When you are looking to hire a Life Coach, the choice, expertise and specialties plus coaching style and experience can be overwhelming. When we are confronted by multiple options this proves making an evaluation extremely difficult. So to help you narrow down the field, here are five elements that will ease and speed your decision-making process:

REFERRAL

Having the opportunity to find out from someone that you know who has hired a Life Coach is a great strategy to hear exactly what their experience is like – and also what to expect. If they happily recommend their Life Coach, this is a sure sign that you will be in capable hands.

I receive most of my new clients via referrals from satisfied clients. This also assists me in deciding whether I can help the potential new client. As we tend to hang around with people like us, it is expected that the new person will have similar positive customer traits to the lovely person who has referred them to me.

CHEMISTRY

Ask to meet the Life Coach either in person over a coffee or online via video meeting. They will be ready to do this as they will want to meet you first too! This ‘chemistry meeting’ is vital as it will give you the opportunity to ask them all your questions and for the coach to explore exactly what you are looking for and whether they are the ideal solution for your particular requirements.

Do you like the Life Coach? Do you trust them? Do you think that they can help you? Do you think that they will challenge your thinking and support you to achieve your goals faster than you would on your own? Are the coaching sessions bespoke? Do they have a sense of humour?

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

With thousands of people calling themselves a Life Coach, a powerful determinant is whether or not they are fully qualified and value professionalism. Firstly, have they completed a professional coaching qualification with their training provider? This will reassure you that they cared about whom they trained with, invested in their learning, took examinations and wanted it to be rigorous – rather than simply attend a free weekend course!

Secondly, have they bothered to become a credentialed coach with an independent professional coaching body? I am accredited with the International Coach Federation (ICF) which is a global organisation who also accredits coach training providers. You can check whether a coach holds a valid credential with the ICF on their website. N.B.

A coach simply stating membership of the ICF is not a credentialed coach, plus unfortunately some coaches may have let their credential lapse.

EXPERTISE IN YOUR AREA OF NEED

Like many businesses, life coaches are encouraged to specialise and niche so that they can demonstrate expertise. This may help you if you are seeking support in your career (e.g. search for a Career Coach) however for more general “feeling like I am at a crossroads” or “stuck in a rut” situations, you may find it more useful to read the testimonials on their website to decide if they have previous experience in helping someone like you to move forward and improve their life happiness and satisfaction.
The previous clients who refer me to their friends and colleagues kindly do this part for me as they tend to recommend me to people who are experiencing what they were originally going through, before I supported, encouraged and challenged them to achieve their goals!

CONFIDENCE

Finally, having benchmarked your potential Life Coach with the above criteria, how confident are they that they can help you? You will feel this when you speak to them and in all their written communication to you. How confident do you feel that they will help you to move forward and hold you accountable to accomplish your objectives?

Just because they worked with someone that you know or have loads of social media followers, does not mean that they will be the right fit for you. Trust your gut instinct!

By Rachel Bamber

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