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How to find a life coach you love

"The right life coach can help you reach and even exceed your biggest dreams and goals."

Life coaching — what we here refer to as Results Coaching— can be an incredibly powerful tool for achieving your most important goals. For the best results, you must know how to find the right kind of life coaching that will work with your personality and learning style. Here are some important qualities the best coaches should have, and what you should look for a successful life-coaching relationship.

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Synergistic, balanced communication

The ability to accept feedback from your coach and speak honestly and openly with him or her is absolutely essential.

Your coach must be able to confront you as needed yet remain non-judgmental. They need to call you out in a gentle yet honest way when they see you impeding your own progress. A successful life coach walks the line between trusted confidant and professional consultant. You need to be able to open up with your coach, but they need to maintain clear boundaries.

Your coach must possess excellent listening skills, but they must also be able to formulate meaningful follow-up questions to ensure that you think about your process in the right ways. They are not there to hand you all of the answers; their task is more acute, and it includes helping you explore your problems to find the solutions yourself. As you begin your life coaching journey, look for someone with a complementary communication style. If you learn best by hearing, for example, make sure you’re paired up with a great talker. More importantly, make sure your coach knows what your style is and what you need from them.

Great life coaches also balance making you feel comfortable with keeping you challenged, and this is largely a matter of personality and style. Look for someone who makes you feel at ease and safe, but not bored or unchallenged. Don’t be afraid to follow your instincts in this department, either. If you just don’t feel good about the match, you are probably right!

What can you expect from a life coach?

All good coaches should embody certain qualities. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Accountable: your coach should feel responsible for your success. You should be able to trust your coach to follow up with you and monitor how well you’ve applied what you learn during your sessions.
  • Strategic thinker: You and your needs are unique, and your coach should be able to help plot a path that addresses your limiting beliefs and the outcomes that you seek to achieve.
  • Good listener: Life coaching is about you, your goals or outcomes, and your path towards making them a reality. Only a coach who is willing to listen can truly know and understand you.
  • Goal oriented: It goes without saying that the point of coaching is to achieve lasting change. How do you know whether you’ve accomplished this? The only way to measure your progress is to establish goals — what we refer to as outcomes —, so it’s important to have a coach who can help you set the right metrics for success.
  • Has high expectations: You are capable of incredible things and your coach should recognize that, otherwise that person will not be able to maximize your potential and guide you towards a truly fulfilling life.
  • Always up for a challenge: Achieving change and attaining a state that will allow you to do anything you dream of will put you out of your comfort zone. Your coach should always challenge you to change, to do things that you otherwise would not, and to improve.

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Life coaching systems and experiences

Different life coaches use different systems, or methods, to help you meet those outcomes. It’s important to see how successful that system has been and whether the coach is truly following it. For example, all of Tony’s Results Coaches receive over 250 hours of training on the system that he uses on his own clients and which he has refined over three decades of experience. You should feel comfortable that the methods your coach uses will take you where you want to be.

There’s often an inclination to choose a life coach that specializes in certain areas. Maybe you’re looking to revive the passion in your relationship with your partner or maybe you’re looking for help on improving your personal finances. Rather than looking for a coach who fits these specific traits, what’s more important are the experiences your coach has had and how that person can apply the lessons of those experiences to your specific objectives. In fact, you want a coach who has a different perspective than you and who can help you see your life from a different point of view, one that could completely transform your life.

Meeting with your potential life coach

Most life coaches offer a free consultation, which allows for you to consider whether the match will work. This initial session is the time to learn everything you can about your potential life coach. Ask them questions, observe their response style and think about how you feel talking with them.

During this meeting, the coach should be able to explain specifically how they work, what they do and what methods they employ in their work. If they can’t do that, or if they make wild or vague promises, steer clear. Your life coach should be able to answer your questions in a way that you understand and offer you a clear sense of what kind of progress you can expect over time.

The bottom line

Finding a life coach you love takes attention and care, but it’s worth your investment. The right life coach can help you reach and even exceed your biggest dreams and goals. When you consider it in that light, isn’t finding the best life coach for you the least you can do for yourself?

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