First of all in choosing a life coach, why is it important to understand the options? Well you are putting your life in their hands; you are sharing your hopes and fears, your challenges and opportunities. So it is a no brainer that you check out who is available and who is right for you and who isn’t.
Before I get into it, all coaching models are useful, they have all won prizes. This blog is about finding a good fit for you.
What type of coaching is going to suit you best? Whether you are looking for career, executive, health, business, or personal life coaching the first thing to do is consider these top tips.
To keep it simple the first thing to think about is:
Which type of life coach do it need?
Do I need a transactional coach, someone to hold me to account and check in with as I achieve my goal? This type of coaching is purely goal focused, forward looking, logical and practical. Or do I need a developmental coach? Someone who has a whole system approach and can help me make good decisions by testing the consequences in other aspects of my life. This type of coaching is about learning and developing yourself, breaking old barriers to success whilst achieving your goals.
Connection – do they get me?
Research confirms that the success you create from your coaching sessions is significantly impacted upon by the client coach partnership. That invisible connection, the trust, the mutual respect, the deep understanding between coach and client. This is developed by the coach absolutely respecting your model of the word, without judgment, without giving their advice or spin on it, but having unconditional positive regard towards you as their client.
How do you know your life coach is competent?
Are they a professional member of organisations like the Association for Coaching (AC) or International Coach Federation (ICF)? Your coach may have only been coaching for a few months, or maybe they have been in the profession for years. Either way your coach should be encouraging, asking great questions to aid your self discovery and harness your motivation to turn your wants, into reality. Helping you generate your solutions and ultimately to hold you responsible for your results. Visit the Association for Coaching and International Coach Federation to learn more about coaching competencies.
Anyone will do, I just need to take action – STOP!
You are at risk of making an error in judgment. Take a little time to think about what you need and which coach is most likely to suit your needs. Ask yourself instead, “What do your want from coaching, what are you reaching for, then ask yourself why you want it.” That way you will give yourself enough information to start a successful coach selection process.
How does the coach prefer to work with clients?
Does the coach you are selecting use a rigid model and have clients journey through that, or does the coach have a bespoke approach and co-design with you how this process is going to work best for you. Both are useful, the key is to know which one you might prefer
… and finally, if you select a coach and your gut instinct says that their approach isn’t right for you, come back to these top tips to help you reflect one what works for you, your personality type and your speed of processing. Some of us achieve a whole lot being the tortoise, so never be rushed by your coach. Equally if you are galloping ahead, your coach’s job is to check that you are on the right race course. If you get a sense that your coach is frustrated by you not achieving your goals when they want you to or in a way they think you should. Then they are missing the point. The best coaches work with your personality and help you achieve success at a rate and speed that suits you, whilst holding you accountable and challenging you when it’s appropriate.