- The ones who'll fix everything you don't like about yourself.
- The ones who'll 10X your business.
- The ones who tell you what to do instead of coaching you.
And many, many more who are wonderful, trained humans who have your best interests at heart.
How do you choose a coach who's right for you?
1. Be clear on what you want a coach for (is it to work on your confidence, your mindset, your health... there is a coach for everything!) and start researching. Note that friends who make recommendations might have very different coaching needs and energies to you!
2. Follow coaches who appeal to you and read what they write; do you resonate with their work? Are they offering what you need, just now? This is a good start :)
3. Check out their credentials; coaching is, frustratingly, unregulated, however good coaches, with your best interests at heart, will have invested in robust coaching training, will be undertaking continuous professional development (CPD) and will have coaching supervision too. (Yes, I do tick all these boxes!)
4. Find out if there is a good match in energy. Clients and friends often tell me I have a very calm energy, ideal when they feel anxious or in need of gentle encouragement. Some coaches are like high-energy bouncy balls, which is absolutely perfect for some, and can be exhausting for my quieter, more introverted clients. How can you find out? You should see it in their branding and the way they are online, and some coaches will have free and lower-cost ways of working with them (such as group programmes) where you start to get a real feel for their approach. Another way to find out is...
5. ... talk to them! All good coaches will offer you a free no-strings discovery (introduction) call, to check out how you get on, how it might feel to work together. You shouldn't feel coached in this call because you haven't contracted for that yet!
And what next?
Once you've found the perfect coach for you, at this point in your life, and you're in a coaching relationship, what should you expect?
- You should find yourself feeling supported, safe and comfortable sharing.
- And you should also find yourself challenged, nudged, even slightly uncomfortable, as you grow and make some changes (because that's why you're being coached, right?)
You need the first in order to be ok with the second. Maslov's hierarchy of needs is helpful here...
It's only when you feel safety and belonging, that you can build your self-esteem, and learn and grow!
(If you ever feel the level of challenge and discomfort isn't matched by the level of support and safety, you get to call it out; that's not what you contracted for and your coach isn't reading you well.)
How long does coaching take?
There's no one answer to this!
Depending on what it is you would like to achieve with your coach, it is possible to make some big shifts within a single session! However, change is usually more gradual and coaching often takes place over 3-6 months, creating and embedding really sustainable change. You may find too (I certainly have!) that you continue to grow way past the end of your coaching sessions; I felt this happens as changes I made went from being 'new' to becoming a familiar part of me,
If there's anything you'd like to know about working with a coach, please do hit reply, or get in touch on social media (links below) - I'd love to hear from you.