A coach coaching a client

Bad Coaches

Uh oh, I think I hired a bad Coach

Kudos for taking the initiative to work with a coach on your career aspirations, relationship, encore career, leadership, or whatever issue you may have.  That’s a huge step in the right direction and not an easy nor cheap endeavor.  I’m sure you did some research on coaches as well as read a bit on their websites or wherever else they have information, then you made a decision and hired someone.  Now you’re into the first session or maybe number 2 or 3 of a multi-session package and the alarm bells are beginning to sound in your head.

Ding, ding, ding…

You’re now getting the sense that this person to whom you’ve entrusted with your problem (as well as some hard earned cash) isn’t all you thought they should be.  They aren’t listening to you at all, plus seem to have their own agenda to fulfill.  Now you’re thinking “I hired a bad coach and what am I going to do about it?”

First of all, your coach should always follow your lead.  Yes, they dig, push, hold you accountable, and may make you uncomfortable upon occasion, but a coach should listen to what you say, read between the lines, listen for what you’re not saying, pay attention to your hesitancy and ask empowering questions to get you to think differently.  They should NEVER have an agenda of their own.

You’re not broken.

A bad coach tries to fix you.  A good coach knows you’re not broken.  They know how to work in partnership with a client to achieve positive results based on the clients needs, not their own.  A good coach will work hard to challenge you, inspire you and get to know you on a personal level.  A bad coach may use intimidation, or negativity to force you to follow their doctrine.  That should absolutely never happen in a good coaching relationship.

You may know pretty quickly that the coach you hired isn’t right for you, that they don’t have your best interest at heart, or that you just don’t have the rapport with each other that you would have hoped.  You may leave the session more discouraged than when you walked in or  dread having the session entirely.

Now what?

Don’t be discouraged or worried about ending the coach-client relationship.  And don’t wait to do so hoping it will get better.  It won’t.  If you have concerns, act on them immediately.  Tell your coach that you want to terminate the relationship and would like a refund on the unused sessions.   If the coach is ethical you’ll get a refund, if not… you won’t.

Finding another coach.

I’m not going to tell you that only coaches that are certified are good, but at least you know they had to pass tests and coach a coach to prove they understood the coaching concepts.  You can also check to see if they are a member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation), it’s the ethical body for coaches.  Ask them how they coach or what tools they use.  Ask them how and why they got into coaching.

Now go out and find a coach to work as your partner.

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