Whether you’re looking to develop your sense of self or move up the ladder at work, a life coach can help you to progress personally or professionally.
Social media is full of inspirational quotes about personal growth; how challenging yourself and making progress will help you become the person you want to be. But many of us feel like we aren’t growing or changing, or that we’re failing to reach our potential.
In these circumstances, hiring the services of a life coach can help us to stop stagnating and start moving forward again. Working with a skilled professional, trained to empower others to reach their goals, can be the kickstart needed to achieve the results you want.
Whether you’re looking to develop your sense of self or move up the ladder at work, a life coach can help you to progress personally or professionally. But in an industry that is growing so quickly, it can be difficult to know where to start. This article aims to guide you through the process; as they say; ‘every journey starts with a first step’!
Life coaching is a very generalised term, but it encompasses many varied specialities. Depending upon what you’re looking to make improvements to, there are different types of life coaches that people seek, such as:
Career Coaching- Career coaches help individuals to progress or make a change in their careers. Using methods to improve productivity and create progression, a career coach will support you to prepare for interviews, leading meetings or mapping out career advancement. This type of business coaching is very popular and there will be many practitioners to help you achieve your goals.
Executive Coaching- If you are in a senior role at work, then an executive coach (think the life coaching royalty; Tony Robbins) would work with you to improve your skills. This would allow you to improve team productivity and morale, and create open channels of communication within a business.
Relationship Coaching- A Relationship coach would use their expertise to identify issues with forming relationships, and help you to work on improving and expanding relationships with partners, families, and friends. This type of coaching can be extremely popular, and there will be many coaches available.
Divorce Coaching- Divorce coaches work with people that are going through a separation or those who are recently divorced to help them recover emotionally. They will aim to stimulate positive thinking and create a new outlook for you by reframing any negativity surrounding the end of your relationship.
Personal Development Coaching- A personal development coach will provide clarity as to what you want to achieve and help you reach that goal. They’ll work through any limiting beliefs and through motivation, understanding and inspiration they will map out small changes that will help you fulfil your potential and improve your mental health.
Recovery Coaching- Working with a recovery coach focuses on supporting you on the journey of recovery from addiction. This involves learning coping mechanisms and techniques for improving self-control, such as those taught by NLP practitioners.
If you begin the process of finding a life coach with your area of focus clear, knowing what kind of coach you are looking for then the path will be easier. However, it isn’t necessary- you can find a more generalised coach and see if they feel right for you further through the journey.
As with almost everything we do now, the first option is to search the internet. Googling ‘life coaches near me’ will give you an instantaneous view of what’s available, but quality over quantity is generally preferable!
If you know what type of coaching you would like then you could make your search more specific. Adding additional terms, like ‘relationship coach near Durham’ or ‘business mentorship coaching in Worcester’ will narrow your search results but it means that you need to be certain of what you want your coach to specialise in.
Using a search engine means that the onus is on you to thoroughly research any potential coaches. Currently, life coaching can be considered an unregulated field of work, whereby individuals can offer life coaching services without any regulated qualifications, so you’ll want to check what credentials your prospective coach has.
This means visiting their website, looking at their background, and reading through any reviews available. This might assure you, but there are other methods of finding a life coach available that may give you more reassurance about the quality of coach you’re hiring.
Using an online directory is one of the speediest ways to find a coach. Look for a platform that will allow you to filter your results; by coaching specialism, location or if you seek a life coach online or face to face. This will give you the immediate benefit of only seeing results that are suited to your requirements.
Another positive to using a directory is that some (and we recommend you use one of these) will require coaches to submit their qualifications before they can be listed. This means that someone else has done the background checking for you, so you’ll know that the life coaches featured in the directory are accredited to a recognised body such as the Royal Society for Public Health.
However, there are still drawbacks to this method. The databases aren’t always up to date; businesses close, people move and contact details change, so you could waste valuable time chasing coaches that are no longer available. It’s also impossible to judge whether the coach will feel ‘right’ for you by just viewing their contact details so it can depersonalise a very personal experience.
Quite often, the first person we turn to when we’re in need of support will be a friend or family member. So it’s a natural progression that when we want to seek support from someone externally, we’ll trust their judgment.
For many, a personal recommendation is the most reliable way to find a life coach. If someone close to you tells you that they worked with a wonderful life coach, and you can see the difference it has made to their life, then that coach may be able to help you too. This isn’t always true though; no two life coaching experiences will ever be the same. You won’t have the same motivations for seeking life coaching and you won’t be facing the same struggles.
Life coaching is a very personal journey and the most important dynamic will be the one you form with your life coach. Unless you and your friend have very similar personalities and communicate in the same way then you won’t have the same interaction.
If you’re outgoing, confident and like to react instinctively then you might not work as well with the coach recommended by your cautious and introspective friend. Equally, if your friend had used a life coach to restore their mental wellness following divorce, then it’s likely that their coach wouldn’t be the specialist you’re looking for to strengthen your business leadership skills.
Each method mentioned has positives and negatives. Online searching is convenient but vague, directories are more focused but impersonal and personal recommendations are trustworthy but also unobjective. You might want to work through each method, but if time is limited then think about what you deem the most important; convenience, speed, or the opinion of some whose judgment you trust.
Once you’ve created a shortlist (and it can be as short as one!) then most life coaches will offer a free session. This is potentially the most important step. The success of your coaching journey will depend highly on the rapport you build with your coach, so take advantage of this unpaid time to see if you connect with them.
You need to feel confident that your life coach understands what you want to achieve and can formulate and explain a plan of how to get you there. Unless you have a limitless budget, you’ll need to enquire about pricing and whilst this may feel awkward, your life coach will expect to be asked and happy to provide the information.
The cost of coaching sessions can vary and whilst the average is around £290 per hour, it can be as low as £85 or as high as £489 depending upon location and experience. Typically, a session will last between 45 minutes and an hour, but outside of this some life coaches will offer a support package; via email, instant messaging, or phone calls. Check if this is included in their hourly rate, or whether they charge an additional fee for this.
If the coaching specialism you require isn’t immediately clear then these free sessions may aid your thought process and provide you with some clarity. For example, you may believe you want to work with a Career Coach but then realise that a Confidence Coach would be of greater benefit.
Part of what makes a coach a good fit can be their personal knowledge rather than their expertise on paper; lived experience can give an insight into the challenges you’re facing that awareness and learning just cannot provide. Feel free to ask your coach if they’ve had similar experiences to those you’re going through and how they overcame them.
You want to work with a transformational coach; someone within your budget, that you feel an authentic connection and whom you trust to hold you accountable. You need to believe that they have a real interest in your wellbeing, understand what you’re hoping to achieve and have confidence in their skills to get you there.