There are a lot of sharp life coaches out there and some that couldn't cut through warm butter, so how do you know the best one for you? Well, that's a hard question to answer, but there are certain things you can look for to avoid wasting time and money.
I am a coach but I am not the only coach, and I may not even be the best coach for you. That's why I'm here to offer a few solid tips on what will make your time most worthwhile.
They might not be very similar to you, and that's good; you have a lot to learn.
Don't just look for someone who reminds you of yourself, because honestly, why pay big bucks to hang out with yourself? You can be with you anytime you like for free. A good fit coach will be able to relate to you YET bring many new perspectives to your table. My first coach (yes, even coaches have a coach!) was vastly different from me in background and personality, which is why I gained so much from our time together. Through him, I came to see faults and weaknesses in myself that I seriously doubt someone who was similar to me could have picked out. So take a chance on a coach that is NOT very similar to you. The results might impress you.
They value being an effective coach over being your buddy.
When you hire a coach, you're not hiring a friend. Sure, you might become friends through the process, but fundamentally when you're in a session, a strong coach always has your best interest in mind, even when it means saying or doing something that is not super friendly. In fact, it's our job to push you out of your comfort zone, because just beyond it is where real progress lives. Think of any great sports coach-- they demand excellence of their players, and because of that they create excellent players, even if it means hurting some feeling once in a while. The good news in all this is a few uncomfortable moments mean you get to have a better life than ever before.
They adapt to your specific needs.
Is there a single person in the world just like you? No way. You and every living person are a unique combination of looks, thoughts, memories, feelings, and personality, which is why ultimate self-improvement will come from a program that fits you like a glove. It's always the case that even excellent coaches have a preferred method and area of expertise, but that doesn't mean they don't tweak the routine based on information they get from you the client.
Great coaches learn as much from and about their client as the client ever does from them. They have to. Imagine a baseball player stepping up to the plate, closing his eyes, and making the same swing every time no matter what. Sounds like a pitchers dream. A good batter, on the other hand, analyzes every motion of the pitcher and then tracks the ball like a hawk, making instant and minute adjustments throughout his body. Then with any luck, he hits a home-run. Coaching is not too different. It's our job to study the client and constantly adjust to give you the best service.
They base their methods on proven strategies, not just what feels right.
It's no secret that the self-help and personal development industries are bloated with fake gurus more concerned about maximizing their bank account than about your wellness. It's easy to say "this program will work for you!" but proving it is another story. When choosing your coach, look for someone who has reviewed the research and bases their work on proven strategies. Don't waste your time with someone who is full of it.
If you've been putting off getting a coach because you're not sure where to find the best match for you, think about it like dating-- you don't date someone because you're sure they'll be your perfect match but as a way to find out if they are. It's assumed you might not get it right the first or even fifth time, but still you go for it.
Is today the day you're finally going to go for it with coaching and accelerate your personal and professional growth? The call is yours.