How to Choose the Best Life Coach for You
Ready to commit to Life Coaching? The next step is choosing the right coach for you. As the demand for coaches increases, so do the options. This can make finding the right match confusing. Life coaches vary considerably in their specialties, approach and pricing. Because life coaching is a deeply personal process of self-discovery, a connection is important. So, how do you find the right coach for you? Invest time in the selection process. We have compiled our top ten tips to ensure you find the best possible coaching partnership.
Top Ten Tips to Choose the Best Life Coach for You
1. What do you want to achieve? Before taking the first step toward hiring a Life Coach, identify why you are choosing this path. What are the reasons you want to hire a coach? Coaches are not counselors, mentors, or consultants. Make sure you know what coaching offers and if coaching is right for you, then pinpoint your personal reasons for choosing coaching.
2. Identify your niche: While many Life Coaches are generalists, others focus on a particular area of interest, such as transitions, executive leadership, career change, etc. So, ask yourself if you prefer someone who works with a broad range of issues, or identifies as a specialist.
3. Do your research: Most Life Coaches have information about their business online. Learn about who they are, what they offer, and how they work by searching the internet and social media. Also, ask for recommendations from friends and family members, but keep in mind that the attributes they consider important in a coach might differ from yours. This is why interviewing several coaches is important.
4. Check credentials: The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the most widely recognized and reputable regulatory organization in the industry. There are only 25,000 ICF-certified coaches in the world today. ICF coaches adhere to core competencies that ensure high ethical and professional standards. This credential doesn’t guarantee a great coach, but statistics indicate coaches with credentials are more successful. Consider: In 2017 the ICF commissioned a Global Consumer Awareness Study to measure consumer awareness of personal and professional coaching around the world. Approximately 27,000 individuals over 18 were interviewed in 30 countries around the world. One key finding was that credentials/certifications are considered to be very important, among both those who have been coached and those who have not. In addition, reported satisfaction with coaching is higher among individuals whose coach held a credential than those whose coach did not.
5. Education and Experience: Every client values different qualifications in a coach. Some look for a college degree while others put more stock in hours or years of experience. What does a coach need to attain in order for you to feel comfortable as a client? In addition, consider asking for testimonials, or other success stories the coach can share without breaking confidentiality.
6. Look for a lifelong learner: Excellent coaches are committed to ongoing personal and professional development. Look for a coach who is passionate about growth, and you will likely have a more successful coaching partnership. See below for recommended questions to ask during an interview.
7. Set up interviews: Use this opportunity to ensure a coach is committed to ongoing professional development, knows how to get results, and feels safe. Coaching requires vulnerability; therefore make sure you trust them. Most coaches offer a free introductory session. If you feel pressured to purchase without a conversation, think again. Even if you are leaning toward a particular coach, interview at least three. Some great questions to ask a potential coach include:
- What are your core values and beliefs? As a Christian, you want to ensure the Holy Spirit is welcome in the process.
- How do you stay on top of your profession? Look for a coach committed to ongoing learning and development
- How have you grown as a coach in the last few years?
- How do you get results? Ask for testimonials or references.
8. Assess what you can invest: Before you begin researching options, ask yourself the following practical questions:
- How much time do I have?
- What time of day is available?
- How much money can I spend?
- Do I prefer meeting virtually or in person?
9. Evaluate: Sit down with your notes and consider the following questions:
- What stood out?
- How well did the coach listen?
- How “safe” did you feel with the coach?
- What did you learn about your own needs and interests?
- Which coach seemed most passionate about partnering with you?
- What option is most practical?
- What else?
Remember, the choice is yours. Keep an open mind and prepare to be surprised by a powerful connection. Pay attention to how you feel during the interview, and take notes on information offered.
10. Pray: Above all, invite the Lord into your decision-making process. He is your ultimate coach and will help guide your decision.
Choosing wisely goes a long way
Choosing the right coach is critical to achieving your coaching goals. Be selective by following these ten tips and remember to include God in your search process. Proverbs 24:27 confirms that preparation is important: “Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” Do the necessary work up front to find the best coach for you, and build the life God desires.
Of the ten tips above, what stands out as an important consideration to you?
What else might be an important consideration for you when hiring a coach?
Looking for a coach? Visit our Find A Coach Directory
(Guest blog post by staff member and graduate of CCI, Coach Katie Pearson, CPLC. Learn more about Coach Katie and her beautiful coaching work at benewlifestyle.com)