Are you considering improving your personal and/or professional life with the support of a hired resource? If not, should you be? Ask yourself what you deeply desire and value. Then assess if you are living in alignment with this. If you are not living your values, perhaps it is time to invest in yourself.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the self-improvement industry has grown to more than $11 billion. It is estimated that more than 86 percent of executives in the USA have engaged a coach, mentor, consultant, or therapist at some point during their career. Working one-on-one with a professional advances our growth and development by igniting greater self-awareness, skill development, personal strength, healthy relationships, fulfillment and more.
When prospective clients come to me for support, the first question I ask is “What prompted you to reach out at this time?’ The answer usually is, “I’m stuck or I’m struggling with ____, or, I want to up my game… improve my leadership… get my life in balance… work through business challenges…figure out what’s next… find more passion in my work and life …” Inevitably, the conversation turns to identifying the right type of resource, and then the right match.
If you are making this investment, it is important to distinguish the type of support that is best for your needs, and then determine who can fulfill the need. There may be overlap in provider expertise, and here are some quick guidelines for sorting through the plethora of options.
What Resource Best Suits Your Needs?
||PRIMARY FOCUS||APPROACH||BEST FOR|
|Coach||Setting and Achieving Goals||• Empower skill development
• Stimulate critical thinking
• Facilitate action plans
• Hold accountable
• Explore behavior patterns
• Provide feedback
• Promote results
|Personal and professional development
Transforming beliefs and behaviors
|Mentor||Imparting wisdom||• Share experiences
• Give advice
• Provide guidance
• Lead by example
• Encourage and challenge
• Offer resources when applicable
|Business growth and development|
|Consultant||Organizational performance||• Offer support/manpower
• Lend expertise
• Provide deliverables
• Give analysis and solve problems
|Subject matter experts
Additional manpower needs
|Therapist||Healing and support||• Various forms of psychotherapy or counseling
• Diagnose and treat behavior
|Emotional health and well-being|
As you narrow down the type of provider right for your needs, you may then want to focus on specialties (i.e career, business, leadership, technology, health). During this process, it’s critical to find a person who is the right fit for your style and needs. Here are a few questions to ask to when selecting a provider:
- What is your background, credentials and prior experience?
- What is your primary focus or areas in which you most often work?
- What is your philosophy about coaching/mentoring/consulting/therapy?
- How would you describe your communication style?
- What is your favorite/most challenging client story?
- What are your strengths?
- What may I find difficult about working with you?
- How will we work together? (frequency of interaction, format, access between sessions, length of time, policies)
- How will we measure success or completion?
- What would your recent past/current clients say about you, and may I speak with one or two of them?
Having a sense of what you want to get out of the experience will help you choose the right type of provider and fit for your needs and expectations. It is prudent to interview at least two to three providers before making a choice.
If you would like more information about selecting a provider, or you are interested in learning more about my services, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.