You’re BAD At Hiring Coaches

Here’s what you want when you hire a coach:

  • You want to hire the best coach you can possibly hire.
  • You don’t want them to cost TOO much
  • You want them to help you become more than you imagined.
  • You want to be able to afford to work with them and be happy to refer them.
  • It wouldn’t hurt
  • You want them to be inspiring

And yet, most coaches feel completely lost when it comes to finding a good coach to work with. They poke and prod, they guess around, they hire a celebrity (and are usually disappointed) they hire someone affordable (and you’re highly underwhelmed)

How do you avoid this? How do you hire a good coach you ‘afford’ that helps you get to where you want to go?

It’s one of the most important and most challenging things you can do as a coach.

Let’s look at a few essential ideas.


1. Kick the tires – Hire a coach once you’ve experienced your coaching

The first idea is that you want to hire a coach based on experience, NOT hype. Some coaches have stunning websites, some intelligent marketing strategies, and others have a rock-solid sales process. But one thing FEW coaches have is the coaching goods. 

This is why it’s so important for you to kick the tires of a coach you want to hire and experience what it’s like to work with them. For most coaches, this means doing a session with them. For other coaches, this means just spending some time with them. 

When I hire a coach, I’m looking for the IMPACT of their coaching on me. I want to see things I haven’t before. I want them to use new language and introduce me to new concepts or new ways of looking at old concepts. I want them to be present and feel like they have some structure to their coaching but also some flow. 

I’ve met A LOT of ‘well known’ coaches whose coaching was sort of meh. But people step over that and hire them IN SPITE of the session. For me, it’s about the session. If it’s not a good session from the start, then it probably won’t work later. 

Questions to consider:

  • How was their session?
  • What distinctions did I make?
  • Who were they being? 
  • What was I present to with them?

2. Make sure to choose a coach that will bring diversity and clarity

Often I see coaches hiring the same coach or the same kind of coach for years. And don’t get me wrong, I think something is compelling about working with a great coach for 2-5years. Changing coaches matters less than changing the scope of work. The scope of your work is simply the area of focus you have in your coaching. Some coaches work on ontology or being, others work on a somatic level, others focus on strategy. 

As you get coached, you’ll gain distinctions in one area, and you’ll also develop blind spots in that area, which is why it’s so vital to moving your focus around. In the same way that you look at a sculpture from several different angles, you want to look at your coach and life from various angles. 

A few exceptional coaches can do this with their clients over time, but for most coaches, the sweet spot in 6 months – 2 years. That’s long enough for you to go deep enough with one person, but not so long you get in a rut. 

Then when you hire your NEXT coach or think about the coaches you want to look at this year, consider the scope of work you want to tackle. Then make sure you mix it up. 

Often the most significant breakthroughs come from working with someone who sees the world from a different perspective. 

Questions to consider:

  • What kind of coach have I been working with?
  • What are the limitations of that work?
  • Who am I drawn to? 
  • How can I mix it up without running away?

3. Hire a coach that sits at the edge of your comfort zone

  • Hire a coach that really INTIMIDATES you, and it might push you. However, it might also SHUT YOU DOWN!!! with fears, doubt, and pressure. 

  • Hire a coach that’s like your best friend, and you’ll feel comfortable. But you’ll leave a lot of growth on the table, that is if you even really grow at all. 

For me, the sweet spot has always been at the edge of my comfort zone. I’ve found that coaches who I really like but who I wonder if I’m ready to work with or not, who feel like they’re a stretch for my abilities have always been the ones who have helped me grow the most. 

That’s not to say you shouldn’t break this rule sometimes. After all, diversity of experience is key for growth, but if you want to make this a year of exceptional growth, find an excellent coach that pushes you but also inspires you. 

Questions to consider:

  • Does my ego feel nervous around this coach?
  • What could I be projecting onto this coach?
  • And how might it influence my choice? 
  • Am I excited about the idea of working with this coach? 
  • Am I scared by the idea of working with this coach? 

4. Pick a coach and then pay a coach

I’ve talked to several coaches who said they really WANTED to work with me, but they thought it would cost too much and be too hard. Only to discover that I charged less than what they paid another less skilled coach and that while working with me was tough, it wasn’t as impossible as they thought. 

You often don’t get all that you could have because instead of getting clear on what you want and then making it possible, you likely do what most people do. You figure out what you think you can get, and then you choose between those options. 

It’s like not realizing there’s something besides the dollar menu at mickey d’s and trying to choose between nuggets and a fish sandwich. 

So when it comes to hiring a coach, let go of money or how much you THINK someone charges. Instead, describe the coach you want to work with, what you would want to get out of working with that coach. Then go find that coach. 

Ask around and have some conversations. Do sessions with 2-5 coaches and find the one you want. Then figure out what they charge and choose from there. 

You may NOT be able to figure out how to work with your dream coach, but you might be surprised by what you find. When you go from describe and manage to declare and fulfill, so much more becomes possible. 

Questions to consider:

  • If money was no object, would I hire this coach? 
  • Who do I really want to work with, but am afraid to admit I have a strong desire for it?
  • How am I using reasons and considerations around money and readiness to hold me back from what I want?

Ok, that’s IT!!!

Try these 4 things out and see how it goes. 

You might even want to map out who you want to work with this year or some coaches and programs you want to consider. 

Then take a risk and reach out to some coaches and be in the hunt! Finding your next coach can have an AMAZING impact on your year and what you want to do as a coach.