Coaching is a very broad and fairly new profession, so it can be challenging to find the right coach for you. First, it’s good to understand what coaching is and then what type of coach you’re looking for. Are you looking for a business coach, a life coach, a spiritual coach or other? It really depends on what types of obstacles you are looking to overcome. Understanding that will help you narrow your focus down.
Next, consider their experience. What do they specialize in and what is their philosophy on how they approach things? Referrals and testimonials can also give you great insight to see if it could be a potential fit.
Accreditation is another important consideration. Coaching is an unregulated industry, so finding a coach that has certification from a regulated body (such as the ICF) will ensure a certain level of standard, ethics, confidentially and training. While the ICF provides a solid framework for coaches, it still allows for a lot of flexibility in how coaches craft their own style and approach.
Finally, when you think you may have found the right now, it’s important to meet with them and get an idea of how comfortable and safe you feel. Having a live conversation with them will allow you to gauge how engaged and how present they are when you are interacting with them. Discussions should flow freely and naturally. A good coach will ask you the right questions to make you say “Hmmm...I never thought of that” and really challenge yourself to think outside your comfort zone. If they can do that for you, then you know you’ve found someone to support your personal and professional growth!