Honey bunny, I've been asked a lot about how to find the right life coach. Life coaching is a powerful investment that you can make for yourself. Because it can be pricy (but totally worth it!), it's important to make sure that you vet your life coach as much as possible before you begin your coaching relationship.
This saves time, money, and energy and can keep you from misunderstandings down the road.
Most life coaches offer a free initial consultation so that both of you can determine if ya'll are a good coaching fit. Make the most of this initial consultation, so that you can totally knock it out of the park
Here are some powerful things to consider in preparation for your initial consultation with a life coach --
1) Think about what you want to achieve and explain this during your initial consultation
In my blog post, Checklist for Finding the Right Life Coach, I talk about how important it is to think about what you really want to achieve from this process. Do you want more clarity in your life? Help with goal setting? Accountability?
Make sure that your potential life coach understands where you are right now. Don't worry about whether or not you have a specific objective that you'd like to achieve (e.g. getting promoted at work, writing a book, losing weight, etc.). Your life coach can help you figure out what is important to you and construct a plan that will help you get there.
2) Understand the life coach's coaching process
You want to understand the life coach's approach to the coaching process. How are coaching sessions structured? Will you be doing individual coaching or group coaching? Will you have assignments in between sessions (e.g. journaling, reading, exercises, etc)? Will you be able to email or text your coach? How will you two know if the coaching relationship is on track and successful? How will you measure said success? How has the life coach worked with other clients in the past?
3) Understand the coach's work history, training, and beliefs
You want to understand what expertise the coach possesses, certifications he or she holds, trainings they have been to, methodologies they ascribe to. Do they incorporate a spiritual element to their coaching? What would that look like and do you, as a client, feel comfortable with it?
Much like the yoga world, life coaching is not highly regulated. Most use the International Coach Federation (ICF)as the standard for certifications and training. Is their certification and/or trainings ICF affiliated?
4) Take note of the energy during the initial consultation
Whether in person, on the phone, Skype, etc., take note of the energy between the two of you. Do you feel like the life coach is really listening and understanding what you're saying? Do you feel comfortable and compelled to speak? Is the life coach talking AT you or TO you? After the call, do you feel expansive and light or do you feel weighed down? Your energy doesn't lie, so pay close attention to what comes up for you during the initial consultation.
5) Understand the coach's pricing options and refund policy
This is super important because life coaching is an investment that you're making into yourself. Anytime you purchase something you are exchanging value. In this instance, the life coach is providing you with strategies, techniques, and accountability, which you value. You, in turn, pay the life coach for his or her services.
Does the life coach offer individual sessions and/or group coaching? Is there a package option? Oftentimes you can get a per session discount by purchasing a package option.
That being said, understand the financial commitment you are undertaking and how it affects your budget. The more you are spending on life coaching, the more you 1) should give your all to every session, assignment, etc.) 2) you should expect from your life coach.
It's important that you both have a clear understanding of what this taking this relationship on means so that in the future you don't have any misunderstandings.
6) Identify next steps
Will the life coach reach out to you? Will you take time (say, a week) to figure out if this is something you want to proceed with and then reach out to the life coach? Never leave a coaching session without next steps.
7) Determine if you are overall a good fit
Now that you've had your initial consultation, you get to decide if this is the life coach that you'd like to work with. Given the energy, training, coaching process, pricing, do you want to proceed with a coaching relationship? Either way, it's good karma to let the life coach know what you've decided.
And there you have it -- best practices for preparing for and having a wonderful initial consultation with a potential life coach. Want the PDF version of my FREE checklist? Click below and download right now.