How do I know if the coach is right for me?
Let’s just get it out of the way – we want a coach who doesn’t think of us as an employee, okay. What else is there that would make a coach ideal for you to support? Being able to share that upfront and giving your coach permission to be authentic with you will be valuable. Let her know – I want to be just as authentic with you. That way you set the tone for the relationship. You remove the obstacles of walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around each other, and nobody is really saying what they feel.
Have those heart-to-heart conversations with your coach right up front. The very first conversation – just spend the time getting to know who they are. Don’t worry about the money, the work, and all of that. The money conversation will come on its own, so spend the time trying to get to know who she is. Again, you only need a handful of coaches and you should be very selective on who they are and that they fit inside your ideal picture.
Let me share my ideal coach with you so you can think about your own ideals.
My ideal coach is one who is warm and compassionate, is willing to work with me, and doesn’t want me to do all of the work. They have their own ideas. They can appreciate the value of any contributions I may bring to the table. They have a listening ear, are very kind, and they genuinely care for their clients. I also like working with people who can laugh and can laugh at my jokes. Even though they may be corny, they’ll still laugh.
Usually, I can tell within the first couple of minutes whether this is someone that I would enjoy speaking with on a regular basis. I like to have at least two conversations with my prospective coaches; the first is to get a sense of their business and needs and the second is just to find out how they relax, what are their hobbies and how they communicate when they’re upset.
Here are some ideal coach descriptions shared with me by other new virtual assistants:
“My ideal client is humble enough to admit that they don’t know everything, [are] willing to learn, and whenever they make mistakes they won’t try and pass the buck on other people. They would just say “I made a mistake – whatever the case may be. Now, let’s work on fixing it.”
“The ideal client that I want to work with is someone who is friendly and likes to talk. They are someone who is warm, humble, willing to work and contribute to his or her business and the relationship that we’re building. They are someone who values my ideas and input, someone that I can respect and who respects me and is a person who wants to succeed.”
“The perfect person for me is someone who is honest and someone who doesn’t mind me being honest with them also. Someone who’s sort of down to earth and is a nice person and we have a real good phone relationship. We’re like a team – we can work together. That’s the perfect person for me. I’d rather they be honest with me – if they don’t like something I’m doing, let me know right away. I’ll feel like I trust them and they can trust me.”
Lesson for you – Take a few moments and think about who your ideal coach could be. What personality does she possess? What are her values? What attitudes and attributes are important to you? I’d love to hear how you describe your ideal coach.