As the field of coaching grows and becomes more popular, the number of coaches to choose from also grows.  While it is great to have so many options, it becomes more and more difficult to choose the right one.  And the question “Which coach is right for me?” becomes harder to answer.

Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the right coach for you.

1. Why are you seeking a coach?

This is a very important question to ask yourself.  Your answer can greatly narrow your search for a coach fairly easily.  For instance, if you are an entrepreneur who needs help taking your business to the next level, you will have the best luck searching for coaches who specialize in helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.  If you are in a career which leaves you unfulfilled and frustrated, a coach who specializes in helping individuals transition into a different career could be the most helpful to you.  Or, if you desire to have a stronger relationship with your in-laws, kids, or others., a coach who specializes in relationships may be the most helpful to you.

2. Research, research, research!

The internet is a great resource!  And it is a great resource to find coaches!  A lot of coaches will have websites or be listed on a website containing a list of coaches, such as your local chapter of the International Coaching Federation’s website.  Typically, you will be able to find an about section and a description of offerings which can give you insight into what term a coach uses to describe themselves and what area or areas they specialize in.  If they align with why you are seeking a coach then the coach may be right for you.  If not, then the coach is not right for you.

3.Talk with coaches!

Coaches are in the business of helping others and want to hear from you!  Contact and talk to the coaches you found through your research who specialize in why you are seeking a coach.  While different coaches provide different means to contact them, such as through email, telephone, or through virtual conferencing software (e.g. Skype, Zoom, etc.), we strongly encourage you to have a at least a telephone conversation with the coaches you’ve chosen to contact.  This first meeting not only allows you to find out more about the coach, what they offer, and how they can help you; it also provides you the opportunity to gauge if you like the coach.  It is a very important that you like and get along with your coach.  Don’t rush into a coaching agreement you are unsure of.

4.What am I going to get out of this?

If your seeking a coach, you are most likely doing so because you are looking for a solution to a need, a struggle, or a problem you have.  Simply put, you want your coach to be able to help you obtain that solution.  After talking with the coaches you’ve contacted, ask yourself “Do I feel this coach can actually help me create the solution I desire?”  The answer to this question MUST be yes.  While this is a strong absolute statement, entering into an agreement with a coach who you do not believe can help you may lead to frustration, wasted time, energy, and money.  And worst of all, not provide you with solution you seek.

5.All coaches are not created equal.

Organizations like the International Coaching Federation (ICF) set standards for the field of coaching and approve coach training programs which meet their standards.  However, they do not prohibit individuals who don’t meet their standards from calling themselves a coach.  It is important to find out the training a coach has before entering into an agreement with them.  Coaches who have received training meeting the standards of organizations such as the ICF receive the credential of Professional Coach; typically abbreviated as PC.  In addition, organizations like the ICF may offer additional credentials for coaches as they gain more experience such as Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC).  While not all certifications are indicative of a coach’s capabilities, they can help provide a baseline to ensure the type of training a coach has undergone to best serve you.

6.Cost and length of coaching.

Lastly, but certainly not the least important, your budget can help determine which coach you work with.  Coaching can vary greatly in its cost.  And some coaches offer packages for a certain number of sessions or a certain time frame for a specific overall or monthly price.  The most expensive coach does not always mean they are the best coach and the least expensive coach does not always mean they are the worst coach.  However, one thing is certainly true across the board.  Paying for a coach is an investment which is worthwhile.  Paying for the service will help hold yourself accountable for working with your coach as we all naturally want to get what we paid for.  And coaching is not a quick fix!  True change takes time!  The length of your coaching engagement with your coach should span several months, ideally six months or longer, to truly help you achieve the solution you are looking for.

Are you ready to start looking for the right coach for you?  We are here to help!  Schedule a free consultation with us by clicking here or call us at (412)420-0706.

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