Are you ready to work with a coach? Have you thought about what it takes to have a successful coaching engagement?

It takes two people to decide if a coaching relationship will work. It takes just one person to have the relationship fail.

If you are thinking about engaging a coach, make sure the coach is asking you some tough questions. An effective coach will assess your level of personal commitment before taking you on as a client.

For example, the coach may ask about your level of readiness to work with a coach. You may think, what does that matter? I’m looking…isn’t that ready enough?

No, it’s not. Here’s why.

Unless you have worked with a coach before, you really don’t know what to expect from them. You probably don’t know what they expect from you either. Expectation misalignment leads to frustration and poor results.

There are several ways to assess your readiness for a coaching relationship.

Written Assessment

A coaching readiness assessment is for people who are seriously thinking about engaging a coach.

One way to assess your readiness to work with a coach is to take an online or paper assessment. This approach is attractive if you like to think about your responses and avoid the pressure of responding immediately.

You want to be careful which online assessment you take, some may not provide the information you need to make an informed decision. Opt for an assessment developed by a coach on their site vs. some of the free ones being circulated by the general public.

A good coaching assessment will have some thought provoking questions and will give you the opportunity to have follow-up contact with the coach who developed it. If a coach is making their assessment available for free, expect them to ask for your contact information.

You might feel a bit unsure about providing your personal information such as name or email address. There is a good reason for the coach requesting this information.

First, it identifies you as a real person and not a spammer or robot. Second, it gives the coach an opportunity to contact you directly. As a courtesy, I let potential clients let me know if they want to be contacted in the coaching readiness assessment form.

You can access my coaching readiness assessment at Leadership Breakthrough to figure out if working with a coach is a viable option. The coaching assessment is called “The Coaching Readiness Assessment”. The coaching readiness assessment requires you to have a Google account to view it and submit it to me.

Potential clients who want to discuss coaching with me are asked to take the assessment prior to having a one-on-one conversation. The questions help us to have a well-define discussion and set expectations.

One-on-One Conversations

A meeting either in person or on the phone can pinpoint if you are ready to work with a coach. Don’t skip this step and if the coach doesn’t offer it, find a coach that will speak with you.

This is not the time to be coy with the coach – be clear about what you want to accomplish and make a list of questions to ask the coach.

Be prepared to discuss your situation openly when the coach asks you a question. Let the coach know you are ready to make an investment in yourself – personally and financially.

Understand the coach’s fees and payment plans and if you are unable to engage that coach because of their fee structure, ask the coach to refer you to someone within your budget.

At any time, if you do not feel comfortable with the coach’s approach or style, you can opt out of the discussion. Coaches understand that chemistry plays a part in connecting with their client and sometimes, it’s just not a match.

Your decision doesn’t necessarily mean you are not ready; it may be a bad fit. Conversely, if the coach opts not to work with you don’t take it personally; remember – it takes two to make it work.