abstaining from office romance may be a good thing – depending on your corporate etiquette.
What I am talking about is taking a close look at relationships around your place of work.

First, what are the relationships like with the people at work? What about your business partner? How would it be if just for today, you brought a little more of YOU to those people…what if you showed up with a side of you that your colleagues don’t know and would really enjoy? You just may give opportunity to some transformation to a relationship. All relationships are work in progress – any positive input you provide will generate a positive return – whether you see immediate rewards or not.

Secondly, let’s look at your relationship with the work you do. What kind of leadership are you exercising over the way you manage your job? Is what you are doing congruent with what you want to be doing? Where are you in default mode? What results might you achieve if you were intentional about those areas? Effective leadership, personal or managerial, means self-awareness and a measure of control. Look closely at why you chose the work you do, and how you feel about it currently. Analyze the gap.

Last but not least, how is your relationship to your employer – the firm or corporation that you trade your waking hours with for pay? How committed are you to their goals and strategies? When you contemplate that question, do you feel blah, or are you energized by reconnecting with their core business mission? What is it costing you and the firm to have you feel the way you do? What would it take to improve this?

How engaged you are at work every day is based on your overall commitment to the company and/or its people. Engagement has so very much to do with commitment – and every solid, successful and profitable relationship has commitment right at the very core. As corporate coaches we see how people’s business relationships can be rescued from a downward spiral, once they are addressed. Maybe you don’t feel much commitment at all towards your employer or the people you work with – there is much information there as well. You always have the relationship with your Self. What are YOU committed to? What do YOU stand for? What are the “Must Have’s” in your life?

Today, on Valentine’s Day, go and indulge a relationship – have some fun, show up with a hidden side of you, and transform someone’s day, as well as your own. That is a surefire way to have a Happy Valentine’s Day, no matter where you are.

“The true voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

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