He or she must be trained and certified
As the coaching profession is not yet regulated, anyone can nowadays call themselves a coach. According to the latest estimates, there are currently about 4600 coaches in France, all sectors combined. So how do you choose one? To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is best to choose trained and certified professional coaches. The latter are notably referenced by federations such as the EMCC France, ICF and the French Coaching Society. As members of these federations, coaches adhere to their code of ethics (often available online), which is reassuring.
Their practice must be regular and supervised
Many coaches have very few hours of practice under their belt. Either because they can't find clients or because coaching is not their main activity. Find out by checking their client references on their website and asking them the right questions: How many hours of coaching have you already done? What was your last coaching programme? Who did you coach? In what context?
Another point to bear in mind is that any professional coach worth his or her salt must be supervised. In other words, he/she must be regularly coached by another more experienced coach called a supervisor. The supervisor is there to discuss a coach’s practice to help him/her overcome any difficulties or to develop certain techniques. This ensures that the coaches you call upon are not isolated and that they have someone by their side who encourages them and helps them question and develop their skills.
They must have experience of the business world
The number of years of practice as a professional coach is important, but so is the person’s experience in the business world. In fact, the richer the professional background is, the more the coach will be able to identify the problems you are facing, even if they have not worked in the same sector as you. Many professional coaches offer support based on their experience, with specialisations such as expatriation, female leadership, intercultural relations etc. Find out more!
It's also a question of intuition
One last piece of advice: it is best to meet your coach before you start. This first contact is an opportunity to ask questions about their training and practice, but also to check that the relationship is good and that you feel comfortable with that person. If this is not the case, turn to another professional who will be more suitable to you. The success of your coaching programme depends on it! You should also be aware that, during this meeting, the coach may decide not to coach you for various reasons: if your request falls outside the scope of coaching for example... But if everything goes well, you can then move on to the next stage: defining a precise coaching agreement between you. You will then be able to start your coaching programme with complete peace of mind!