7 Keys to Finding the Right Coach
(1) Do your research: Read up a little on what life coaching is and what it helps people accomplish and then consider whether it might help you. Search online for coaches in your area or ask friends for referrals.
(2) Training and certifications: For every coach you’re considering, find out about their professional background, training, methods and certifications to see if they have the skills you’ll need to help you get the results you want. It’s also enlightening to find out how long they’ve been coaching professionally. While there is very little governance and regulation of the coaching industry, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) has published standards and ethics for the industry. Certification by the ICF provides a professional stamp of approval.
(3) Style: Although life coaches can have a lot in common, each one is unique. Some work in an organized and structured fashion, for example, while others are more free-flowing, responding to your needs as they come up. Some coaches have warm and supportive personalities while others are effective by challenging and confronting you. Do you want to be inspired, pushed, encouraged or supported? Ask a prospective coach how they would describe their style and then think about if that is the type of support you want.
(4) Consult: Most life coaches offer a free consultation so you can get a sense of who they are and how they work. Some even offer a free 30-minute sample session, which can be insightful—but be sure to get them to agree to answer a few questions first. That’s when you can get a summary of their background and find out about their approach to coaching. Prepare some questions in advance.
(5) Success rate: Is the coach really successful at helping clients make sustainable changes in their lives? Go online and read the reviews or testimonials that have been published, or ask for a couple of references when you talk to them.
(6) Cost: Find out what is included in the coach’s hourly rate. Do they provide any additional services, tools or resources? Do they have a team, group, or app that might provide additional structure or support if needed? Price is not always an indication of quality, and quality is the most important factor. You are making an investment in your life and your future.
(7) Trust your gut: After you’ve spoken with a life coach, looked at their website or social media presence or conversed with them over email, notice how you feel. Look for a combination of feeling relief, excitement, safety and openness toward your life changing for the better. A good fit is with someone with whom you have rapport, making you feel safe, seen and heard. ❧This article is one of four in a special section on life coaching. Here are the other three stories.
More Articles on Life Coaching