How To Choose A Retirement Coach:
Get The Right One For You

By Greg Butler

Do you know how to choose a retirement coach? Are you approaching retirement, or recently retired, and do you have a plan for life in retirement? Have you considered retirement coaching? What is your understanding and expectation regarding what coaching can do for you?

gold star for ChooseItIn my experience, without adequate preparation and understanding, the transition to retirement can create a discontinuity that often leads to shock and denial, anger, frustration and sometimes, even depression.

Here are the issues you should consider in selecting the Retirement Coach who is right for you:

Retirement Coach Training

Does the coach have professional training and accreditation? Has your coach been certified by a reputable college or institute.

Retirement Coach Experience

How long has he/she been coaching, for how many hours, and is he/she full time or part time? Has he/she worked with clients on the project or issue of interest to you? What has been his/her executive experience? Does his/her resume and referrals provide evidence of that experience?

Rapport With The Retirement Coach

An important aspect in how to choose a retirement coach is to ask yourself, Would you be happy to work with this person over an extended period? Are you convinced that you could have a confidential conversation with him/her? Is there a particular personality style that you would prefer your coach to have? We like people who are like ourselves, or who are, as we would like to be.

The Retirement Coach Listens

Listening is at the heart of good communication and rapport. Does the coach give you his/her full attention, ask powerful questions, and give effective feedback? Will you have an opportunity to assess this in a trial session?

The Style of the Retirement Coach

Coaching may be Directive--giving instructions/advice or Non Directive--helping client to solve their own problem. What is the coach’s style, and how do you want to be coached? Do you want to be challenged and held accountable for action?

The Process of the Retirement Coach

Is the coach knowledgeable and flexible in his/her use of models and frameworks such as the G.R.O.W. model (Goal-Reality-Options-Will) and the 4 D Model (Discover-Dream-Design-Destiny, for Appreciative Inquiry? It is also very useful if the coach follows a Retirement Planning Checklist that covers both financial and holistic lifestyle issues.

Retirement Coach Ethics

Is the coach following an appropriate code of ethics?

Retirement Coach Supervision

Does he/she have a relationship with a suitably qualified mentor/supervisor, who will regularly assess his/her competence and support his/her development?

Retirement Coach Web Site

Does the coach have a web site or has he/she published articles? These sources will give you valuable insights into his/her style and experience.

Use of Psychometric Instruments

Is the coach qualified to administer and give feedback using psychometric instruments such as MBTI, 16PF or EQ-i (Emotional Intelligence)? Are these instruments of interest to you?

Use of frameworks

Has he experience or qualifications in conceptual frameworks such as NLP-Neuro Linguistic Programming, Positive Psychology, or CBT-Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Retirement Telephone Coaching

Would you be happy to have some/or all of the sessions on the telephone, or via Skype and email? Telephone coaching has advantages/disadvantages over face to face coaching. Are you open to checking what works for you?

Is There ACoaching Agreement?

Will the coaching contract be formalised in a written document which sets the tone of the relationship and clarifies expectations? Does the agreement cover fees, duration, and frequency of meetings, services, and scheduling of appointments? What contact by telephone or email is available outside of the formal coaching sessions?

Trial Retirement Coaching Sessions

If the coach offers you a free introductory session this will give you the opportunity to evaluate if his/her coaching matches the criteria listed above. Choose a manageable topic and see if you feel motivated or challenged by the conversation.

Now that you know how to choose a retirement coach, you might like to use a simple tool to help you choose the one you want to work with.
gold star for ChooseItChoose it is an Inspected4u Gold Choice.

©2011 Greg Butler, Used by permission
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