How to Choose a Life Coach
Choosing to work with a coach can be a simple decision or one that takes significant consideration. The following are some factors you may want to think about as you make your decision about coaching.
The greatest benefits of coaching come when you know what you want from coaching. Most people approach coaching from one of the following three perspectives.
Some people come to coaching because they are focused on a specific goal. You should at least know generally what you want from coaching even if the goal is to find the most appropriate goal for you. Determine if what you want is significant enough to motivate you to take action towards that goal and invest in the coaching process.
For some people, the main focus of coaching is to have someone listen deeply and without judgement to the various challenges that they are facing in their life. Sharing thoughts out loud and responding to powerful questions can result in more balanced decision making, clearer strategies, more purposeful actions, decreased isolation and perhaps more courage to face life’s challenges.
For others, personal growth and insight is the main focus for coaching and it is not attached to specific accomplishments. The value of a coach is in the stimulating conversations, discovery activities, and shared insights provided by your coach. Your results will be an increased sense of self-awareness or personal development rather than external achievements.
Most of us have things we want to do but don’t seem to quite get around to them. There is something that happens to our commitment level when we say out loud to someone what our intentions are. With a coach, you will design an action plan that will help you stay focused and clear on your goals. The coaching relationship provides you with the consistency, structure and feedback that results in more accountability. Keep in mind that it is not the coach’s job to supervise, direct or manage you. It is your goal and your plan so you must take responsibility and take action.TIMING
As well as having a focus for coaching, it is important for you to consider if you have the personal resources and proper environment to use coaching effectively right now. This includes being able to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to coaching. The average coaching relationship extends over a period of between four to twelve months with two or three sessions per month. Your financial resources will also have to be considered. The typical fees for coaching services can range significantly. Group coaching can offer a more affordable option. Other resources you may want to assess are your energy and attitude, and the support of the people around you.VENTURING INTO THE UNKNOWN
Coaching is a fairly new profession and you may not be familiar with this type of relationship. People are starting to hear about coaching, but few have actually experienced it. In any new relationship, we all typically anticipate that the other person is expecting something from us and we don’t know how much we can trust her/him. The first coaching session should confirm that the coach is completely on your side, is not judging you, will keep things confidential, and believes in your capacity to find solutions. If you decide to go ahead with coaching, you will be venturing into something somewhat unknown, but similar to many explorers, the adventure of new discoveries can be amazing.
One of the incorrect beliefs about coaching is that it is for people who need “fixing”. Most people don’t see themselves as broken, nor do coaches see their clients this way. Most coaches come from the point of view that no one needs coaching but everyone could benefit from coaching as they go a lot further a lot faster towards their potential and life possibilities.
There are a variety of professions that can also offer support to a person who wants to make changes. These services are often confused with coaching but can also be combined with coaching.