Finding the Right Coach

One of the most important things you can do when you are planning to be coached, is to find the right coach.  It shouldn’t be an enormously difficult undertaking but it is very important.   If you’ve already made the decision to seek coaching then you’ve most likely decided there’s an area of your life or work that is not as fulfilling or as productive as you expect or need it to be.  Or perhaps you’re committed to ongoing self-development and would like to see how coaching will fit into that process without a clear idea of how that will work or what areas you’d like to address.  Regardless of your motivations or goals for seeking coaching, the most important thing to do is find a coach with whom you can establish a deep connection and partnership.

Define your goal(s) in the clearest way you can.  For example, “I want improve my ability to communicate at work so I can get a promotion.”   Or, “I want to understand myself better and feel more confident about meeting new people in social situations.” Or perhaps, “I want to increase my selling skills so I can earn more commissions or bonuses.” It’s very important to know what you hope to accomplish or what your specific needs are so you can determine what kind of coach you’d like to work with.

Once you’ve defined your goal or goals as clearly as possible, you’re ready to choose the category that fits most closely with your goals.  There are many different categories of coaching and you may find differences in the categories available at different search sites.  I found the following categories of coaching: ADD, ADHD; Business; Career; Christian; Entrepreneurship; Executive; Family; Health and Fitness; Money and Finance; Performance; Relationship; Retirement; Spirituality; and Team all listed under Life Coaching.  There are “find a coach” searches available in a variety of places but if there is a local chapter of the International Coach Federation in your area, that would be a good place to start.  If there isn’t a local chapter in your state, the International Coach Federation website has a good search utility.

Choose a coaching category that most closely matches your goals and refine your search using any of the parameters listed that meet your needs.  Once you’ve received a list of coaches meeting your search parameters, you can narrow the list if necessary and then choose some of the coaches to speak with directly.  I recommend you interview 3 or 4 coaches before making a decision.  When you speak to the coaching candidates you’ve chosen, you’ll get a feel for their personalities and styles. It would also be helpful to have several questions prepared to ask each coach so the information you collect is consistent for all of those you interview.  In addition to asking about the logistics of coaching with them, you might also include questions about their background and training as well as questions about their philosophy or coaching process.

Coaching is a wonderful way to develop yourself and achieve your personal and professional goals.  I hope you’ll enjoy your search and find just the right coach for you.


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