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Choosing your Coach


Life Coaching Goals and Outcomes

First, decide what you want. What are the pre-requisites for you? I encourage you to be flexible and open to alternatives when selecting a coach but there may be some aspects of your coach that you absolutely need to have. If your main area of difficulty is shyness and inadequate feelings around the opposite sex it may be a good approach for you to have a coach of the opposite sex - but then again you may feel that you can only work effectively with a coach of the same sex as you on this issue.

Evaluation Coaching Session

Will a Life Coach offer you an initial appointment at a reduced rate so that you can assess your suitability for each other? If they will, this is by far the best way to choose a life coach.

Is your Coach well trained? A Life Coach should have some training. Read the Life Coach Training page about the variety and standards of training and courses available.
The best way to assess a coaches training is to ask them about it. A word of caution: Don't be fooled by lots of impressive looking letters after a Life Coaches name. These are, for the most part, pretty meaningless. There aren't any letters on a business card that guarantee that this coach is going to be a good coach for you. And as I explain in the Life Coach Training page, the quality and effectiveness of training is so varied that it's almost impossible to tell from the courses they have been on how good they might be.

It's not all too difficult though. There are a couple of guidelines I can offer you that indicate the quality of a life coach's training.

Continuous Professional Development

Has your life coach been on a range of training programs? Do they attend courses from different training sources at fairly regular intervals? Like any professional service, new models, methods and ideas are emerging all the time. Thankfully, some highly skilled and dedicated thought leaders in the field are developing the art and professionalism of life coaching and sharing their research and development with the life coaching community. It is generally a good sign of a coach's commitment to their professionalism if they actively participate in this process and regularly attend courses and workshops in order to develop their skills and be able to offer the best possible coaching to their clients from a range of coaching options that a coach has available to them. In the same way that people are empowered by more options in any given situation, coaches are empowered by having more options available to them when coaching. One way that a coach broadens their coaching options is by continuous professional development in this way.

Range of Coaching Tools

As explained above, coaches are improved when they can be flexible to the needs of you, their client. Ask them about the Coaching Tools they are familiar with, trained in or competent to use. If they cannot offer you a range of tools their effectiveness and value to you may be limited.

Supervision

Does your Coach have Supervision? Supervision is a safety mechanism for coaches whereby they can check their performance, professionalism and ethical standards with another, usually more qualified, coach. If your coach has Supervision, it's s good sign. If not, why not? Just ask them if they have supervision, and if they do, relax about it. If they don't have Supervision, it's not the end of the world, but consider this as a factor when choosing a Life Coach.

After your evaluation session, how do you feel about working with the coach? If you have any significant discomfort or unease, this coach may not be right for you. If you have minor doubts or misgivings, discuss it with the coach. If they are able to satisfy you and put you at your ease, you can decide whether or not to go ahead with them or go with another coach.