Before you hire a coach, read this

Before you hire a coach, read this

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Are you considering getting a coach, but not sure where to start? Tarek Beram from answers key questions about coaching to help you understand if coaching is for you and what benefits you can expect from it.

If there’s one thing that more than 20 years in Human Resource Management has taught me, it’s that all humans have a limitless ability to evolve. More than half of my career has been spent as Head of HR or Group Director, and in that capacity, I have had the unique privilege of helping individuals and teams grow and develop.

Of course, I have had my own path of personal evolution, 10 years of which has been spent as an expat. This has been a remarkable adventure and I wouldn’t change a thing, but if you’re reading this, you probably also know how tough expat life can be sometimes.

In both the personal and professional worlds, I have learned, accepted and tried to teach that everyone needs help sometimes. At some point, negotiating the complexity of the human experience becomes a little too much. We struggle, we stall, and we falter. All of us. I have been keenly interested in what helps and motivates people through such patches, and for me, the process that stands out above all others is coaching.

No, I myself am not a coach – more on that later – but the impact I have seen coaching make in people’s lives has been inspirational. It continues to astonish me how many people are unaware of what coaching really is, or if they do know, how to find the coach they need.

In a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers global survey of more than 8.000 people, only 30% of respondents were able to correctly define coaching, suggesting a widespread misunderstanding of the industry.

Yet, the same study indicates that 99% of individuals who had received coaching were satisfied or very satisfied with the experience, and 96% would repeat coaching again. This is overwhelming support for what I have seen first-hand: coaching works. But, even if you know you have a need for coaching, where do you start?

This can be daunting, so I always advise starting with the following questions:

1. Do I need help with Clarity, Action, or Motivation?

We have all experienced it at some time: the feeling that something is wrong and needs to change but, when asked to define it; we are unable to quite put our finger on it. Often, accurately identifying the coaching need is tricky. This is part of the coach’s job, but this useful resource can help you get started.

2. What kind of coach do I need?

Coaching succeeds in almost any field, but the main types of coaching are:

Life coaching 

Helps you identify, structure and achieve life goals while working in alignment with your personal purpose. This usually involves liberating insights, increased motivation and more positive behaviour in areas like relationships, personal development, work-life balance, habit formation and change management.

Leadership coaching 

Assists leaders in developing the skills and self-mastery needed to move to the next level of their leadership capacity. This often occurs in an organisational context and usually sees the coach working with the client’s personal and professional goals concurrently.

Career coaching 

Supports individuals in choosing and finding the right career, successfully changing careers if necessary, and skilfully navigating their career paths in order to achieve their long-term goals.

Health coaching 

Promises expert guidance and coaching in building a proactive approach to improving health. Health coaches help clients improve fitness, optimise health, prevent sickness or injury and focus on building vitality and resilience.


A mentor is someone you want to learn from based on his / her specific experience or follow the same path he / she followed. Mentoring offers tried and tested formulas for success based on the mentor’s personal or professional experience.

3. What about credentials?

Regardless of the type of coach you choose, it is important that you seek a coach with appropriate credentials. Coaching has grown rapidly for good reason, but the industry lacks the level of regulation seen in other professional fields. As a result, almost anyone can call themselves a coach, a fact that has justifiably distorted the public perception about coaching.

Though there are many excellent uncertified coaches out there, the only way to be assured that you are working with a seasoned professional is to select a coach that has been accredited by a recognised coaching body, the gold standard of which is the International Coach Federation (ICF).

I, for example, can pour my years of HR experience into "mentoring" people, but I do not call myself a coach because I don’t have these credentials.

4. Where & how can I find the right coach?

Often, coaches are chosen by location, but this is fast becoming an unnecessary limitation. The internet has given clients access to a world of coaches, allowing you to find, meet and engage with a coach almost anywhere on the planet. There’s a coach out there who speaks your language, specialises in your needs and coaches at the right price.

With the confluence of technology and intelligence that we see today, individuals have access to personal development that was unimaginable when I started in HR twenty years ago. It is an exciting time to be alive and I hope we see more and more people grabbing the opportunities available. is a coaching platform that provides you with easy access to accredited and experienced coaches. All coaches offer a free session, so you can meet them, discuss your coaching needs privately and decide if you are a good match. No commitments. No obligations. You can meet your coach face-to-face or online using any of the web tools such as Skype or Zoom. Booking a free session with a coach of your choice has never been easier!

Book a free session with a coach of your choice:



Tarek Beram

Tarek is the Founder and Managing Director of He’s a people development expert with more than 20 years of Human Resources Management experience in large global organizations. More than...

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