When you Google "finding a life coach," over 44,300,000 (that's over 44 MILLION!) choices pop up.
Wow! 44,000,000 (million) Google keyword hits for "finding a life coach!" (6 months ago that number was "only" 30 million!) The recent and continuing explosion in life coaching, wellness coaching, and personal development coaching as a profession means you have lots of options if you have decided to hire a coach. And it can make the decision to hire a life coach quite difficult. Choosing wisely requires some research.
Part of the reason it might be difficult is that anyone can call themselves a Professional Life Coach ... and if the internet is any measure, thousands obviously do. With this bewildering array of choices, how do you know you're getting the best life coach for your life?
The tips for finding a life coach that follow are prepared to help you make a decision about how to choose wisely when you hire your life.
First Impressions are important. Most people feel a sense of connection right off the bat with some people. And that connection is important to the life coaching process. But remember that anyone with a smile in her voice and fair communication skills can set herself up as a coach. So dig a little deeper.
Beyond first impressions, do you have good rapport? Be sure your coach is someone you can trust on an intimate interpersonal level and that you really connect with her. Finding a life coach you can trust may take some time and energy. Spend some time getting to know her (or him) .... An important element of finding a life coach is your perception that she is an authentic person. Ask her about her values; does she use language that meshes with the values she describes? Do you like her?
Does she walk the talk? When you've spent time and energy finding a life coach, you'll start to sense the coach's "who" and whether or not she believes in her own services. Does she ...
Ask about her Credentials, Certification, and Training. Is the life coach certified from an accredited program? Most people go into coaching because they believe they are "natural" coaches; they feel a "calling" to this helping profession; they have a long-held passion for helping others achieve their own goals and dreams. The reality is that it isn't absolutly necessary for a good coach to have attended an accredited program of study. However, you can be sure that a coach who has taken the time, energy, and expense to make the effort to build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills through a rigorous training program is truly committed to being an extraordinary coach. You WANT to work with an extraordinary coach if you want extraordinary results!
So... where did she take her Training and Certification? There are many coach training programs and most of them provide credible training and certification. But each school has its own philosophy of coaching and its own style that will have a significant impact on the tools in her toolbox and processes she uses with you.
What professional organizations does she belong to? Professional organizations set high standards for ethical practice, hold ongoing education and training, and provide her with a network of credentialed coaches as a resource for improving the services she offers her clients. An important professional organization membership to look for is the International Coach Federation,
How does she operate her coaching practice?
What is her fee structure? Most coaches require monthly payments in advance, or payment for the entire contract upfront. This is because a well-formed outcome results over time. What is her policy on terminating the coaching contract if it isn't working for either of you?
What is included in the fees?Most coaches provide you with self-coaching tools and strategies, books and materials, and a variety of assessments. Depending on the resource, some coaches charge extra and others include the resources in the cost of services. Be sure you find out upfront what is included in the coaching contract.
Life coaching fees can range from $75 to $1000 for sessions lasting from an hour to a day. While it is important to be careful with your coaching dollars, don't try to cut corners by going for the cheapest coach .... as with most areas of life, you get what you pay for!
Your Introductory Session to discover what coaching with this coach is all about should be "complementary." A reputable life and professional development coach will provide the first consultation session at no charge. She knows the importance of rapport between coach and client. And she believes it is important for you to get to know her, and learn about her philosophy of coaching. The introductory discovery session should answer any questions you have. If you have found a good life coach, she will be grateful for the questions.
She'll explain the coaching process and describe her methods and philosophy of coaching so she'll do more talking than in subsequent sessions. The life coach should also do a very short demonstration of coaching (maybe 10 minutes) with you and by the end of the session, you should notice that you feel listened to ... in an extraordinary way.
What is a Life Coach?
Life Coaching is Not the same as therapy, counseling or consulting. The distinction is important to understand if you are thinking about hiring a coach.
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