These days finding LOTS of Life Coaches is pretty easy. A simple Google search will yield About 109,000,000 results in (0.25 seconds). That is quite the testament to the fact that Life Coaching is one of the fastest growing segments of the personal development revolution. More and more business leaders, professional athletes, actors and other high achievers are reaping the benefits of retaining a Personal Development or “Life Coach”. But coaching is not just for the ‘elite’. Housewives, students, empty-nesters, small business owners and everyone in between are working with coaches!

Having said that, finding YOUR Life Coach, one that fits your specific needs and with what you feel rapport is a great part of the process! This article was written to help you on your way.

Once upon a time, I too was seeking a coach. I did not know anything about the profession or how to find one. I can tell you that now, after working with many coaches and becoming one myself, there are some questions I might have answered in the beginning that would have helped my search.

1. What kind of Coach do I want to work with?

As the profession has been growing, there are now tons of different types of coaches. They fall into two categories: General Life Coaches and Coaches with a very specific niche. Niche coaches often look to the successes they have had in their own lives, coupling that with coaching skills and then choose a niche in that area. A Sales Coach for example most likely has a strong track record in successful sales. A Relationship Coach will most likely have a good record with communication and personal relationships. A Life Purpose Coach also will have walked their talk and will have identified and be living their Life Purpose. As Coaches, being authentic to who we truly are … is our sweet-spot.

So, understanding what kind of assistance you are seeking is a good place to start. If you do not know where to begin or if you would like coaching in many areas of your life, consider a general Life Coach first. Also, some coaches offer structured programs or sessions for specific results. For example, each session may have a particular topic and by the end of the program, you will have learned, acquired or created a particular outcome, such as weight loss (I recommend Jen Barley, The Kickstart Coach), acquiring of a new job , creating a life strategy plan, or achieving emotional healing (I recommend Emily Eldredge’s Drawing Out Process), etc. Other coaches are more Client focused and less targeted, so each session will be centered around whatever is coming up for the client at the time.

If you’re open to phone coaching, the entire country is your playground. There are many “find a coach sites” and sometimes it is hard to know where to start.

If you feel comfortable, ask your friends and family if any of them have worked with a coach. Next, I suggest using the ICF (International Coach Federation) Coach Referral Service. This is how I found my first two coaches. They have a detailed search system that allows you to write a bit about what you’re seeking. The request goes out to coaches who have identified themselves as a particular type of coach and then they can respond back to you and begin a dialogue.

You put in a request and you will receive multiple responses. Another great search tool is the IPEC Coaches site. I am partial to IPEC as it is the Coaching school I attended. The IPEC coaching model is one of the best out there! It’s foundation is based on the 7 levels of energy and helps people and organizations raise their awareness, energy and personal power through perception shifts.

If working with someone face to face feels better to you, do your search locally. If your city has Yelp listings, this is a good resource as local citizens review local services. You can also just Google the combination of your city, state and the type of coach you’re looking for. For example: “Life Coach”, New York, NY “.

2. What is my budget for coaching?

Coaching packages can run anywhere from $ 200- $ 2000, depending. Some coaches have sliding scales and some do not. Most require a client commit to a monthly package, yet some do not. In the coaching world, we highly recommend packages which create structure, accountability and stability for the coaching relationship. Most coaches allow for clients to purchase a month at a time.

3. What kind of person do I want to work with?

Almost every coach I’ve known offers a free consult or introduction call. This is your opportunity to interview your perspective coach and see, listen and feel if it’s a good fit for YOU. At the same time, the coach you are interviewing is also interviewing you because it is always in everyone’s best interest for the fit / match to be mutual. Listen to your heart and gut. A clue into the coaching world: Coaches come in all shapes, sizes, temperaments, personalities, backgrounds, genders, religions, etc. These aspects may be important to you, they may not. As for coaching styles of which there are many, you’ll find coaches who are intuitive, practical, straight-forward, by-the-book, linear, spiritual etc. As in the general population, coaches come in all forms. Some will be like working with a friend and others like working with a sports coach – no nonsense. Understanding what type of style you’ll respond to is good to know. Some people prefer a gentle style and others respond to a harder style. It’s up to you … to choose which works best for you.

4. How often would I like to work with my coach?

This answer will be based on your schedule, budget and just how quickly you’d like to move things ahead in your life. If you’re working with a business coach for example, you may want to meet often to really light that fire. If you’re working on relocating / releasing some stubborn behaviors or limiting beliefs, you may want to space your sessions out a bit in order to focus on homework assignments and adjusting to new paradigms you set for yourself. Many coaching relationships range from 3-6 months but some clients work with their coach for years. It’s all up to the client’s wishes.

Life Coaching changed my life … so much so … I decided to become one! How will it change yours?

Shine your light,

Hope Tackaberry, Life Coach and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner

by Hope Tackaberry

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