How to Choose a Coach (Professional)?

And avoid some pitfalls…

This morning, I was enjoying my little chaï latte on my terrace, when I seized and came across this title on the cover: “How to choose your coach?”

So I put my mug immediately to throw me with delight in reading this paper, which I admit, put me in a situation of ( small ) frustration, because there was a lack of information, to my sense.

How to Choose a Coach (Professional)?
How to Choose a Coach (Professional)?

And unfortunately, I have not found this article enlightening….

How to choose Coach?

As I have a (big) tendency to listen to my emotions (frustration is one), I felt the need to write this article to give you some details about what coaching is, and about the points to be checked so as not to be mistaken in the choice of your professional coach.

The profession is not yet regulated (everyone can today proclaim themselves “coach”) , so there is no barrier to entry in theory for who wants to start (but in reality you will understand over the lines that barriers, there are, if one wishes to make this activity his job, given the requirement of discipline when it is practiced in the rules of art) .

The term “coaching” is very fashionable and represents a market that is emerging, and whose financial potential is substantial, say.

So be and in the choice of your professional coach, not to be fooled By syndrome that currently plagues the place … including “demanding” professional coaches, and Coached clients are the collateral victims.

I will also take advantage of this article to give information about my practice of coaching, and to inform you on how me, personally, I do everything to remain the most pro possible (in Chief Warrant Officer Mode in my practice sometimes, I know, but it’s important :))

And one more thing: I know that my blog is read by many coaches or aspiring coaches. I hope you find here a light on what our potential customers are entitled to expect, by calling on us.

Coach Tools

Coaching or advice?

“Coaching” in the broad sense is a word that is being used more and more today as a shortcut to say “a subject specialist X who will help me organize my wedding / lose weight / retype little room / find a girlfriend”. In short, a specialist of the subject who interests me and who will give me tips because he knows how to do it, and not me.

Except that professional coaching, that’s not it. That’s accompaniment

Here, I’m going to talk to you about “professional coaching,” as I understand it (and which is a rather orthodox vision, I grant you.) But a dish towel is not a towel, is it? Not?)

What is professional coaching?

The professional coaching, as its name suggests, comes as part of a problematic work situation that an individual brings to his coach in the form of a request if you want to hire a coach please visit It is a technique of accompaniment of the individual (or the group), whose precise frame is defined initially by a contract of iintervention and which is neither of the council, nor of the therapy.

The coach is not a specialist in the subject brought to him by the coache, but he is a specialist on how to question him so that he can find his solutions on his own.

The coach does not give, in principle, no advice when he intervenes in a coaching contract: “He does not give fish, he teaches his client to make his fishing rod”.

Its purpose is therefore to develop the autonomy and potential of its client, so that the objectives defined in the coaching contract are achieved at the end of the coaching.

So take a coach to learn to do everything alone, and take a consultant if you need advice, or do things for you. It all depends on your ultimate goal, and the time you have, in fact.

A professional coach must be seriously trained

We do not improvise coach. Accompanying individuals in discomfort, or even in difficulty, in pain, involves being trained seriously in specific and professional support techniques.

The training coaching flourishes in every way, because the concept is fashionable, and works very well. There are more and more requests, it’s true. So, on the Internet, you will find how to train in coaching in 3 days. Seriously … 3 days! > Which means that after 3-day training, you can say “coach”, and accompany people in burn-out, for example?

Personally, it shocks me, that “coaching trainings” sell that …

How to check that a coach is well trained?

Ask your coach how he initially trained in coaching, but that’s not all.

Make sure that he continues to train regularly, to update his knowledge, and keep a practice related to developments in the field.

A serious professional coach must answer you without hesitation, because he has nothing to hide and knows that this question is important.

There are a handful of serious schools that provide long-term training, and universities and IAE start to get into their management or HR.

Be aware of the notion of “certified coach”:  Certifications / accreditations recognized as official are those from the main federations. Therefore, I let you make your own opinion about coaching schools that “certify” their own trainees, their certification “home”….

What about RNCP certification?

At this time, schools are also promoting their “RNCP” certification. So. This means, yes, that the training in question is included in the national register of certifications, so there is a way to get it financed by the CPF for example. It also means that its evaluation methods correspond to its educational objectives, and so on.

But it is not a label attesting the quality of a training 🙂

Because for me, for an unregulated profession, it was a guarantee of quality, if only by the level of selection of the training (20 places per year for the IAE, against promotions of 200 to 300 places available for some “certifying” coaching schools …)  . So I left for 273h of training over a year at the time, writing a professional dissertation, and a rigorous and demanding evaluation process . ( 🏼 The details are here )

A professional coach must be supervised

Supervision, individually or in groups, is the fact, for a coach, to be regularly coached himself on his practice by a more experienced coach.

The supervision of the coach serves in particular to validate, confront, evolve his practice, and ensure to stay in the nails of ethics and ethics of professional coaching.

Any professional coach worthy of the name must be supervised regularly. Even if it represents time, and a financial investment.

This is proof that he is constantly in the desire to improve the quality of his follow-ups . This element is also to check with the coaches you will meet.

A professional coach works under a contract

Check that your coach offers you a specific framework, which is the subject of a written contract.

This framework is characterized by a number of sessions defined in advance, a global goal of follow-up, a known end. All materialized in a written contract, which must be signed at the start of monitoring.

If a “coach” wants to sell you a coach for a period longer than one year, you are entitled to question him about it (the goal of coaching is to make the client autonomous, not to keep it as long as possible …)

A serious professional coach must have a strict ethic and ethics

A “real” professional coach must have a true coaching ethic and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

This deontology is based on the elements we see here, namely the obligation to train , to be supervised , to set a contractual framework , not to intervene outside one’s field of competence (to be mistaken for a psychiatrist, or to make false promises , etc.) , and not to take the ascendancy (power, what) over his client, in any way.

Examples in bulk:

  • We do not coach two people close (including partners, they must be coached by two different coaches: In a relationship, we cannot be judge and party).
  • We cannot answer the request of a company that would coach one of its executives to decide to leave, or to cover itself with potential litigation labor court   (yes, it’s crazy, but it exists, I have already refused a request of this type).
  • We cannot promise the moon; moreover the coach has an obligation of means, not results. There is no secret; the result will be the result of YOUR work.
  • One cannot have any intention for his client, except that of accompanying him as best as possible towards autonomy. Making decisions in its place is no.

A professional coach works on himself

A serious professional coach has coached himself, and has often been / is accompanied by a therapist . He must commit to do everything to maintain his mental and emotional balance , to ensure a perfect neutrality in the accompaniment of his clients.

Check it out

A practical professional coach (and paid for) his coaching

How many coaches do not practice their art because they cannot find customers? Full!

Some run a huge resume in training or business consulting, and also have rope coaching at their bow, but do not practice it. Moreover, customer references that appear on their site are often customers of their training or their consulting missions.  The interesting point to check, therefore.

A professional coach works on himself
A professional coach works on himself

Instead, ask your potential coach how many paid hours of practice he can claim, not how long he has been coaching. Because being “certified coach” for 10 years but for 5 customers, it does not have the same meaning as being certified for 5 years, with a thousand paid hours of sales, is not it?

Idem. When you start in the profession and you have no client, you are tempted to coach his entourage for a few euros, or through bartering services. Except that it’s not professional coaching> coaching your friends, it’s not ethical. Do not monetize your coaching service, it plays on the effectiveness of coaching, and it can even be harmful for the person coached.

What are the prices of professional coaching?

In my opinion, a coach who prizes, is often a coach who has no customer (the classic history of supply and demand, what!) . Check that the price of its services is consistent with the market. To find out what the prices are in general, I wrote a full article on coaching rates here.

A coach always offers an exploratory interview

Anyway, I urge you to meet several coaches before you decide. A professional coach will always offer an interview called “exploratory”, before committing to a contract. This interview (free) is used to define in particular if the coach suits you, and if you have the feeling with him.

When the coach, it allows him to define if the problem that you bring him is in his field of competence. For example, I can decide not to accept a coaching, if I detect in an exploratory interview, that the problem that the customer brings me is rather of a therapeutic order, which is not my job.

So if you think this line of practice is right for you, let’s meet in the framework of this famous exploratory interview, or discovery session. And check if we can work together?

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