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.