Choosing the right coach for you is so important in setting yourself up for fantastic successes and results.    Feeling like you have no idea where to start can be very normal and many clients take the longest time taking the first step because of the uncertainty.  This piece includes a couple of easy tips to help you get started on your journey.
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that most of the following recommendations are written with the assumption that you will do a chemistry session with the prospective coach.  Different coaches call them different names, like matching-, meet-up- or consultation sessions but it’s essentially the same thing.  It is a free session in which you meet the coach in person or on video-call, and you will discuss what you’re hoping to achieve with coaching. If you’re not sure if a prospective coach offers this service, ask them directly!  It is unlikely that they will not offer this service.

 

1. Matching with the right coach

The single most important aspect of choosing a specific coach to work with is Chemistry.  You can have far better results with a good coach with whom you relate and feel comfortable around, than a great coach whom you don’t “gel” with. It is completely normal and healthy to like some people more than others.  Different strokes for different folks, hey?  Consider that this person will journey with you through tough and potentially uncomfortable subjects.  Do you feel that you connect with the coach?

 

2. Communication

A key communication attribute of a good coach is questioning.  This requires your coach to be a listener and if you find yourself doing all the listening, you might be better served by another coach.  Some coaches prefer to give information about their personal approach, company values and coaching-journey details in the chemistry session. This is natural and doesn’t have to influence your decision.  To determine if your coach is a good listener, ask yourself what the ratio of sharing was when you were specifically discussing your desired outcomes.  A good ratio would be 7:1, with you doing most of the talking.

 

3. Ask Questions

Ask your coach about their own coach, their accountability style, their policies, recommended reads, payment options, etc. Use the time you have to get a clearer picture of what coaching will do for you, and also get to know the coach a little better.  Coaches will generally not give you a full synopsis of their personal lives down to the dirtiest sock in their laundry bag. After all, you are the main focus of the coaching relationship. However, make sure you have more information than when you met up and feel free to send an email afterwards with more questions you might have.

 

4. Training & Regulating Body

Ask your coach who they are accredited with.  You don’t need to know the exact details of the various accrediting bodies – just that the coach is actually accredited.  One of the main concerns currently in the coaching community is that there aren’t mandatory, regulatory boards that coaches need to be accredited with (not here and not globally). The function of these boards is to ensure that the quality of service and the skills of the coach are up to a set standard. You can see how this could be a problem with irresponsible or untrained “coaches” acting unprofessionally and unethically.  Irrespective of how well-meaning the person is, an under-trained professional can do more harm than good.

Having said that, most coaches are advocating for a regulatory board and coaches are experiencing more and more pressure to 1.) belong to a regulating body, and 2.) complete accredited courses. A coach who values their practice and their clients will make this a  priority.

 

5. Gut-feel

Go with your gut-feel!  I can’t stress this enough. Your gut has over 100 million nerves and is directly linked to your brain.  This means that your gut functions like a type of brain and sends important information to your brain in a matter of split seconds. We don’t speak of a gut-feel for no reason –  it exists to help you make wise decisions.  If something feels off, choose another coach that feels right for you.  There are beautiful coaches all over the world and you will be able to find someone who works for you.

Another interesting fact about your gut is that it is linked to your core values, which brings me to the next point.

 

6. Values

Although the list of values is quite long, each one of us has a few values that are absolutely integral to how we live our life.  Not only does our core values influence how we live (and die) but we also connect deeply with others who share or value ore core values.  A coach does not have to agree with you on your values.  In fact, a coach who can compassionately challenge you on your values is worth her weight in gold!  But your coach should respect your values and if you don’t feel like this is the case, swipe left.

 

7. Google is your friend

This is your chance to be a professional stalker. Get online and browse websites.  Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which phrases or words to use.  Check out our recommendations below.

I get that some people are vintage and forego online interaction in favor of face-to-face meetings.  But if you don’t live inside major cities in South Africa, it’s often hard to find a coach through a web search.  Not necessarily because they aren’t good but because major cities get better Search Engine Optimisation than smaller ones. In other words, Google shows bigger results first. Contact a Coaching association (like COMENSA), and ask them whether they can recommend a coach who is registered with them and lives close to you.

 

8. Price is just a number

While it is important to be a good steward of your money and make financially-prudent decisions, I want to encourage you to not look at the cost of the coaching first.

  • Firstly, redefine the money that you will spend as an investment in yourself.  Then determine if the investments is a smart one – is what you’re paying worth the value of reaching your deep desires and goals? 
  • Secondly, and I can’t stress this enough, discuss pricing and payment plans with the coach.  Many coaches are willing to negotiate prices or payment plans and most have discounts and pricing packages. If you never ask, the answer will always be no.

 

9. Shop around for the right coach

If you find a match first time around, that is great and your law of attraction is on point, but it’s perfectly normal to “shop around” first.  Remember that some companies have more than 1 coach working for them and if you like what you see in the company, ask to speak with one of the other coaches.  This is why companies have more coaches, to help you choose a coach that’s right for you.

 

 

Any other suggestions or tips on choosing the right coach?  Drop them in the comments below! Others will definitely benefit from it.