how to find a coach

  • by

This is the third in a series about coaching: the whys, the whats, and now the hows of finding a coach.

One way to find your coach is to start with referrals. Do you have any friends or family members who’ve received coaching? How did it work for them? Maybe they can suggest somebody. Another option is to check reputable coaching programs to see if they have a list of qualified coaches. The International Coaching Federation lists coaches who have met their qualification for certification, which include minimums of 60 hours training and 100 hours of coaching experience, a (recorded call) performance evaluation, and an exam covering among other things, the ethics of coaching.

And definitely check out a coach’s website. That should give you an initial idea of what they’re about and who they tend to work with.


All the coaches I know offer a free discovery call, which is a way for coaches and clients to see if they’re a match. Usually about 30 minutes, these calls are a chance for you to ask questions, say what you hope to achieve through coaching, and see if your styles and values align.

Though this may sound super obvious, the best tip I can offer is to trust your intuition. When you get on that discovery call with a potential coach, how do you feel? Are they welcoming, do they put you at ease, do they answer your questions, and most important, do you sense that they will have your best interests at heart? You’re not looking for a new best friend, but the interaction and, if it proceeds, coaching relationship, should feel friendly and comfortable.

the importance of trust

Trust is a key component. Coaching isn’t therapy (more on that in a later post), but strong emotions can come up during sessions, so you want someone who’ll listen and hold space when things get messy. You are, after all, wanting to make changes in your life, sometimes big ones, and that shit can be scary. We’re talking about your dreams here!

One last thing: a good coach always wants what’s best for you, even if that means referring you to another coach, If you’re getting a hard sell, run! I don’t know coaches who do that, but they are out there. Coaching isn’t an overnight process, where your life is effortlessly, automagically better. Ideally, it can be a combination of some hard work, some fun, some laughter, and some real changes you make in your life. And that can totally feel like magic.

If you have any questions about coaching, please comment here or email me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *