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How to Choose a Coach for Yourself
A primer on choosing a coach that you C-L-I-C-K with
Congratulations! You've decided you're ready to get yourself a coach! Or would you rather say that you've decided you're almost ready to get yourself a coach?! Either way, you're probably wondering how to choose a Coach best suited to you and your life. Fortunately, that's what this page is about.
How to Choose a Coach - Step One
Although the coaching relationship is a partnership between you and your life coach, it remains YOUR responsibility to monitor and discuss how well the partnership is working for YOU.
So how do you choose which life coach to choose? Try using the 'click' acronym:
C stands for Contribution - How much did the life coach contribute to you meaningfully addressing the issue you brought to the call? What Next Steps do you see now that you didn't before?
L stands for Listening - Who did more of the talking, you (which is good) or the life coach (which is not as good). How well do you feel the coach understood who you really are? How well did the life coach's words resonate with you? What did you hear in your own words that was new? How helpful was the conversation?
I stands for Intensity - What kind of energy was there on the call and how motivated were you by the life coach's style and approach? How engaged were you able to become in the call? What new thoughts, feelings, and insights surfaced for you that can speak to the value of the sample session?
C stands for Connection - How aligned did you feel with the life coach? How did you like the tone and mood of the call? How was the rapport? Did the coach “get” where you were coming from? Coaching conversations have an electricity about them, but the switch doesn’t always get turned on. Was there an instant kind of rapport? Imagine what an ongoing life coaching relationship would be like with this life coach - how does that feel?
K stands for "Kreativity!" - How good a job did the life coach do in getting you to see old things in new ways, or get out of you own way, or get back on track, or whatever? How motivated are you to WANT to work with this life coach on an ONGOING basis? How confident are you that this particular life coach can help you achieve your 'what' and 'how'?
Now, take out a piece of paper and rate each coach's 'click-factor' (4 points = great; 1 point= lousy).
ASSESSING THE 'C-L-I-C-K'
a sample evaluation form
|Name:||Barry Zweibel||Somebody Else*|
|Company:||GottaGettaCoach!||So-So Life Coaching*|
fictitious name and company, but you knew that, didn't you?!
** Hey, it's my website so why shouldn't I come out on top?!
Tally the scores, see if they match your 'gut' feel and if so, you're decision is made!
If it's not already apparent, all coaches are NOT created equal. That is, being coached by someone is NOT the same as being coached by anyone. So don't fall into the trap of thinking that coaching is a commoditized service ... because it's not. Coaches are NOT interchangeable. Say you needed brain surgery. You wouldn't pick a surgeon based solely on cost, now, would you? Not that coaching is brain-surgery, but it's certainly not like buying batteries for a flashlight . (Unless you're a battery salesperson in which case my apologies for the analogy!)
Why might some coaches charge less?
Maybe they are new (read: inexperienced).
Maybe they are struggling to get new clients (read: desperate).
Maybe they are part-timers (read: hobbyists).
Maybe they are testing some new methodologies (read: experimenting).
Or maybe they're offering an absolutely incredible deal (read: it's possible). It's fine to say, "all things being equal, I buy on price." But that works only if all things really ARE equal. And they're not - especially when you're selecting a coach to help you move meaningfully forward. Now obviously, higher fees don't always mean better service. But should you find a coach you really like and 'click' with - someone who really helps you think smarter, feel better, and act sooner - don't let a few extra dollars (either way) get in your way of getting you from where you are now to where you want to be.
Thomas J. Leonard (1955-2003), CEO of CoachVille.com, Founder of Coach University, and widely regarded as having been the Father of Coaching, loved Venn Diagrams. Here's one he created to help people select the right coach. Take your time reviewing it - it's got some considerable depth:
Whatever methodology you use to choose your coach, though - mine, Thomas', or someone else's, for that matter - choose your coach sooner rather than later. Because as Stevie "Guitar" Miller sang over and over again, "Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking ... into the future."
Need a little more information about about what life coaching is and how it differs from therapy? Want to learn what makes a certified life coach more able to help than say a friend or family member? Good for you. Here are some resources to help:
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