Searching for a Life Coach can be a tricky thing. Do you find someone local who you can meet with face to face or do you go the phone and video chat route? Do you find a coach specializing in a certain area or choose an overall wellness coach? Certified coach or non certified? How do you find the best coach? How much is too much to pay? Here are some answers that may help.
Local vs. Remote
Seeing a coach face to face matters most if you are someone who needs that in-person exchange. If you need the eye contact or feel you need to feel them out in person, this is the way to go. If you prefer to talk to someone at home or while out on a walk (which many of my clients do), go for the phone session. If you are shy, extremely introverted or possibly overwhelmed by eye contact, definitely choose the phone session. This will allow you to focus inward and on taking notes.
Niche vs. Wellness
Most coaches who don't have a specific niche call themselves a Whole Person Coach or a Wellness Coach. A niche may be in advertising, working with CEO's or business leaders, small business development, nutrition, etc. If you are looking to meet a very specific goal, seek that niche. If you are looking to find overall balance and have a few broad goals in mind, go for the Wellness Coach.
Certified vs. Non Certified
Overall, it's to your benefit to work with a certified coach. They bring to the table specific and extensive training that goes far, far beyond being a good listener and advice giver. In most cases, a non certified coach is really a consulting coach. They are usually giving feedback and advise. And that may be your jam! You may simply want someone to tell you what to do and there are some awesome coaches who are not certified. But goals tend to be accomplished much quicker and with far more drive if you are working with a trained coach who can guide you toward your own empowerment.
Qualified Coach vs. Your Best Coach
The best coach is the one who you not only feel comfortable with but the one you see the best results from. You can look on the ICF's website for credentialed coaches or do a search online for "find life coach". Ask if anyone knows a coach or has worked with one they'd refer. Search online for coaches who have reviews and feedback on their site. Look on social media. Make calls and talk to them. Usually coaches offer a 30 minute free session to feel them out. Do it. It's completely worth it and will save you money in the long run.
Cheap vs. A Whole Lot
This is a tricky one. Some amazing coaches are cheap, cheap, cheap. Some are crazy expensive. Sometimes they're completely worth it, too! You need to get clear about what you can afford before you start looking. I offer sliding scale to a handful of clients each year and I'm adamant about them not paying more than they can afford. Overpaying only stresses them out and delays accomplishments. Be real with yourself and don't be shy about saying what you can afford and asking coaches if they offer payment plans or a sliding scale. If you can afford more, pay more. Coaches work hard to get good at their job and deserve to be compensated. Plus, when you're paying a professional a chunk of money, you tend to be more committed and follow through on the work.
Finding the right coach is right around the corner from starting the process. There are so many of us out there who are eager to help and are pretty damn good (if I do say so myself). Give it a little time and you'll get the perfect coach, for you.
By Allison Barnard ACC, CPC
Allison Barnard is a Certified Wellness Coach ( ICF), Interior Design Consultant, and owner of Larkspur Wellness. She offers women's retreats, virtual interior design sessions, contract and contract-free coaching sessions, and online courses. If you're interested in a session with Allison, visit: http://www.larkspurwellness.com/coaching