When looking for a life coach, you have to be sure they are the right fit for you. In addition, your coach must share your values and goals to make the most out of coaching sessions. This blog post will help guide you through finding the right life coach for yourself.
1. Do you really need a life coach?
You should ask yourself if you really need a life coach to help solve your problems. The scope of life coaching can overlap with other disciplines like mentoring and therapy, and that's where the confusion might lie.
Mentoring can overlap with life coaching if you are looking for ways to meet your short- and long-term goals, seek self-improvement, and find opportunities to expand your knowledge and skillset. What makes a mentor unique is that it is a person who has experienced the same thing as what you are experiencing in the present. A mentor provides advice and may not always be there to supervise you on what you are doing.
Therapy can overlap with life coaching when it comes to overcoming challenges and obstacles in the client's personal and professional life and dealing with behavioral changes. Therapy is identical to coaching in that both disciplines involve a long-term relationship with the client. What makes therapy unique is that it mainly focuses on psychological and mental aspects such as dealing with trauma, emotional coping, or dysfunctionality. A therapist provides diagnosis and treatment and is focused primarily on assessing the client's past to help solve current problems.
So where does a life coach's expertise lie then? If you find yourself wanting to have a better future, be it in your career, finances, relationship, or business, and are looking for more opportunities to get there, then a life coach is the one that is right for you. This is because a life coach uses an action-oriented and future-oriented approach to help you get to where you want to be on your own and aims to create sustained change in your life. Also, other clues in your life indicate that you need a life coach, such as feeling lost or stuck in your life. Once you find yourself in these situations, it's time to find a life coach to help you.
2. Certifications and credentials
The coaching industry is not a universally regulated one. Hence, it is quite common to see other individuals labeling themselves as coaches, but they do not have the proper training and credentials to support their claim. Therefore, when looking for a life coach, it is important to look for one properly trained. It has gained certification from accrediting organizations like the International Coaching Federation, European Mentoring & Coaching Council, and Center for Credentialing and Education. These organizations provide various assessments and training programs for life coaches to be properly labeled as professionals in their field. You can check the biography or profile of life coaches you look for online and see if they state that they have a certification or underwent a coach training program from any of these organizations. In addition, some life coaches are part of groups or other organizations, so check their website and see if they state there that their group is accredited by the organizations mentioned previously. A certified life coach is an ideal coach that you want to work with.
3. Your own budget
If you want to hire a life coach, do take note that their services are not free. Most life coaches provide a free consultation for your initial call with them, but beyond that, there will be fees associated with their services. Life coaching sessions usually charge per hour and range from around $50 per hour to several hundreds of dollars per hour. Life coaches can also offer monthly packages that include coaching services such as one-on-one sessions, assessments, and debriefings, e-mail and text support, and usage of online systems for goal tracking and accountability. The monthly packages can cost several hundreds of dollars, ranging from $200 to more than $500 per month.
You might think that the more expensive the rate is, the better the service will be. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sure, well-known life coaches can charge a premium for their services, but the greater factor to consider is if they would be the right fit for you. Check if the services provided in the packages and the hourly rates match what you need. How much you are willing to shell out to hire a life coach will, of course, be a major dictating factor as to what type of service and which life coach you can afford. You have to be willing to invest if you want a good life coach.
4. Determine the systems and tools that they use
One thing that makes a great life coach is if they utilize proven methods, techniques, and tools when coaching others. If your prospective coach states that they do these things, then you will be assured that your coaching sessions will be effective and that your coach can really help you achieve your goals. Therefore, when browsing life-coaching websites, try to look for the section stating what system they are using for their coaching and see if that can work for you. For example, the Ama La Vida coaching website has an article that states their ADIT model: Assess, Discover, Implement, Transition. Knowing such a system exists in their services adds more credibility and makes you want to work with a life coach. The same is true for other life-coaching websites where you can find them stating what system they use for life coaching.
5. Consultation and coaching style
Knowing that most life coaches offer a free session, feel free to use this to your advantage to try and check out different life coaches and see who could be the right fit for you. From your conversations, ask the life coach what methodology they will use to coach you, the services that come with the fees, the schedules for coaching, etc. Most importantly, you can deduce the coach's personality you are talking to through your conversations. Try to ask your prospective coach how they coach emotionally: is your life coach an aggressive one or someone who takes a more supportive approach when dealing with the client? If you have that feeling that you are willing to open up to the coach you are talking to like you would to a best friend, and you feel that you can mesh well together, then the one you are talking to might be the right person you are looking for.
6. Time availability
When looking for the right coach, one thing to pay attention to is to see whether your life coach's schedule and availability jive along with your own schedule. If both you and your life coach cannot meet together due to conflicting schedules, then you may have to find somebody else. Most coaches offer online coaching services, such as video chat, so check if the life coach can accommodate flexible meetings or is only available during certain hours. Some coaches might be available near your local area and can be physically present during coaching sessions, so that's another factor to consider.
7. Success stories and results
Success stories and results are two indicators that make a good coach. Before making initial calls with different life coaches, try to find testimonials and reviews from other people who became clients of the coaches you will talk to. See how their experiences working with the life coach and how they handled the relationship between them and the coach. If you see many good things being said, the chances are good that a certain life coach will be good for you. Having referrals from other clients and people you know about a certain life coach can also give you a hint if the coach is good or not.
If you go to life-coaching websites and see numbers or percentages that show how much improvement and development they could impart to many clients, that is also a good pointer of good life-coaching service. So you might want to try hiring a life coach from such websites.
Life coaching is worth it.
As a client to a life coach, you can gauge from your initial experiences working with him if you want to continue doing it. See if your life coach follows up on you after the initial consultation, gives you useful resources, is easy to get a hold of, and their organization's values align with yours. Then, you might want to continue working with them. If not, you can always change who you want to work with but properly settle things with whoever you are currently working with.
Life coaching might not immediately come to mind as a solution when we have problems in life, but it's definitely worth it. If your problems are career-related and you have issues with personal development, a life coach can help you solve your problems. A life coach can help you stay motivated and bring you more energy and a new perspective to deal with your problems so you can reach your goals. The best life coach you can find is someone willing to work with you on your goals and guide you without forcing your own ideas to lead a fulfilling life. Seek a life coach today, and you might get that wonderful feeling in life you are always longing for.