Personal Finance

Feel free to evaluate your coach

Coaching is not an opportunity to make your participant beholden to the coach. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Everybody needs a coach but that doesn't mean everyone will engage one. Most people should be able to coach others even without formal coach training, especially if they have special expertise on a particular subject.

Most of us have a rough idea of what we want and this is as good a starting point. Once a person articulates what they want, the coach’s job becomes more focused.

Coaching anyone is an honour — an indication that the participant respects, trusts and values the coach’s input.

It is a vote of confidence in the coach as a growth-oriented, objective, and professional individual.

It is crucial to bear in mind that coaching is a highly confidential relationship. A coaching partnership is an agreement that must not in any way be treated as a casual, flippant or inconsequential relationship.


Being in a coaching relationship is a vulnerable situation for most participants. All feedback should be handled with maturity, dignity and utmost confidentiality.

The partnership is based on the assumption and expectation that the coach is vested in enabling a participant’s growth and success. It is an opportunity to provide objective, balanced and unbiased feedback for one’s continued personal and professional success.


It is not a time for the coach to belittle the participant’s actions/in-actions in any way.

It is not an opportunity for the coach to brag about his/her accomplishments.

Coaching is not an opportunity to make your participant beholden to the coach.

It is not an opportunity for the coach to become overly familiar with the participant or in an way take advantage of his/her vulnerability.


Help you to clearly understand the areas of your partnership,

Agree on the duration of the partnership,

Agree on the frequency of contact. It should ideally be a frequency that allows adequate improvement time for your participant without undue time pressure to both parties.

Your coach should steer clear of any other aspects of your growth processes unless you specifically and directly ask for an opinion and guidance.

Recognise and vocalise your strengths and notable improvements

Not ambush you with his/her feedback. Always check if you are ready to receive your feedback before giving it (yes, even if your feedback is helpful).

If participant is not ready to receive your feedback, request a commitment for a time in the future for the same.

Not give you feedback in the presence of anyone else unless your participant expressly gives you permission to do so.

It is more professional and productive to schedule feedback meetings/calls to allow your participant to mentally prepare for it.

Always substantiate his/her feedback to you.

You expressly reserve the right to accept or reject your coach’s opinion.

Your coach should be open to your dispute of his/her feedback and receive the dispute calmly and professionally.

Your coach must not argue with or attempt to force your acceptance of his/her feedback.

He should allow you time to comment on feedback points before proceeding to the next.

As much as possible, discuss your feedback before sharing it electronically to avoid any misunderstanding.

Always end the feedback session on a positive note, even if you dispute it.

If you, at any time, feel that your partnership is in any way unproductive, or unhelpful, proactively discuss it with your coach, clearly citing reasons and end the partnership amicably.