Coaching can be a powerful way to help employees, team leaders, and even CEOs better navigate their daily challenges. It can make room for growth that benefits both the individual receiving the coaching, as well as the overall company.
However, it’s fair to say that not all coaches are created equal. Even with a thorough vetting process and analyzing their qualifications (that sound amazing on paper), it’s important to make sure the coach you work with is a match.
And if they are guilty of any of these bad coaching habits, you may want to rethink this relationship and keep looking:
- Trying to Fix Things
The coach is not someone who will step into a business and start fixing everything that’s not working. Their role is not disruptive in any way – rather, they work with the client to help them change the way they operate.
Coaches are often tempted to give people the answer or solution to a problem. But the good ones refrain from doing so and instead help the client reach that conclusion by themselves.
- Interrupting the Process
Coaching is a lengthy process and may come with lots of silent moments. Some may try to “fill” these moments and shift the process needlessly to avoid these dull moments.
But any good coach knows that silence doesn’t necessarily mean nothing is happening. If a coach doesn’t allow their client these moments of reflection, they can accidentally prevent them from saying something crucial or having an “aha” moment.
- Always Going Back to the “Book”
Coaches can each have their own style or frameworks. But as a general rule, these guides need to be adapted to the specific needs and expectations of the person they are coaching, as well as the company.
If a coach doesn’t seem to be flexible with their framework, and worse even disrupts the process by always going back to their set of rules, it could be an indication that the coach is not a great match.
- Doing the Client’s Work for Them
Coaches can get very close to their clients – they get to know their wishes, expectations, and fears. Some may be tempted to help their clients here and there and do the work for them. It can be something as simple as writing an email on their behalf to even telling them exactly what to say during an important call.
In either case, this is a huge red flag. Coaches should guide the process, not take charge of it.
- Overwhelming the Client
Another red flag is a coach who gives the client too much homework, especially beyond the office hours. Business professionals have a lot on their plates on a daily basis, and coaches should not try to take hold of what little free time they have.
Not only can that lead to burnout, but it can overwhelm the client to the point where they cannot even benefit from coaching at all. And this can render the entire process useless.