Do you know how to select coaches you can trust?
In an environment where everyone is a coach, the quality, professionalism and standard of the executive coach is crucial to your results.
Research shows that the selection of coaches is still largely unstructured in South Africa and many organisations do not understand what to look for – selection is through referrals, internet searches or standard procurement/tender processes, where price is a high consideration. Consequently, sponsors face significant risk that coaching will not deliver expected results.
Senior coaches reflected on how aspects such as systemic appreciation, understanding of levels of complexity, values alignment, specific experience and competencies, and proof of ongoing professional development are rarely considered. One pointed out the diffence between hiring senior leaders and hiring coaches to work with senior leaders, reflecting that, “You’ll spend thousands on a selection process for people to work in your business, and have virtually no selection process for the coaches you pay to work with them”.
Organisations should ensure they select their coaches as appropriate to their intention for the coaching. Yet only one third of sponsors interviewed had a process for selecting coaches suited to organisational requirements and the levels of their leaders.
Sponsors from more ‘coaching-mature’ environments use coaches with whom they have built trusted relationships. Prior to engaging them, they checked qualifications, experience and alignment with culture and values. They warn that credentialing alone does not guarantee ethical practice and competency, and recommend interviewing coaches with the same rigour as one would a potential employee.