By John North
Better Business Bureau
Life can be tough, especially when you’re at a loss of where you think you should be in life and if you’re headed in the right direction. If you feel as though you’re not as successful as you should be or are stuck in a weird limbo in life, a professional coach may be what you need to help you fulfill balance in your life.
A professional coach focuses on what’s happening right now, what a person wants next and how that gap can be bridged. Coaching is about helping people identify the obstacles getting in their way, assisting them with finding motivation and pinpointing any resistance to change. Before you decide if a coach is right for you, you must understand what a life coach does.
Better Business Bureau offers these tips when hiring a professional coach:
* Research. Ask friends, family and your network for recommendations.
* Identify coaches on the internet. Visit their websites and social media and compare their offers.
* Look at online reviews and check out what clients are saying about the coach.
* Subscribe to potential coaches’ newsletters to learn more about their beliefs and how how they engage with clients.
* Communicate clearly what you would like to happen as a result of a coaching. With a clear idea of desired outcomes, you can better identify the coaches who are well-equipped to help you develop a strategy and achieve those outcomes.
* Ask about memberships in professional associations, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF). For instance, ICF membership signifies the coach has completed stringent education requirements and demonstrates a strong commitment to ethics and excellence in coaching.
* Interview potential coach candidates to help you decipher if you’ll have a personal connection.
* Ask if the coach offers a complimentary first session to help you see if he or she will be a good fit.
* Ask for references. Testimonials from past clients are a useful tool you can use to ensure your coach delivers on the promises he or she makes.
* Beware of high-pressure sales tactics, such as coaches who pressure you to sign a contract with them right away.
* Beware of a deal that’s too good to be true. Promises of jobs within a certain number of days or introductions into a very exclusive field are usually not trustworthy.
* Understand the cost of your coach before you decide. Look for one that stays in your budget.
* Get everything in writing. Make sure it includes all costs, a payment plan and expectations.
* Prepare for each session once you have hired a coach.
As you prepare for hiring a professional coach, you can also reach out to the Better Business Bureau at BBB.org or (937) 222-5825. It can provide lists of BBB Accredited coaches and Business Profiles on the ones you’re considering.