So you have decided to hire a life coach. And you have found the name of someone from a friend or a website search. What now? How do you know if this coach is best for you?
My suggestion is that you do your research and ask a few key questions. This will immediately give you some insight and help you make a good, well-informed decision.
Here are five questions to ask before hiring a life coach.
1. What is your experience?
Today there are coaches who specialize in life coaching services such as helping clients with ADHD, relationship issues, career transition, work-life balance, self-esteem, health and many others.
It is important that your coach has worked with people who have had similar challenges like yours. When you are investing your own money into career or life coaching packages, you need to be sure you are not the first client for that coach.
Ask for specific examples of people they have worked with. Ask about their specialty and their interest in different life challenges. You should be able to tell right away if this coach is comfortable in your area of need well before you disclose the nature of your own personal challenges.
A good coach will be open and honest about their experiences and specific skills sets.
2. What are your life coaching qualifications and credentials?
Life coaching is a relatively new profession. There are people who will call themselves coaches without having any training at all. The trouble is compounded as there are many competing schools. With all of this it is sometimes difficult to know what credentials to look for when choosing your own coach.
Fortunately the International Coaching Federation (ICF) has changed all of this. The ICF has become the primary global professional body that oversees the certification of all specialty life coaches.
When seeking a coach, you should definitely ask and check whether the coach is a member in good standing with the ICF. Just go to the ICF website and type in the name of the coach.
Respected coaches will hold an ACC (Associate Certified Coach) credential. This ensures that they have met an exceptional standard of experience and earned the respect of colleagues in the profession. Coaches with the ACC designation have demonstrated a commitment to the values of the coaching profession.
3. What life coaching school did you attend?
It is also important to find out where the coach studied. There are three well respected and best coaching schools: Adler, iPEC and CTI. You can be confident in your coach if they completed any of these programs.
I studied through the CTI (Coaches Training Institute) program, which is a year long practical and theoretical education system developed out of California. We use a Co-Active Coaching model, which I will speak more about in future blogs. CTI has given me the additional qualification of CPCC (Certified Professional Co-active Coach).
If you wish to have a truly deep, respectful and professional experience, I would recommend that your coach have both CPCC and ACC after their name.
4. Do you offer a free consultation?
The only way to know a coach is to actually speak to them. Most good coaches will give you a free consultation over the phone. During this time you should feel free to ask any questions about their services and experiences.
You should be able to tell right away whether the life coaching packages are clear and what is expected of both the client and the coach.
I offer a number of different coaching packages, but I generally need to ask a few questions to learn about the client before I can suggest a program. Every program I develop is personalized to the individual, but generally involves an in-depth discovery session followed by a minimum of three to six intensive coaching sessions filled with life coaching questions and exercises.
An initial consultation, which is usually a fifteen to twenty minute call is completely free of charge and involves absolutely no obligation. It is just so we can get to know each other and answer each others’ questions.
5. Do you offer a guarantee?
Many coaches are nervous about offering any sort of guarantee. This is because much of the work in making changes in a client’s life will actually require the client to do the work.
A few coaches, me included, do offer a guarantee. I guarantee that you will receive exceptional value from each and every coaching session. At the close of every session I will ask if you received value from the session and if I helped you make a difference in your life. If you feel at all uncomfortable with any part of the session I will immediately address the concern and, if necessary, re-schedule another appointment to ensure your satisfaction.
My guarantee is that you will be given a meaningful and powerful coaching experience each and every time.
As a final word, I would like to suggest that, above all, you trust your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable with someone, if they seem to have their own agenda that is not in line with your direction or needs, even if they have all the credentials and years of experience, do not rush into a coaching relationship with them.
It is important that a trust is built from the very first contact, and if you feel your needs are not being honored, then you need to take a step back and keep looking around.
There are coaches that may be popular on television tor excellent at writing motivational articles in the newspapers. But if you do not feel a safe, honest connection with this person, do not invest in their services. It may slow you down when you most want to change direction and go forward.
Give me a call. I am here to answer your questions.
Take the next step. Commit2Change now.