How to Find the Right Resource for Self-Improvement
By Kim Weinberg
YPO Certified Forum Facilitator
Founder of Coach In Motion, LLC
The self-improvement industry has grown to more than USD11 billion. It is estimated that more than 86 percent of executives in the United States have engaged a coach, mentor, consultant or therapist at some point during their career.
Most YPO members and many spouses are in a forum, which is also a valuable way to become a better executive, spouse, parent, sibling, child, friend and citizen. And, working one-on-one with a professional advances our growth and development even more, 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?
|Provider||Primary Focus||Approach||Best For|
|Coach||Setting and Achieving Goals||Empower skill development
Stimulate critical thinking
Facilitate action plans
Explore behavior patterns
|Personal and professional development
Transforming beliefs and behaviors
|Mentor||Imparting wisdom||Share experiences
Lead by example
Encourage and challenge
Offer resources when applicable
|Business growth and development|
|Consultant||Organizational performance||Offer support/manpower
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
10 Important Questions to Ask
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.
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?
Kim Weinberg has more than 25 years of experience in executive and leadership coaching, group facilitation and organizational consulting. She is the founder of Coach In Motion, LLC, a coaching and consulting firm. Weinberg is a Certified Forum Facilitator for YPO and was trained as a Certified Leadership Coach at Georgetown University, where she currently serves on the faculty of the Facilitation Certification program. She also holds a Master’s of Science in Organization Development. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.