Working with a coach can help you move from vision into action, navigate through change, move past challenges, increase your network of support, and receive unbias feedback and accountability. The key is to find the right coach.
How can you be sure that you are investing your time and money on the right coaching experiences?
Here are 5 tips to ensure that you are identifying the right coach and making the most out of your coaching experiences.
Make sure the experience fits:
1. Your Goals
Some coaches specialize in career coaching, and may focus within a particular industry. Some specialize in personal goals and life transitions. While others take a more holistic approach and are able to support with both career and life goals. Understanding the areas where you are experiencing the most pressing challenges and opportunities will help you determine which kind of coach can help you successfully reach your goals.
My advice: Set up a free consultation or schedule a one-time session with a holistic coach who can help you clarify your goals and determine how you should prioritize your efforts. Clarity around your goals can help you determine the type of coach you would like to work with. In my experience, many people are seeking clarity and support in their professional and personal lives, and want the flexibility to be able to discuss both. Personally as a coach, my goal is to support a client within all aspects of their life - while guiding them through exercises that help them prioritize different goals and action plans based on their changing and pressing needs.
2. Your Lifestyle
The life of an entrepreneur is different than someone who works 9-5, which is different than someone who is balancing work and young children, which is different than someone who is on a plane every week for work - similarly every coaching experience should be different. The times, structure, and mode of communication for your coaching session can be as unique as you are. Research different options before identifying the coach that best fits into the ebb and flow of your life. Finding the right fit will ensure that your coaching relationship is sustainable and productive.
My advice: Explore out of the box coaching options that may be better suited for your particular lifestyle needs. I recently created a small play area in my home office so that clients who take care of their children during the day can take time to prioritize themselves, without having to find a sitter. I will also be launching small-group sessions for clients who want to meet with a coach as a work-team, peer-group, or with friends in order to lower the cost and develop accountability-buddies. The key is to find the style that works for you!
3. Your Schedule
Time is often the biggest barrier to our self-care and personal growth. Finding time to do the things that would make us better - going to the gym, making a healthy meal, connecting with friends, reading a book, taking a walk, or meeting with a coach - can be challenging. The best way to ensure that you find a coaching relationship that fits into your busy life is to:
identify the times when you are naturally introspective, and try to establish a coaching schedule that fits into your natural reflective rhythms (in the early morning, after work, on Sunday afternoons...)
find a coach who is willing to connect via phone, online, or come to you
determine whether a standing date and time or a rotating schedule best meets your needs
decide if you are open to phone or video conference sessions; as making yourself available via phone or video conference may increase the availability for flexible sessions
My advice: Find a coach who provides flexible times, days, and modes of communication. Many coaches offer a variety of options. For example, I have a home office for clients in the NYC area, I make myself available for weekly FaceTime/Skype calls around someone's busy schedule, and offer Lunch & Learn sessions where I will travel to a client's office so that we can have a coaching session during their lunch hour. Personalization is key to finding the right experience for you.
4. Your Vibe
Would you prefer to talk about your goals in your socks with a cup of mint tea? Are you most comfortable mapping out your vision for your best life in front of a white board or pad of paper? Do you want snacks or a glass of wine while you discuss the your recent challenges and successes? Finding the right vibe for you will help you establish a coaching relationship that is comfortable and productive. Figure out what kind of environment best suits you, and discuss those preferences when speaking with a prospective coach.
My advice: Find a coach who is able to set up a comfortable and productive environment for you (within reason, of course). For clients who prefer to talk in a cozy environment, I may suggest meeting in my home office over cookies and coffee. For those who think best when they are moving, I may suggest a walking session. And for those who are visual learners, I may suggest a session in front of the white board or sketch pad. Understanding your vibe and how best you learn will help your coach create an experience that works best for you.
5. Your Budget
Working with a coach is an investment of time and money. The rate for a career or life coach can range between $100-$500/ hour. With research, it is possible to find a coach that works within your budget. Here are some things to consider:
some company's will pay for their leaders to work with a coach; find out if your organization will cover all or part of the cost of your coaching sessions
hourly rates generally rise based on the level of expertise or specialty of the coach; decide whether or not you need an expert in a particular field before determining if you will receive a return on investment for the cost (depending on your need, role, or field, the answer may be yes!)
some coaches establish introductory rates, session packages, group sessions, or seasonal discounts that can lower the cost for some or all of the sessions; inquire if there are any special rates available when speaking with a prospective coach
My advice: Remind yourself that your growth, success, sanity, and joy are all worth an investment of your time and money. Identify a short list of coaches that fit all of the above areas, and determine the level of investment you are willing to make on yourself. Many coaches may be able to work with your budget, if they believe that there is a commitment to the coaching relationship. For example, I have established different packages based on the varying needs of potential clients. Determine the financial investment that you are willing to make on yourself, and research all of your available options.
Working with a coach can be a transformational experience. With a little research and reflection, you can find the right coach to help you live your best life!
For more information on the benefits of working with a coach:
To design a coaching experience that works for you, reach out to me by visiting the contact page or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.