How Do You Know if Your Coach Is Good?

how do you know if your coach is good

When you own your own business, every decision you make can feel like it’s under a microscope – from picking the “right” kind of coffee for the break room to choosing a business coach who can give you accurate advice and helpful suggestions.

This blog is all about that last one – selecting a business coach. It’s a bit like dating, isn’t it? You’re looking for that perfect match who not only ‘gets’ you and your business but also challenges you to grow and thrive in ways you hadn’t even imagined.

A good coach can be the catalyst for unprecedented growth and success, while a not-so-great one… well, let’s just say it’s a learning experience of a different kind…

How do you sift through the sea of ‘expert advice’ and find a coach who is truly worth their salt? I’ve been there, and trust me, it’s not as straightforward as picking the first name that pops up on a Google search, especially as coaching options have increased rapidly as more people leave the rat race and stride out on their own pathway.

In my journey around the business traps I’ve met all kinds of coaches, some who’ve well and truly earned their stripes and others who’ve delivered face-palm-worthy missteps. In that time I’ve gathered some pretty solid insights on how to tell if a coach is right up your alley or if they’re just cruising by on buzzwords and charisma, so, grab a cup of your favourite brew – be it coffee, tea, or something a bit stronger (I won’t tell!) – and let’s dive into what makes a business coach not just good, but great, and how to spot them in the wild.

What is The Role of a Business Coach?

Identifying a good business coach starts by understanding how a coach’s role works to strengthen a business owner’s journey. 

The real value in hiring a business coach is you get an outside observer who can provide valuable insights and guidance to help identify problems and fast-track you to your goals.

As well as providing guidance and support in leadership, communication, and team building, a good coach will be able to help you with a variety of business mindsets and structures like how to:

  • Identify and overcome obstacles
  • Set achievable and inspiring goals
  • Assign tasks for goal achievement
  • Make confident business decisions
  • Reduce stress and avoid burnout
  • Address gaps in your skills and knowledge
  • Handle conflict and resolve issues
  • Stay motivated and on task
  • Create and maintain an incredible workplace culture
  • Increase profits and help your business excel

Ultimately, a good coach is there to help you achieve your full potential and reach your business goals faster – and less painfully – than you would if you took the journey alone.

Identifying a Good Business Coach

Not all business coaches are created equal, and since no one is going to put their hand up on their service page and say, “I’m fake!”, it can be difficult to determine if a coach is going to be worthwhile or not. 

Here are some ways to identify a good business coach.

1. They’re More Listener, Less Lecturer

Steer clear of a coach who loves the sound of their own voice more than helping your business. This is your journey and they are there to help you out, not give you a lecture or make things their way.  A great coach listens more than they speak. They’re like a detective with a magnifying glass, examining the corners of your business and asking questions that make you think, not just nod along. They understand your business’s unique rhythm and work with it, not against it.

2. They’ve Got Real-World Experience

I don’t know about you, but I want someone who’s been in the trenches, not just someone who’s read about the battle. A great coach has hands-on experience and isn’t afraid to share their own failures and successes. This experience is invaluable; they’re not just sharing theories, they’re imparting wisdom gained from real-world trials and triumphs.

3. They Don’t Have a ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Approach

Every business, like every individual, is unique. I’ve seen coaching programs that apply the same framework to every problem, like using a hammer for every repair job. A great coach tailors their advice to fit your specific needs and challenges. They’re flexible and adaptable, changing their strategy as your business evolves and as you pick up the skills and mindset with each step too.

4. They Challenge You – Respectfully

A coach who just nods and smiles at every idea isn’t doing you any favours. The best coaches aren’t afraid to challenge you, pushing you out of your comfort zone, but always with respect and a clear rationale. It’s like having a personal trainer for your business – they know when to push you and when to offer support. You can’t grow – and your business can’t grow – if you stay in your comfort zone. To see success and personal growth, you have to step into the growth zone, which is a hell of a lot easier when you have a coach’s support.

5. Results Speak Louder Than Words

Ultimately, the proof is in the pudding – or in this case, the profit and loss statement. A great coach helps you achieve tangible results. This doesn’t always mean instant success – sometimes, it’s about setting the groundwork for long-term growth – but you should be able to see a clear line between the before and after in terms of your business performance and your own development as a leader.

6. They’re Your Business’s Cheerleader… and Reality Check

A great coach wears two hats – they’re your biggest cheerleader and also your honest critic. They celebrate your victories, no matter how small, and give you a candid reality check when you’re off course. They’re invested in your success, but they’re not yes-men or women.

7. They’re a Lifelong Learner

The best coaches are constantly learning, staying updated with the latest in business strategies, technology, and industry trends. They’ll also be pushing the limits in their personal growth and mindset and using their unique time with you to grow and develop their coaching toolset and communications. This way they are able to bring fresh perspectives and ideas to each session, preventing you and your business from stagnating.

8. Chemistry Counts

Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of chemistry. You’re going to spend a lot of time with this person. My favourite coach was someone I could grab a coffee with, laugh with, and, more importantly, be brutally honest with. If you don’t click, even a coach with a stellar resume might not be the right fit for you.

Choosing the Right Coach for Your Business

When it comes to choosing a business coach, it’s important to find someone who can help you achieve your goals and align with your vision, understand your business challenges and has the ability to foster a positive impact.

A coach who shares your vision will be more invested in your success, and will be able to provide more targeted guidance to help you reach your goals. They should also be able to help you develop a positive mindset and attitude towards your business, which can have a significant impact on your success.

Evaluating Potential Coaches

Evaluating a potential business coach can be challenging, but there are a number of key indicators that can help you determine whether a coach is effective or not, for example, their:

  • Experience and credentials
  • Coaching style and approach
  • Availability and Accessibility
  • Track record of success with other clients
  • Return on investment
  • Transparency, and trust

Finding what works for you and your working and learning style is going to be the main focus. Consider scheduling flexibility, response times, and communication channels when looking at options. You want a coach who is available for ongoing support and follow-up after coaching sessions as well (which could be as simple as answering your questions in their Facebook group).

Just ask for what you need. A good coach will be open and honest with you about their experience, qualifications, and approach to coaching. They will also be willing to provide you with references and other information that can help you make an informed decision.

Getting a return on investment is important – this is a business investment and needs to be treated that way. Weight up payments against the benefits you’ll be receiving. 

How do you know if your coach is good? – FAQs

1. What are the qualities of a good coach?

A good coach possesses several key qualities, including:

Expertise: A good coach has a deep understanding of their field and can provide valuable insights and guidance.

Effective Communication: They communicate clearly, actively listen, and can adapt their communication style to your needs.

Empathy: A good coach understands your perspective and feelings, showing empathy and support.

Adaptability: They tailor their approach to your individual needs and goals, recognising that one size doesn’t fit all.

Accountability: They hold you accountable for your commitments and help you stay on track.

Motivation: A good coach inspires and motivates you to reach your full potential.

Continuous Learning: They stay updated with the latest developments in their field to offer you the best guidance.

2. What makes an ineffective coach?

An ineffective coach may lack the qualities mentioned above. Common traits of an ineffective coach include:

Poor Communication: They may not listen well, fail to understand your needs, or provide unclear guidance.

Lack of Expertise: An ineffective coach might lack the necessary knowledge and experience to provide valuable insights.

Rigidity: They may insist on a one-size-fits-all approach without adapting to your unique situation.

Lack of Accountability: They do not help you set and achieve goals, making it easy to fall off track.

Negativity: An ineffective coach might demotivate you or lack the ability to encourage your progress.

3. How do you trust a coach?

Building trust with your coach is crucial. To trust your coach, consider the following:

Qualifications: Ensure your coach has the necessary credentials and experience in their field.

Clear Communication: Engage in open and honest communication to express your goals and expectations.

References: Seek recommendations or references from previous clients to gauge their trustworthiness.

Consistency: A reliable coach consistently demonstrates their commitment to your progress and well-being.

Transparency: Trust is built on transparency. Your coach should be open about their methods and approaches.

4. How do I get along with my coach?

Building a strong coach-client relationship is essential for success. Here’s how to get along with your coach:

Communication: Maintain open and honest communication. Share your thoughts, concerns, and goals with your coach.

Feedback: Provide feedback on the coaching process. Let your coach know what works and what doesn’t.

Set Expectations: Clarify your expectations and ensure your coach understands your needs.

Respect: Respect your coach’s expertise and guidance, and they should respect your goals and boundaries.

Build Rapport: Establish a personal connection by taking the time to get to know your coach and vice versa.

5. What separates a good coach from a bad coach?

The difference between a good coach and a bad coach lies in their qualities and effectiveness. A good coach possesses expertise, communicates effectively, shows empathy, and adapts their approach. They inspire, motivate, and hold you accountable for your progress. On the other hand, a bad coach lacks these qualities, with poor communication, rigidity, and a lack of expertise. An ineffective coach can be demotivating and hinder your growth rather than facilitating it. Therefore, it’s essential to recognise these differences to make an informed choice when selecting a coach.

How do you know if your coach is good? – Final Thoughts

Finding the right business coach is a blend of intuition and due diligence. It’s about finding someone who not only brings expertise and experience to the table but also aligns with your business ethos and personal style. Trust me, when you find the right match, it’s a game-changer for you and your business. If you feel like we can help you achieve your business goals, book a free call and let’s see if we’re a good fit. Let the journey begin!