Hiring a Coach
When hiring a coach, I also think it’s important to know whether the coach has been successful in an earlier career. If you are a lawyer hiring a lawyer to coach you, has the coach been successful in his or her prior experience as a lawyer? After all, if you hire a coach to improve your tennis game, you want to know that the coach can return a volley and clear the net.
Find out if the coach has studied coaching, and has been certified in a coaching program. Certification does not guarantee competence, but the lack of certification should be questioned.
What has the coach written and where has the coach spoken? Can the coach provide references? Do you trust the coach and can you go to on an edge with her or him? If the coach is any good, you’ll be asked questions that provoke you. Your choices will be to answer the provocative question as best you can, or to step back and simply say you don’t have an answer. If you decide to wrestle with the questions, you’ll learn a lot.
The benefits of being on an edge (in a conversation or otherwise) were described by the 19th century writer, Guillaume Apollinaire.
Come to the edge the voice said softly.
No they said it’s too high.
Come to the edge the voice insisted.
No she said it’s too dangerous.
Come to the edge the voice demanded.
No he said I might fall.
Come to the edge the voice commanded.
Reluctantly, I came to the edge.
He pushed me off.
And I flew.