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Life Coaching has become a really popular term lately but it doesn’t always guarantee you a professional and experienced practitioner. Here are a few pointers to make sure you find someone who can really help you make positive changes in your life.
Word of Mouth/Testimonials
Word of mouth or online recommendations are always a good sign. It could be worth asking around for recommendations as more people than you think see a Life Coach nowadays. Check online to see if your potential coaches have received good feedback from other clients.
If a Google fails to yield any results you could try a directory such as Life Coach Directory or local business finders to browse through coaches in your area. Make sure to do some follow up research on your shortlisted candidates.
There are no legal restrictions on who can use the title Life Coach so checking out the qualifications and credentials of practitioners is vital. Are they a member of any professional bodies? What qualifications do they have? Has any of their work been published? Do they talk at any special events or advise media or government bodies? All of these are good indicators of quality, professionalism and knowledge.
Most good life coaches will offer a complimentary session to give you the chance to meet each other before you begin paid sessions. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the coach and how they work, ask any questions you have and get a feel for how well your personalities meld.
Coaching is a two way process that requires a deep understanding from the coach and a non-judgemental yet gently confrontational approach. You should feel like you can be yourself and open up around your coach but they need to be confident and experienced enough to know when to push you a little. Often you know the answer to your own problem but a good coach can encourage you to dig deeper to find the answer.
Most experienced coaches can work with a wide variety of different people but you need to feel comfortable so make sure your personalities don’t clash. Do they seem to be listening to you and understanding or are they frequently interrupting you? Above all, your coaching sessions should feel safe and empowering. Trust your instincts.
Consider the aspects of your life that you’d like to change and ask your perspective coach about their experiences in this area. Consider whether you want to choose someone who is focused on one area or whether you might want a broader area of expertise in case you want to widen your focus later on.
Your coach should be able to tell you what techniques and style they prefer to use in their sessions and give you an example of how the process works. These might differ slightly between coaches so think about what feels right for you.
Whilst a coach’s age and gender shouldn’t make any difference to their competence, it’s possible that you may feel more comfortable discussing your issues with someone of a specific gender or age. Consider whether this is important to you and factor this into your decision.
Think about the location where the sessions will take place. Is it a safe, respectable location and somewhere you can travel to easily? What are their opening hours? Do they suit your schedule? Some coaches offer sessions online or over the phone – this might be something to explore if your availability is very limited.
How many sessions are they expecting you to sign up for? What is the cost? Does it seem reasonable for an experienced coach? Although nothing is certain try and get a reasonable idea of what progress you might expect in what timeframe before starting out.
Take the Leap
Once you’ve done all the research and preparation and you feel comfortable with your decision there’s nothing left to do but take the leap and get started.
Please do contact me to discuss any of these issues in more detail. I’d be happy to talk to you.