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  • Writer's pictureMaria Vanyovszki

Do you even need a coach? And if so, how should you choose?

Coaching is a great way to bring out the best in yourself at work, in your personal life, in your professional and human relationships. This works when coaching is used well. Unfortunately, there are experiences where coaching can be useless or even harmful.

coach, coaching

What is coaching good for?

Coaching develops. Skills, personality, communication, resilience. It deepens self-awareness, gives us a new insight into our talents and potential. It gives tools and motivation for change plans, develops communication and behavioural repertoires.

Coaching is a developmental process aimed at helping the client to feel better, to be more productive, to define their goals and to achieve them successfully.

The term coach was transferred from sport (coach = trainer) first to business and then to personal development.

An interesting linguistic historical fact is that the origin of the word is also related to the Hungarian word Kocs according to the etymology of the Oxford Languages Dictionary (kocsi szekér - coche - coach). On this basis, we can trace back to the interpretation that the coach supports his client's journey as a kind of accelerator.

Like a coach in sport, in coaching, the coach supports the "competitor" from the "sidelines", looking from an outside perspective to bring out the best in him or her.

The goal is set together at the beginning of the process, and then, taking into account the abilities, desires and possibilities, it is continuously shaped by what to "train" for in order to achieve the goal.

Without a goal, there is no coaching and the core work (performance and change) is done by the competitor/client. If the runner or swimmer is not training according to plan, i.e. the client is not following through on their commitments, the efforts of even the best coach become useless.

Determination, commitment and motivation are therefore essential for successful coaching.

Going to coaching without commitment and expecting ready-made solutions from the coach is a waste of time and money.

What is coaching not good for?

Coaching is not suitable for treating trauma, long-standing, serious psychological problems or illnesses.

A leader who often raises his voice can change his communication with coaching, but a particularly aggressive, combative employee should seek the help of a therapist. A mildly anxious colleague can learn new tools for dealing with difficult situations through a coaching process, but a depressed or panic-attack-prone colleague should also seek therapeutic help.

The choice is always determined by the intensity and nature of the problem and the goal. This is why it is important that when you go to a coach, the first session does not commit either party to continue.

Sometimes, however, someone will see both a coach and a psychologist. On several occasions I have had clients who have come to me with their day-to-day issues and their plans for change for the future, and to a psychologist to work through deep psychological problems.

A good coach knows his limits and can say after the first session that this is not his competence and recommend another professional instead.

What makes a good coach and how can the client decide if it's right for them?


By authenticity, I do not mean the list of references listed, but the amount of work the coach has done and is doing on his/her own. A good coach is obliged to work on self-awareness and mental hygiene, to nurture and maintain his/her own psychological well-being. If in a coach session the client feels that he or she is listening to the coach and almost giving advice, it is time to change.


The chemistry is important between the two people: they need to resonate with each other. If you don't feel this the first time, there's no point waiting for things to get better. It makes sense for the client to listen to their intuition, and if they don't resonate with someone, to be upfront about the experience, pay up and find a new coach.

coach, coaching

Who is coaching about?

Coaching is always about the client and not about the coach. You should look for a coach who is concerned with the you and not with him or herself. Good coaches don't want to convince you with what they have behind them, but with the way they talk and they listen. A good coach doesn't try to "lead and guide" the client by telling them what to do, but by asking questions and using creative tools to help them see things differently. They create new routines and motivation, thus supporting change the client's intentions and progress.

The proportion is important. A coach who talks a lot and wants to tell you what to do is more of a consultant. Of course, it's also fine if the client indicates that he or she wants advice on specific issues in which the coach has professional experience. It is important that there is a consensus on this too.

What does the coach use?

There are plenty of coaches who are learning newer and newer methodologies, and they list these qualifications at length on their websites.

Of course, it is a good thing if a coach is open to learning and training. However, there is an exaggerated version of this, which can be a sign of the person's self-evaluation dilemmas on the one hand, and on the other, the the client can get lost in the midst of all the methods.

The ideal coach has a well-established methodology, which he or she enriches with other techniques.

Experience versus knowledge - Does a coach need to have leadership experience?

The best coaches will be those who learn enough, experience enough and in the end understand that a coach is not a counsellor.

When a coach with decades of leadership experience wants to constantly pass on his or her own experience and advice, you should choose him or her as a mentor and a relationship capital. They will contribute little to the individual development of the client. Instead, look for an experienced coach who knows and applies how to support his client's development and success in a "coaching" role.

Professional integrity

What is considered professionally credible varies according to individual needs.

For some, a fifty-something with several degrees, thirty years of management experience and excellent references will be the right one.

But if you want to be a career-changing artist, an entrepreneurial woman with a motherhood or a superstar, you need a different kind of coach.

In short, as I wrote about the chemistry between two people, who is authentic for whom is an individual need. A coach who worked for another colleague may not be effective for you.

In the same way, if one is unable to develop with either a woman or a man, then choose the gender that is sympathetic to you. Whether to go with a woman or a man may also depend on your goals and intentions, as the two genders may represent different roles and values.


If you have any further questions about coaching, please write to me at the address below and I will reply within 48 hours:

coach, coaching

Maria Vanyovszki

Coach | Mentor | Counsellor


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