Coach-coachee chemistry charts great careers

by Preeti Prayag 3 minutes read

One coach does not fit all! Your colleague’s coach may not work as well for you as well as (s)he did for him or her. Just like how your mentor may not necessarily be able to work wonders for your friend’s morale as she does for yours. Picking a coach who meets your needs, goals and personality is half the job done. So, how do you choose a coach who is right for you? We’ll tell you how.

Recognise the need
Are you looking for a coach to guide you as you scale the heights of your career? By recognising the need, you are opening yourself for an expansion of learning, and in turn, stepping onto the growth ladder of your career.

Appraise the need
You need to do two different assessments before you choose your coach. One is a self -assessment of your needs and the other is of the coach’s role in your professional development.

Mentoring Matters - Coach coachee chemistry charts great careers Self-assessment

List your current career goals

This is a roll call to decipher your needs. Get clarity on your goals by answering this important question: What are the performance outcomes I am looking at and by when do I want to achieve these? This will help you sign up with the right coach.

Set a timeframe for the coaching programme

Though there is no ideal timeframe for a coaching programme, you must establish your own target time to realise perceptible benefits and achieve your goals. You can address the time-span issue when you assess the coach’s role: do you want the coach to help you with a specific issue that you are facing today or just general issues related to managing employees, bosses, peers and projects?

Decide how much time and money you are willing to invest in coaching

Apportion your resources in a pragmatic manner as both you and the coach have to juggle around your work commitments and make time for the programme. The timeframe also decides the amount that you will need to invest in the programme.

Mentor assessment

Go for mentors that have good references

Talk to colleagues or friends who can help you find a certified mentor and with a good track record. Make sure your mentor is not experimenting on you with his or her ideas. Mentors should have a passion for mentoring and coaching people. Ferret out as much background info as possible on your prospective mentor. [AK1]

Check on the coach’s professional achievements

Do you want your coach to be from the same industry or different industry and same domain? Sometimes, coaches have experience in a totally different industry, but are competent enough to help you apply the right skills needed in a situation. So, check on the coach’s professional achievements before signing them on. Find out if the prospective coach has done work similar to the one you are looking for.

List the qualities (priority wise) you are looking for in your coach

No coach is a match made in heaven. So make sure the chosen coach fulfils a good majority of your needs. Do a reality check on his or her strengths and weaknesses, and make a checklist of the capabilities that you will draw on.
Don’t choose a coach who intimidates youMentoring Matters

Is the coach easy to interact with? Don’t choose a coach who will overbear you and put you through the wringer. In this case, the whole exercise is detrimental to your progress. Choose a coach who will give you the space and freedom that’s necessary in any relationship so that you grow professionally.
Ensure that your coach is available for you at the pre-decided time.

There are some coaches who are so busy in their professional lives that they are not available when needed. Make a schedule and get it approved prior to embarking on the programme, so that there are no ambiguities in this regard.

Other hygiene factors
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A good coach must possess good listening skills and speak the language you do. He or she must help you make decisions and not decide for you. And of course, the coach should be unbiased about people and their challenges.

Deliberate on these points before choosing your coach. After all, the coach-coachee chemistry is the key to success in charting a great career path!

Chart your career path today. Click here and drop us a line and we’ll find the right coach to help you on your career journey.

Mentoring Matters


Preeti Prayag is the co-founder of Mentoring Matters, a platform for businesses and individuals across industries to drive holistic professional growth across mid and senior-level positions through dedicated coaching by certified professionals.


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