30 Aug 2012

How to Hire the Perfect Coach

Hiring a coach is a big step!  You’ll be investing your time and your money in this relationship, so it’s important to know what you’re getting.  Given that the industry is largely unregulated, it’s vital that you do your homework prior to making a commitment to work with a particular coach.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you begin the process of looking for the perfect coach for YOU:

  1. Am I ready to BE coached?  This is important because if you are on the fence about whether or not you are ready for change you will be wasting your money and time.  As a coach, I want clients who have reached the point where the status quo in their lives is no longer acceptable and they are ready to do the work! If the answer to this is not a full body YES for you, consider waiting until you are sure you want to take on the commitment.
  2. What is the outcome I am seeking from coaching? What would success look like to you at the end of your coaching time? The more clarity you have here, the better able you will be to ask the right questions.
  3. What kind of coaching do I want (life, health, business, relationship)? There are coaches with very specialized practices, but you might benefit more from working with someone who is more general.  Your answer to #2 will guide you here.
  4. What are my candidate’s qualifications? Anyone can hang out a shingle as a coach and truthfully, I have had coaches who had NO formal training. However, with the growth of the coaching industry, I think it’s wise to select someone who has some kind of formal training.  Coaching programs give students a basic foundation and skills, but completion of one does not necessarily make someone a good coach.  Make sure you ask about experience as some coaching certification programs require no actual coaching!

Once you’ve got the answers to these questions, your next step is to find someone whose personality and style match up well with yours and who gets RESULTS! Here’s how to do that:

  1. Ask for recommendations from friends or associates. This is by far THE best way to get started.
  2. Once you’ve gotten some names, ask for a free Get to Know You Call. A good, experienced coach knows the value of this step, because there is nothing worse (for either party) than getting into a relationship that’s a total mismatch. Thirty minutes is more than enough to get a sense of someone’s style and how they work.
  3. Pay attention to the process. Does your potential coach explain clearly how he/she likes to work with clients?  Is there a structure in place so you know exactly what to expect and when to expect it?
  4. Check out the website. Are there client testimonials that feel genuine? Does the site look professional?
  5. Sign up for their newsletter.  Their writing will give you sense of their style and the kind of information you can expect. Does what they have to say resonate with you?

A coach can be the perfect solution as you navigate life’s transitions. It’s an important relationship, so take the time to do your homework.  You want to invest your resources wisely! Once you’ve covered the basic information, the choice may boil down to your intuition and that still, small voice inside. Trust that voice…it’s usually right!

Dr. Anna Garrett


  1. […] And if you find it’s too tough to go it alone, consider finding an accountability partner or hiring a coach to help you get started.  Creating new habits takes time and a willingness to commit to […]

  2. […] But I also know that given enough time, we can talk ourselves out of anything. There is value in being a “quick-decider”. I learned that long ago when I began working with a coach. […]

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