Some basic steps on how to find a life coach.
Are you ready to make changes in your life? Do you have a major goal you want to achieve? If so, you could be a perfect candidate for life coaching. Hiring a professional life coach or executive coach is one of the biggest trends in personal development as well as organizational development. Instead of trying to accomplish a goal on your own, you team up with a coach and using a self-leadership process attain your goals with much more ease and speed.
WHY HIRE A LIFE COACH?
Take some time to think about times you have tried to achieve a goal or decided to change some aspect of your life. Now, how many times have you failed, struggled or given up? For most of us, there have been multiple experiences where we were determined to do something, but “got stuck” or “got lost” along the way, and “that something” never got done. A professional life coach is invaluable to this process from being repeated. No matter what your circumstances are, no matter what you want to do, most people will benefit from hiring a personal life coach. This non-judgmental process provides the space for clients to empower themselves by gaining clarity about their objectives, and creating the strategy to get there.
A professional coach process is also designed to hold the client accountable, not only to their partner the coach, but themselves. The big question, then, is how to find a life coach that is a good fit for you.
HOW TO FIND A LIFE COACH; THE BEST PLACE TO START
Start by getting a free consultation. Most coaches offer a free consult before contracting with a client for pay. Free consultations last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, but all of them should give the potential client a taste of what to expect from working with that coach. Consultations are an excellent opportunity to get to know a potential coach, for them to get to know the potential client, and for both to get a sense of whether or not this is a good match. If one coach doesn’t feel like a good fit, find another coach and interview them.
While a professional life coach is non-judgmental, they need to be willing to challenge a client regarding ways the client may be holding themselves back. Professional Life coaches are good listeners, but also willing to ask challenging questions that will make the client think and reflect on their ideas and actions. Often, clients know the answer to their problem, but those limiting beliefs stop them. By working with a life coach, you now have a partner who will encourage you to explore other meanings that could be holding you back.
A personal coach creates an atmosphere of comfort and safety where the client can open up around deeper issues. So often with friends and family, this can be difficult to do, because of possible judgments and opinions. Although friends and family care about us and want the best for us, they can also have their agendas to protect. A professional coach creates a space where a client can share personal details comfortably and who maintains a professional attitude with clear boundaries.
Clients will want to find a coach who communicates in a style that is best suited to the client’s method of learning, whether it’s auditory, visual or kinesthetic. Additionally, clients should look for a good personality match. A potential client needs to feel at ease and comfortable with the energy level and approach of their personal life coach.
COACH SPECIALTIES & NICHES
When looking at how to find a life coach understand most life coaches have an area they specialize in; however, all ICF (International Coach Federation) certified life coaches are trained and certified to coach in any area a client may need. Understand coaching is different from consulting or mentoring as a professional coach is an expert on the coaching process.
So if you need to find a life coach, start with considering what area(s) of your life do you want to change? Could you primarily use the services of a Relationship Coach, Business Coach, Career Coach, Wellness Coach, Executive Coach, or Health Coach? Ask a life coach what area or areas they specialize in and they should be able to share some insights into their particular coaching structure or process with you.
Look for a coach who makes it clear, regardless of their methods, that coaching is a self-leadership process, and it is the client who will be responsible for the actual change. While the coach’s job is to assist, facilitate and guide their client, the coach does not possess a magic wand, no matter how sincere their intentions.
Reflect upon anything that might be important to you in a coach, before you begin to research who you might want to hire. Some ideas a client ought to consider include:
• Is the gender of the coach relevant?
• Is the age of the coach relevant?
• Is length of experience in coaching important?
• What approaches, methods, and techniques does the coach use?
• What character traits, skills, and abilities should the coach have?
HOW TO FIND A LIFE COACH THAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Online directories can be of tremendous help in a search for “the right” life coach. Through a search of a directory, a person can explore for methods that align with a prospective client’s needs and whose personality seem to be a good fit.
The larger online coach directories will store details on thousands of life coaches from whom you can select. Some directories are similar to dating services where you input the style of coaching you prefer, your personality, the specialization, and other factors to find a good match quickly and easily. Prices are often listed in coach directories and also their intake policies such as a free introductory session.
Another excellent and often used option for finding a life coach is to get a referral from a trusted source such as a friend, relative, or colleague. Working with a life coach is a personal choice, and if a potential client knows anyone in their life who has used one, they would be able to get a fuller understanding of their friend's experience with that coach.
If you're struggling with how to find a life coach, a few other possibilities include; contacting coaching schools for recommendations, reviewing member coaches on the International Coach Federation web site, searching for authors on your particular issue, or even Craigslist can be a source.
With the number of options of how to find a life coach and the variety of methods for coaching available (i.e., in person, by phone, by SKYPE, by video conference or even by email), anyone who is considering hiring a life coach, should be able to find a coach with the right fit.
A good match between coach and client ensures the success of the client reaching a goal, and perhaps a goal that has eluded them for a very long time.