10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Coach


Dr. John Weaver

Business Psychologist and Executive Coach



1)    What is coaching?


Coaching is a one to one relationship with a professional who is invested in your success.  A great coach challenges you to achieve your goals by working at your highest levels of excellence.  One way to think about it is that a coach is someone who makes you do things you don’t want to do in order to become someone you want to become.


2)    Why do I need a coach?


Before you hire a coach, you need to think about what you need.  Do you want help starting a business Are you looking to be a better manager?  Do you have specific problems that you need to solve?  Coaching can help you in all of these areas.


3)    What will it cost?


Costs vary by the region of the country, the extensiveness of the interventions required and the experience of the coach.  Be clear about the costs prior to initiating a coaching relationship.  In the southeastern Wisconsin region, the standard fees run about $200 per hour, although many coaching sessions are done in 30 minute segments.  Coaching sessions can be scheduled weekly, bi-weekly or occasionally on a monthly basis.  Some coaches offer a cost reduction for sessions that are prepaid in quantity.


4)    What is the return on investment?

The ROI for coaching can seem to be too good to be true!  In studies that have been done on the impact of coaching, the results have consistently shown a return on investment of more than 500%.  In addition, there are improvements in morale, lower turnover and increased productivity.  Coaching makes good business sense.


5)    How long will coaching last?


The length of coaching will vary according to the issues that are being addressed.  When goals are clearly specified, the coaching interventions can be designed to be targeted and brief.  Most coaching relationships last a minimum of six months, and for those who are utilizing coaching as a tool for achieving more professional success there may be an ongoing interaction with a great coach.


6)    How do I find a coach?


Finding the right coach takes effort.  There are some sources that provide information about coaches nationwide.  Coach training organizations like the International Coaching Federation, Mentor Coach or Coach U provide access to students that have been given specific training in coaching skills.  Business psychologists and other consulting firms often provide coaching as one of their services.  Many people find coaches through word of mouth referrals.


7)    How do I make sure the coach and I will be a good match?


It is important to locate a coach who can help you with your goals.  It is equally important to find a coach with whom you feel comfortable.  You can find out more about a potential coach by looking at his or her marketing material, reading any publications he or she has written, or attending a presentation delivered by the coach.  Most coaches offer a free consultation Take advantage of it to determine your comfort level with his or

her coaching style.


8)    What credentials should the coach have?


At this time, coaching is an unregulated profession.  Individuals with many different backgrounds are offering services as a coach.  Each of the major coach training organizations is developing certifications for coaches.  Some coaches are also licensed as psychologists or professional counselors, while others have expertise based on business experience.  All of this can be quite confusing.  It is important to learn about the qualifications of your coach to determine if it matches your needs.


9)    May I speak with someone you have coached?


The coaching relationship is confidential.  A coach should not provide a list of clients to anyone without first obtaining permission (in writing) from each client.  However, it is usually possible for the coach to arrange for a conversation between you and a client who is willing to discuss the benefits of coaching those who are interested in learning about the process.


10)           How do I get started?


If you are interested in coaching, the first step is to contact me by telephone at (262) 798-2728 or by email at mailto:jweaver@psychologyforbusiness.com, mailto:ldahlke@psychologyforbusiness.com, or mailtopglass@psychologyforbusiness.com  and arrange for a FREE ½ hour consultation.