So you want to change your life for the better, and you are considering working with a coach to help you achieve your goals.
To get the most out of your time with a coach, please consider the following things:
Past Results: What have other clients been able to achieve as a result of being coached by this person? A coach without references is a red flag. The bonds between a masterful coach and her clients are deep and lasting; past clients who are satisfied with the coaching experience typically write glowing reviews and make themselves readily available to answer your questions.
Method: How does the coach guide you through the process of changing your life? If you feel scattered, does the coach provide structure? If you tend to procrastinate, how does she ensure accountability so you make progress each week? What are the ways she will work with you to get results—do they seem designed to help you get what you want, and do you believe in them?
Also, if you are a visual or a kinesthetic learner, how does your coach adapt her way of working with you to make sure you get what you need?
Chemistry: You will be sharing intimate details with your coach and there will be times when you hit big obstacles that challenge you. You need to feel comfortable that your coach has both the skills to help you overcome those barriers and that you are comfortable being yourself with her.
Commitment: What are you willing to give to the coaching process? How much time can you commit – including sessions and homework– on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
Making change in your life takes sustained, continual focus and action over a period of time.
What is your degree of willingness (on a scale of 1 to 10, 1=not at all, 10=absolutely willing) to stick with it, even after the honeymoon period of the first week or two is over? What are you willing to do when you hit the real issues that hold you back? How transparent and open are you willing to be to make sure that your coach co-designs a relationship that works for your personality, temperament, and schedule? How will others in your life support you in your decision to be coached and how can they be a witness in this process to help you along your way?
Other Things to Consider
What is your runway for success? In other words, do you need a job next week or else you won’t able to put food on your table? Or can you take your time and go deep with the coaching work to make sure that the next move you make, whether it’s professional or personal, is the right one for you, instead of just the next opportunity that comes along? What are you willing to invest in yourself, both monetarily and also in terms of how deep you want these changes to be and to last?
The more thoughtful and deliberate you can be about these choices, the better you will know and be able to communicate with your coach your expectations and ensure that you get what you need and want from the coaching relationship.