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

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


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:

  1. What is your background, credentials and prior experience?
  2. What is your primary focus or areas in which you most often work?
  3. What is your philosophy about coaching/mentoring/consulting/therapy?
  4. How would you describe your communication style?
  5. What is your favorite/most challenging client story?
  6. What are your strengths?
  7. What may I find difficult about working with you?
  8. How will we work together? (frequency of interaction, format, access between sessions, length of time, policies)
  9. How will we measure success or completion?
  10. 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 kim@mycoachinmotion.com.

Every CEO needs somewhere to turn for the insight and perspective only trusted peers can provide. In YPO, the supreme sounding board is forum. Around the world in 3,800 forums, small groups of members – and small groups of their spouses and young adult children – meet in an atmosphere of confidentiality, respect and trust. Most members say forum is their most valued asset, because the maxim holds true: it can be lonely at the top, but it doesn't have to be. YPO members, spouses, management team and YPO certified forum facilitators (CFF) are contributors of the articles below. CFFs are a specialized group of 100 highly skilled professionals with a deep understanding of forum process and protocol. Each CFF has completed a rigorous application, interview and certification process that requires peer recommendations.