How To Choose A Life Coach

By: Gen Wright


As a profession, life coaching is relatively new; yet there are more and more individuals fulfilling this role in order to help people achieve personal goals. Life coaches help clients set and reach goals by drawing on a variety of disciplines from sociology and psychology to mentoring and counseling. While life coaches can be a powerful tool for achieving your own aspirations, the fact that this type of coaching was born out of so many different backgrounds means that there is a wide range of approaches and styles for different coaches. As such, choosing a life coach should not be taken lightly. You need to find a coach with a similar outlook and a basic understanding of how to use their skills to best help you.

Always speak to several life coaches before you make a choice. Rapport is a very important aspect of the life coach/client relationship. If you have a fundamentally different approach to life as your coach, you may not be able to work together successfully. Many people make the mistake of believing that any life coach is well equipped to help them. In fact, building a positive relationship with your life coach is much the same as building a relationship with a friend, partner, or colleague. Ask yourself a few questions: Does this life coach listen to you? Does s/he understand what you want to achieve through your relationship with the coach? Does your coaches values and ethics of this coach match your own?

Another crucial aspect of choosing a life coach is training and experience. Because of the relative youth of the profession, there are few guidelines or requirements to become a life coach, so it is up to you to make sure that your life coach has relevant training and experience. It is acceptable to ask potential life coaches for references, and you may even be able to speak to past clients regarding that coach's techniques and level of success. A record of success is a key indicator that your life coach has the skills to help you, but you should also ensure that your life coach has experience that matches your goals.

Finally, every life coach delivers different services. For example, some life coaches require a minimum commitment from their clients. Clearly, if you are looking to achieve major goals, a life coach may not be able to help you in just a couple of weeks. The general standard for life coaching tends to be about a 3 month commitment, but this varies according to the life coach. Some coaches even expect long-term contracts that you pay in advance; but this does not necessarily suit every client. In fact, it is probably best to spend some time with your coach before making a long term investment.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the life coach/client relationship is compatibility. Carefully screen potential life coaches to ensure that you are finding a coach that offers a good fit. Your goals, personality, and expectations are among the most important factors in choosing a life coach.

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