There are a lot of life coaches out there. There are many coaching workshops online as well as in the “real world” along with hundreds of coaching YouTube videos at your disposal. It can be quite hard to decide who is worth our attention.

How to find a good coach? What to pay attention to during your first consultation, and how to decide whether we want to work with them?

There are many factors that can tell us if a coach is right for us or not. Much of it depends on the area in our life we are choosing to work on whether it be relationships or personal and professional goals. It can also be that a company sends its employees to be coached and these people have a few mixed feelings. This is quite a broad subject so I’ve decided to stick to coaching those who have chosen to undergo this process, and not because their boss told them to do so.

I coach myself, but moreover, I was coached several times both in my professional and personal life. In my life, I’ve met effective coaches who are performing the top services and also those whom I’d never recommended to anymore regardless of how many diplomas and certificates they have. Why is that?

1. Certificates aren’t everything. 


Don’t get me wrong. A professional Coach should have a degree in coaching, which authorizes them to work in this field. There are accreditations which determine whether or not the coach is professional this is also supposed to increase their trustworthiness. These are IFC (International Coach Federation) and ACC (Associate Certified Coach) which confirm that the coach has worked for a specific amount of hours under supervision from their mentor. These coaches are quite pricey, but it’s hard to say if all of them who possess such accreditations are very good coaches. If the titles and accreditations are important to you, look for them in the coaches’ BIO, especially if you are after group coaching. When it comes to practice, the most important is what they did before they became a coach used to do before. In other words, their life and work experience will often tell you more about them than any amount of logos on his or her profile.


2. Chemistry. 


In other words, whether you both click or not. It’s hard to make an opinion about someone we never spoke to. You can follow them online and perhaps even like them, but when you do speak to them and feel that something isn’t right, give yourself some time to seek for someone else. Even to see how you feel after talking with a different person. Keep your options open at first.

There is one more thing: consider your mindset. Once upon a time, I was jobless and out of desperation I chose the wrong coach. The lady had all you could possibly ask for: titles, certificates, and impressive work experience. She was also very nice, especially during our first talk. However, by the end of her program, I wasn’t happy with the outcome. Why did I decide to go with her? Because I was so desperate and in a rush that I ended up choosing wrong. I didn’t give myself any time to look for at least one more person.

First impressions are important, but only if you are at ease and in a peaceful state of mind. As such, you can count on ‘good chemistry’, which is the sole for good cooperation.


3. Right Time. 


In other words, when you decide to undergo coaching. It’s not the best idea to start it when you have a lot going on such as work, family, home and business trips on top of everything (unless you are after Time Management Coaching!) It is good to begin when you have the spare time to give to this important venture. You will get more out of it and have the time to thoroughly think of your goals and where you are heading off to.


4. Type of Sessions. 


By this, I mean whether you are considering individual or group sessions. If you want to work on your specific goals, it is worth it to invest in one-to-one sessions, especially if you feel a bit lost on your journey. You’ll simply have more time to work through this with your coach. This is difficult to do when you participate in a group session, where all of you will have to keep up the tempo in order to end at the same time. If support of others is important to you, or you’d like to meet new like-minded individuals, group sessions are the way to go.


5. Take a look at the coach’s life. 


How does the coach you want to work with lives? What does their life look like? Is this the life you want to have too? If so, great. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that a good coach for you is the one who lives exactly how you would like to. It can be that the coach leads a totally different life, but you respect their model, get inspired by it and their positive energy.


6. Energy. 


Exactly. Energy is the most important thing, but quite difficult to ‘detect’ (especially during online or telephone coaching). Here we can refer to point no. 2 and consider that chemistry which you both had during your first conversations. You can firstly observe the coach online, for example when they have a channel on YouTube, a blog or places some info on social media. Not every coach has to be a social media Guru, but it is certainly easier to get to know a person and decide if they have a strong online presence.


7. Service for People.


A good coach understands that he chooses the coaching to help people. And here things may seem hard because some coaches seem to take advantage of the whole idea to make money. These coaches the program in the form of a “To-Do List”. Unfortunately, this is quite difficult to guess at the start and even if the coach fills in the above criteria, we still may end up disappointed. I’m saying this because it happened to me a few times. similar to a therapist, not every coach is good for us and the one who lifts me up may only be an average help to you.

Nevertheless, don’t regret the money spent on coaching. Firstly, you definitely learnt something about yourself and you also need to remember that:

Coaching requires two people and the results depend on how much work you put into it. Even the best coach will not raise you from ashes if you have no willingness to change and the enthusiasm to do it.

And one more thing:


When we want to get back in shape we hire a personal trainer to stay next to us and count our pushups. The same thing goes for when we want to achieve some of our mental goals; we hire a coach to motivate and support us, and most importantly to open up our mind. 


Because if it was so simple and we could all reach our goals and dreams just by ourselves, we would be doing it already!

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