Coaching is one of the fastest ways of increasing your personal development; it can help you identify blind spots, areas of weakness, and build on your strengths which all of will help you get to then next level in your career.

However, we need to make sure we get the right coach. Otherwise, your investment can be wasted, and you can end up with little to no benefit to show from the coaching.

Here are five essential things you should look for before signing up for any coaching.

1 - Realism

The internet is full of coaches who promise to help you earn a 6-figure or 7-figure incomes by following their patented guaranteed method, or from attending their 3-day workshop or signing up for the coaching program. There are some great coaches, and they will help you achieve great results, but there needs to be a degree of realism.

Just remember if it looks too good to be true it probably isn't.

2 - Credibility and Real Expertise

If I had a dollar for everyone claiming to be an expert that wasn't I could probably retire pretty comfortably, so make sure you check out their background. Don't just rely on their website, google them, and check them out on social media. I was recently approached by an Internet Marketing guru who was going to transform my web presence. A quick check showed that they only had 350 followers on Facebook and a similar amount on Twitter, and little to no online presence elsewhere at all.

Hardly what you would call a Guru.

3 - Great Track Record

Don't just rely on written testimonials on their website.
Ask for references, people you can call and ask them to show you the results achieved. Also search for reviews online, people are pretty vocal about bad service especially when they have paid good money for it.

One bad review doesn't make a bad coach, but it's good to know what people are saying about coaches before you hand over your hard earned money.

4 - Good Chemistry

This is one of the crucial elements of any coaching relationship. With good chemistry, we can build a trusting relationship which allows us to share our real thoughts, concerns, and fears. This is what gives our coaches the ability to be able to hold us accountable, which is key to achieving any real transformation. When the chemistry is missing the coaching relationship becomes almost transactional. There is no inspiration, no confidence building, no camaraderie or no real rapport that will allow us to take the risks needed to grow, and in the worse cases, there can be a loss of respect which kills any chance of progress.

5 - Flexibility in Approach

In my opinion, this is the most important element in a selecting a good coach. There has to be some flexibility of approach because not everyone has the same challenges or growth opportunities. Individual problems need individual solutions. Yet so many coaches offer fixed courses or programs, potentially offering a solution to a problem you don't have. That's fine if you're looking to develop a particular skill, but more often that not people get stuck in their development for different reasons. If a coach only has a single solution or program; then it's a sign that they don't have the depth and breadth of experience you will need to reach your full potential.

As the saying goes when you only have a hammer everything looks like a nail, and too many coaches only have a hammer. Which if you're a nail is great, but if not, then you're going to be wasting your time.

A great coach can accelerate your personal development and help you achieve your full potential. But you need to make sure that they are credible, have the right expertise, make realistic promises, and that they have a good, provable track record.

You also need to ensure that you have good chemistry with them which will facilitate a trusting coaching relationship, and they need to be flexible in their approach, rather than selling a one size fits all solution.

If your potential coach doesn't offer these five essentials, then keep looking. Otherwise, you may be disappointed with the results.