It took some time for me to choose the mentors and coaches that I have grown to respect today.
I know that it’s incredibly difficult to understand who can really help you and how, when it comes to looking for a leadership expert or mentor.
Because of this, I decided to share my experience with you in this blog post to help you when it comes to choosing the perfect match.
1. Ask for referrals
Referrals will always be a huge help when it comes to finding a leadership expert or coach.
By reaching out to your network and asking anyone from your managers, colleagues, or friends - you know that you will get an honest opinion in return. They will probably know the coach personally or have a connection to them already, so you can trust their judgement.
2. Read their blogs and Articles
Have a look through any blog posts or articles that the career and leadership expert or mentor has written to understand if their ideas resonate with you. You will be able to get a good feel for the coach you are researching as you read about what interests them and their general approach. If they don’t have a blog, see if you can find information on their website or social media channels.
3. Book a free session with them
Many career and leadership experts and mentors have free introduction sessions available with them to help you understand if you are a strong match for each other. During these sessions you can gain clarity and get more of an insight into what their coaching style is like, by asking questions and finding more information about their experience. This is an excellent way to really get to know your coach before making a final decision. Use this time to get to know them!
4. Ensure the coach listens to you
Be careful if the coach speaks more than you during the first session. A professional will allow you share your challenges and ask them questions, so they can help you and understand your problems. If they are speaking at you, not listening to you, and only talking about themselves, this could raise a red flag.
5. Stay clear from rude coaches
If a career and leadership coach or mentor is late to a call or meeting and they do not even apologise or explain their reasoning, this is a big warning sign. Professional coaches should respect your time and most importantly, you. Coaches should be setting a good example, plus being polite is an absolute must-have if you are to collaborate with this person.
6. Research into their experience.
It’s a good idea to research into the experience of the career leadership expert or mentor and see whether they have any professional experience relevant to you. If the coach you are researching into is an expert in their field, it’s important that they are able to show their experience to prove to you that they have the knowledge to guide you.
7. Trust your gut
If you feel stressed out of anxious during conversations with a coach, or you feel over spoken, unheard or not listened to - this coach is probably not the best match for you. If you are getting any feeling at all that this may not be the best person for you and your needs, take some time to think, regather your thoughts and continue your search. There is no rush, but it’s at the highest importance to find the right coach for you as you are the one investing your time, and money.
8. Ask yourself what you want to achieve
Following on from that last point, start asking yourself questions such as ‘am I ready to invest in this’? This doesn’t just mean investing money, but also your time. Think about what results and goals you want to achieve in the long run. By doing this you can ensure you are not steered away from your initial request. Chat to the coach about this and make sure they are aware of your goals.
9. A real professional understands that they cannot help anyone with everything.
It’s important to ask your coach what their specialty is, and how exactly they help their clients. Coaches should have fields of expertise and niches just like other service businesses. If a coach claims to be an expert in absolutely everything, I would be wary. It sounds great on paper, but you would rather work with a coach that specialises just in the key areas you are looking for.
10. Professionals should understand that you are in control
True professionals understand that the final solution is their client’s or prospect’s decision. Sharing their experience does not mean they should be taking the decision on behalf of or instead of you. You are in control and you should see the results you are aiming for. Your coach should be able to understand this and work with you to achieve this.
I hope this blog post helps you while you investigate choosing the best career and leadership expert or mentor for yourself.
If you would like to find out if we would be a good fit working together, I am a leadership and career strategist. I offer free introduction calls to discuss requirements, so if you would like to book a call in with me – please do here!