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How to Choose a Coach

If you are looking for a coach, start your search with ICF! Our credentialed coaches have met stringent education and experience requirements and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of the coaching competencies that set the gold standard in the profession worldwide. Our coaches also adhere to strict ethical guidelines as part of ICF’s mission to protect and serve coaching consumers.

Finding the right coach is very important. There are many factors to consider when choosing a coach.  Coaches have different personalities, areas of interests, techniques, energy, and listening styles. Let yourself explore and find someone who fits, who is right for you. We understand that coaches are a significant investment of time, money and energy.

Take the time to do your homework. It requires research, communication, observation and instinct. It can get a little overwhelming and difficult. To help navigate through this process, here are tips and suggestions for you to consider when choosing the right coach.

  • Search for a coach that specializes in your area of interest (executive, life, career, wellness, leadership, etc.).
  • Start with the vibe you get on the phone and by email.
  • Do you get the sense that they’re speaking to you with kindness, understanding, generosity?
  • Does the conversation feel transactional, does it feel scripted, maybe even a little manipulative?
  • Ask people you trust for referrals.
  • Testimonials are absolutely essential when finding a personal coach. Your job is to separate the genuine praise from the thin acknowledgement.
  • Beyond your direct communications, do some additional research. Check out their website, jump on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and get a sense of your prospective coaches’ lives.
  • Pay attention to red flags; what is your gut telling you?
  • Be careful that they are not over-promising results, remember it’s you who has to do the work.
  • Interview several coaches until you find one that feels right. This can take time. Many coaches offer sample sessions. Take your time.
  • Credibility: find someone who is credible to you and who aligns with your values, objectives and expectations.
  • Probe for the Coach’s approach and their range. You want a coach who will play all-out with you.
  • Identify a Coach who has the proper training and experience. Anyone can call themselves a coach.
  • A strong initial rapport and trust between the coach and the client is essential to the coaching process and engagement, you want to build a strong coaching relationship.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to gather the information you need to make an informed  decision about the coachyou want to work alongside.


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