O.K. so you’ve made the commitment to yourself. You’ve finally decided that sharing all of your plans and goals with your friends and family members is just getting you a whole lot of “well intended” advice and not much more.

But where do you begin?

You’ve heard the terms; personal coach, life coach, success coach, results coach and probably a whole slew more.

• Which one’s right for you and where exactly do you find them?

• How do you know they’re reputable?

• How do you know what’s a fair fee to pay?

• How often should you interact with your coach?

• What exactly are the different types of coaches?

• Do you have to know specifically what you want to work on before you begin working with a coach?

• How do you know if you are getting your money’s worth from your coaching?

These are just a handful of the most common questions I hear from people interested in getting to know more about working with a coach and I’m sure you have your own list if you’re at this point.

Let’s start with some basics:

What can you expect a good coach to do for you? When you first meet with your coach they will take you through a sort of “get acquainted” process, sometimes referred to as an intake session. This is where you will get to know each other’s style and you will start to give them an idea of what areas of your life are most important for you to start working on. Depending on the coach, this session may be in person or via the telephone or perhaps even via the internet.

I actually have an online form my clients use to give me an idea of what’s really important to them. It all depends on your coach and their business set up.

Once your coach has an idea of what you want to work on they will work with you to help you develop your plan of attack. One misperception many people have about coaches is that they will tell you what to do. Not true. A coach’s job is to help you expand yourself. Your coach may very well know considerably less about the area of your life you are trying to improve, but they don’t have to because their primary focus is on getting you to develop a plan that you can work with and then following through.

If you need to do research on how to do something your coach is not going to do it for you. They may provide you with resources they found helpful when doing research but it’s still going to require you do the work. If you’re looking for a way to get out putting in the effort; forget coaching.

If you’re looking for someone to help you figure out how to get the results you’re after, then a coach is a great idea. Remember though, you are going to be doing the work.
You want a coach because you’re tired of friends telling you they’ll help you and bailing when it requires too much effort. And, using your friends is a formula for failure because they in most cases will let you off the hook if you don’t do what you said you were going to.

A good coach will keep you focused on your objectives.

So how do you know if you can work with the coach you found? There are several factors that come into play here. Many coaches offer a complimentary coaching or sample session to see if you think you can work together and if their style is right for you.

Trust me when I say that every coach is not for every client. What I mean is although there are some standards that the industry is using to certify coaches, the fact still remains that coaches are human beings. That means every coach is going to have their own personality and their own way of delivering coaching to you. You need to decide if the coach you’re talking to is someone you can share with and listen to because in the clutch situation you need to trust them.

At times it seems as though there are almost as many coach training organizations as there are coaches, but there are a couple of really big ones. They offer time intensive six to eighteen month training in all of the principles of coaching and its methodology. There are also a couple of governing bodies which offer certification, which is more than just simply taking a written test. Certification requires actual evaluation of coaching sessions to ensure the coach understands and is utilizing the major coaching proficiencies.

Two large organizations which have websites where you can actually find certified coaches are IAC (International Association of Coaching) www.certfiedcoach.org and ICF (International Coach Federation) www.coachfederation.org.

On both of those sites you will find available to you the ethics standards coaches are expected to adhere to.

Bottom-line with finding a coach is you have to feel that you can work with and trust this person. They will be pushing you and challenging you and if you allow them to expand you, the rewards will be incredible. Once you have a coach you will likely never find yourself without one. Interview them. Ask them to explain their procedure and how they work. Ask them all of the burning questions you have. If they’re legitimate they’ll be very open and help you understand how coaching with them can benefit you.

My advice… get that gut feeling and go with it! You deserve it!

Author's Bio: 

Tim lives in Los Angeles California where he operates a personal coaching and personal training company.
He is known for his ability to put complicated topics into terms "even he can understand."
It's his easy going approach to the most complicated topics of life that keep folks coming back again and again.
His company offers a total approach to wellness both mental and physical.
If you're ever in the Los Angeles area look him up to go for a great run to the ocean!