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What People Search for in a Life Coach, and How You Can Find a Top Coach for You

Updated: Mar 29

How do you decide if Coaching is something that will help you?

In a non-regulated industry, how do you determine who is a certified and trained coach?

How do you know who will be a top coach for you?

This blog explores 5 key areas to take into consideration when exploring the options of working with a coach to help you improve areas of your life and well-being.

Image of Zoe Thompson coaching  a client , 2 women are sitting at the table with a mug of tea

1. What do you want Coaching support with?

What is your biggest challenge right now?

If you could really focus your energy and attention on one area of your life what would it be, and what could it change for you?

Do you know what you want to change? Is this something you have been trying to work on for a while? What have been the obstacles, what would you like to remove, or perhaps there is something you would like to implement to help you move forward?

Do you know specifically what you are moving towards, or are you at the stage where you just have a general idea and so you are looking for clarity of what you want in your future?

Maybe you have a plan for the future and you would like some help to make it happen. Have you set out with the same goals over and over and would like guidance and support to make the goals a real success?

Perhaps you don't know what you want, you just know that it isn't what you have right now. You find yourself retreating to what is familiar, even when you know it is not the life you want to live.

You may want to focus on who you are, your values, needs and purpose and being a happier, healthy more fulfilled version of yourself. What would you like that to look like?

  • Where are the sticking points?

  • What is it that is holding you back?

  • What is it you want more of?

Before you start searching for the type of coach you want, determine what you would want a coach to help you with.

2. What type of Coach are you looking for?

Once you have determined what you want to work on, then you can think about the type of coach you want to work with.

What is important to you?

Is it important that you work with someone who has experienced a similar challenge and works primarily with people who have a similar challenge to you and is, therefore, an expert in this area or do you want someone who works with a more generic pool of clients and has experience in a variety of areas?

Is it important that you work with someone with whom you can identify, maybe age, race, gender, or culture?

Do you want a coach that uses a particular technique, CBT, NLP, Positive Psychology* or maybe one that uses a variety of tools and techniques?

What about their approach? Do you want to be challenged, or do you want a more nurturing approach?

Do you work best in a more formal environment or are you looking for a more relaxed and informal coaching approach?

Are you happy to work with your coach online? This gives you the opportunity to search outside of your local area and further afield.

3. How much do you want to invest in Coaching?

Coaching is an investment of time, energy and finances. How much are you willing to invest, and how much are you able to invest? You need to be both willing and able.

With coaching the responsibility is on you to make the decisions and move things forward so it is best to reflect before you start the enquiry process as this help you to decide which coaches are a good fit for you.

You may have different levels of time, energy and finances to invest. Finances may not be an issue but you may be restricted with time and energy to invest in frequent sessions, it may be the other way around.

What does it look like for you - be honest.

How often do you want to have coaching sessions?

What is your budget to invest in the sessions?

Are you ready to prioritise time, energy and focus in these sessions?

4. How do you check the credibility of a Coach?

Coaching is not a regulated industry however many coaches are accredited by a Federation or Body.

This is not mandatory and is at the discretion of the coach.

You may choose to use a Coaching Directory website to look for a coach. Most require coaches to meet a certain level of training and experience before they are listed this is normally detailed on the home page.

The website of your coach should display an overview of their training and experience, you can ask to see copies of certificates if they are not shown on the website, as well as copies of public liability and/or indemnity insurance.

Check for reviews and testimonials. Are these from people with a similar challenge to you? Does what they describe resonate with what you are looking for?

It may be possible to ask to speak to someone they have worked with.

Some people like to check across social media channels to see how they interact and engage with people. You may also want to sign up to their newsletter to see how they work and what other services they provide. These often come with a free download or workbook. (Ours is a Values Alignment Assessment). This will help you see if the approach is a good fit and check credibility.

What does 'credible' mean to you?

This is subjective so spend some time thinking about what is important for you to check.

5. How do you know you are ready for Coaching?

Coaching is led by you and so it is important that you check that you're ready to step into the coaching space. Coaching is action-focused, the sessions will be centred around what you will do next. Whilst it is a space to talk things through the actions that you take as a result of these conversations are key.

Your coach is your thinking partner. They are not there to give you the answers and solutions, their role is to ask questions to help you find the answer for you. Your coach will help you explore your challenges, ask questions to help you look at different perspectives and help you reflect on what you think, what you feel and specifically what you want to happen.

Sessions are led by you. You determine the focus and decide how you want to use the time in the session.

  • You know that you are ready to make real changes and need support and guidance to help you determine what can work.

  • You have lots of thoughts and ideas which need to be unpicked and sorted out.

  • You have beliefs which are holding you back from where you want to get to.

  • You get so far and then hit a block that you can't seem to get past. You know that often the blocker is you and your mindset.

  • You have tried on your own and despite all your efforts and energy, you aren't getting where you know you can get to.

This seems like a lot of things to consider, there is a strong possibility you will already have a good idea of most of the answers as you read through the questions.

Spending some time before you start the search process will help you to have clarity on what you are looking for and will help streamline the search.

The next step, once you have narrowed down the search to this, is to shortlist those who you would like to meet and book a call to meet the coach, talk through the challenges and what you want to work on, and see if the coach is a good fit/match to help support and guide you.

This is as much about you, as it is about choosing the 'right' coach for you.

Coaching is very personal. You need to feel and trust that it is a safe space for you to be open and honest so that the coach can support you.

If I have made it through to your shortlist, and you would like to meet and have a chat with me, then you can book a clarity call when it is convenient for you HERE

If you are not yet ready for Coaching it is worthwhile exploring what other services the Coach offers. Many people choose to work on themselves with the support of a Community Membership or by attending a programme or course. It may be worth exploring these options too.


*CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/Coaching

*NLP - Neuro-Linguistic Programming

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