How to choose a life coach that’s right for you!
This blog is a guide on to how to choose a life coach that’s right for you. It explains what a life coach is and what they do, what they are not and questions you may want to consider before you hire a life coach.
Choosing anything in life can be tricky. When we are buying an expensive purchase such as a car or a holiday we can spend considerable time researching and going over the options in our head. If we need a new hairdresser or dentist we tend not to rush into the first place we see. If we’re planning a celebratory dinner somewhere new we won’t just pick a place out at random. We consider the options available to us, get recommendations from friends or read reviews. Choosing a life coach also requires some research and consideration.
What is a Life Coach?
Primarily life coaches are engaged with the here and now, moving you from where you currently are, to where you want to be. They work with high achievers and people who want to improve aspects of their professional or personal life. A life coach empowers their clients using a framework to identify and overcome their obstacles, enabling their clients to live a better, richer life that meets either their personal or professional goals or both. Life Coaching is for those who feel their life isn’t where they want it to be and they feel they haven’t the tools, know-how or confidence to make those changes.
What does a Life Coach Do?
A life coach can help you with one or multiple goals that you want to achieve. These can range from your career or work projects, through to your lifestyle, emotional states, relationships and personal development. For example, you could need help getting motivated, fitting in time to have more fun, money management. Or personal wellbeing, stress management, assertiveness and confidence building, or time management.
A life coach should never tell you what to do, but use specific questioning techniques and models, that bring structure in order for you to make decisions for yourself. A life coach empowers and motivates you by equipping you with the tools to allow you to overcome personally challenging situations.
What a life coach isn’t
A life coach is not an agony aunt or your new BFF, therapist or psychotherapist or counsellor. A life coach is not your superior, but is an equal. They do not diagnose or determine a mental health issue, nor do they give you medical advice or prescribe you medicine. If issues relating to any diagnosed mental health issues transpire in the coaching conversation, a life coach will request that the client seeks medical advice from a medical professional. Having said this clients living with mild depression can benefit significantly from the coaching relationship.
Finding the Right Life Coach for YOU
Employing a life coach can be one of the most rewarding investments in your life. There are many types of life coaches for you to choose from, these include business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, holistic coaches, health & wellness coaches and sports coaches.
Before you consider which life coach is best or whether you need one, I would firstly encourage you to consider Are you ready for the coaching relationship? This is absolutely crucial to achieving successful outcomes. Are you ready to put the effort in and commit to making those changes? Life coaches are not able to help you if you’re not prepared to help yourself by being fully committed!
So you’ve decided you want to hire a life coach, consider these points.
1. Be clear what you want a life coach you need and what you’d like to achieve from the coaching relationship. This could be something as specific as how to deal with a difficult boss or more general such as wanting a career change but have no idea what it is you want to do. Once you have decided this it will narrow your choices down a little. Most life coaches specialise in specific areas.
2. Talk to your potential life coach. Most offer a free consultation over the phone and they should do, it’s not just you choosing a life coach, the life coach needs to be sure they are the right person to help you.
Before you speak to a coach write down your questions so you can be clear what you want from them.
4. Avoid being pressured into paying for 100 hours in advance because they think you ‘need it’. Of course your life coach will be able to make recommendations, but avoid someone who is trying to strong arm you into committing too much, especially before they’ve met you and evaluated your needs.
5. They won’t necessarily have to have had the same experiences as you. It is often better if they haven’t. If you are looking for career guidance choosing someone with a background within your current industry may mean they may not be able to think outside that box and will have preconceived notions about what you are going through or accept a status quo. The principles a life coaches uses should be relatable to you as an individual and not already have bias and see the same constraints you do.
6. A good life coach make won’t make wild promises to you, nor will they be vague. They should help you to create a clear plan of action. After your first session you should have established goals, both short term and long term.
A great life coach is an important decision to make. Use this guide to help you find the right coach for you and your life. Remember to use the points mentioned above to find the right coach to support you. After all it’s your life, so make it a full, happy and rewarding one.
To learn more about making a decision about starting life coaching read my blog on Committing to Life Coaching
I wish you all the best in discovering YOUR star potential.
Are you ready to commit to the life coaching relationship?
How do you know if you are ready for a coaching relationship? Do you have the drive and commitment required to achieve your goals? Are you really looking to make changes? Do you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve in life? This blog answers these questions. You will find sections concerned with WILL and PURPOSE to help you discover whether hiring a life coach is the most appropriate course of action for you to take.
With the best will in the world a life coach is not a miracle worker. We do require certain qualities in our client’s mind-set for us to be able to work our magic. All you need to do is answer YES or NO to the statements below.
1. There are areas in my life where I want to make a make positive change
2. I am ready to trying new experiences, ideas and ways of thinking
3. I am ready to let go of beliefs that hold me back
4. I am ready to have honest and open conversations, even when they are challenging
5. I am committed to putting in the time to make that change happen, even when it gets tough
6. I am committed to keeping my promises
7. I am ready to let go of beliefs that hold me back
8. I have the support I need to make any significant changes
9. I am mentally/emotionally stable to be in a coaching relationship and do not require medical treatment or therapy from a professional
10. I am able to take full responsibility for my own life and the decisions I make
If you have answered NO to a couple of these statements, then it might not be the right time for you to experience the coaching relationship just yet. If you are prepared to make adjustments to the NO statements, life coaching could still be the right choice for YOU!
If you answered YES to all the statements then that’s great! You are well on your way to getting the most out of the coaching relationship.
Are there any aspects of your life or career that you feel could be improved upon? Are you living an OK or it’ll do for now life? Do you have aspirations of living a life that is truly fulfilling, purposeful, meaningful and rewarding to YOU?
The next 7 questions identify if you have the ‘Purpose’ for a successful coaching relationship. They may be more difficult to answer. The reason I say this is because unless you know your authentic-self the answers to some of these questions require investigation, so I’ve included some examples to help you figure this out.
1/ What type of life do I want to live?
Think about the type of career you’d love to have, or places you’d love to travel to. You could have too little time on your hands and want to live a life that is more balanced. Perhaps you’d like to fit in more exercise. Maybe you’d like to be able to talk to people with confidence and ease, or have a wider circle of friends. Are you artistic or creative and want a life that nurtures your talents with your lifestyle and career ambitions. Or that business idea you’ve been promising to get off the ground, but you have no idea where to start.
2/ What does success look like to you?
It’s important to have a clear vision of what success is for you, so that you can visualise what achieving the goal will look like to you once you’ve accomplished it. So imagine for a moment that you’ve planned out the type of life you want for yourself. What will you be doing? Where and how would you be living? What are the sights and sounds around you? If it’s a business venture what sort of income do you expect from it? If you want to have a more balanced life, how much of your day, week or month will change? What percentage of your time will be free-time and work time? What would you do with more free-time? How will this make you feel to achieve this and how will this change and enhance your life?
3/ What do you want to achieve?
Perhaps you’d like to lose weight for that holiday of a lifetime or just feel fitter and healthier in general. Maybe your life is too stressful and you want to simplify it. Do you have specific goals in mind that would support you to create the life you dream of living? It doesn’t matter if your goals are big or small, or that they are long term or short term goals. If you need someone to support you to achieving those goals then a life coach can help you get there.
4/ Do you need support?
It can be extremely difficult trying to achieve a goal without the support or encouragement of another fellow human being. A life coach could be the strength you need to help get you focused and move from you where you are now to where you want to be quicker than you can do it on your own. They are your motivator and champion, encouraging you to pass the finish line. There is no one more proud of you (with the exception of yourself) than your life coach when you achieve the goal or dream you set out to achieve. So if you don’t feel you have that support, but you are highly motivated to make changes, hiring a life coach might be the perfect solution.
5/ How much time and money are you willing to invest to achieve this?
Is this something that will take up much of your time? What length of time do you have in mind to complete these goals? Having an idea of the time you are prepared to invest to achieve the goal will give you an indication of how long it will take and discover if it’s realistic or not. This will also identify how many hours coaching you will need and a clue of how much it will cost you financially.
6/ Am I ready to take action now?
So what are you waiting for? If not now when and why? How long are you prepared to wait for that perfect sometime? You know what they say about tomorrow – it never comes! This is an old English proverb that warns of procrastination. What you are really saying to yourself is “I’m not ready yet!” This could be for several reasons; you don’t have the confidence, you don’t know enough, you don’t want to take the risk. You’re scared that you might fail.
Let me reassure you these mental scaremongers that buzz around everyone’s brains can all be resolved in the coaching relationship when you find the right coach for you. It’s ok if you are content with what you already have, just avoid looking back in years to come and saying, “Life could have been so different if only I’d have done…” or “Why did I never get round to doing…?” “Why am I still doing this job I really don’t enjoy anymore?”
7/ What type coach would be best to help me with this?
Employing a coach can be one of the most rewarding investments in your life. There are many types of coaches for you to choose from, these include business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, holistic coaches, health & wellness coaches, personal life coaches, sports coaches and niche coaches. They may also employ very structured methods of goal setting or can be more intuitive to delivering a more authentic, holistic and customised coaching relationship. It’s really up to you to decide what works best for you.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and it’s cleared up any thoughts you might be having, as to whether you have the will and purpose and ready to enter into a productive and rewarding coaching relationship.
I wish you all the best in discovering YOUR star potential!
If you have the time I would love to hear your feedback from this week’s ‘Julia’s Journal’ article.
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