We all have goals we want to reach, challenges we’re striving to overcome, ideas that need a road map and times we feel stuck. Partnering with a professional coach can unlock your potential and set you on a path to thriving personally and professionally. Once you’ve identified your goals and have decided you are ready for coaching, it’s time to find a coach who is best suited to partner with you. Here are some tips to find a coach who is right for you.

Things to Consider

Method Used to Connect

If you would prefer to have in-person sessions with your coach, then their geographic location will be one of your considerations. Coaching engagements may also take place via the phone and/or virtually.

Education, Credentials and Affiliation

You may recall from a previous email that your coach doesn’t need to be an expert in your field or industry to coach you, but they do need to be an expert in the coaching process. That is why you will want to seek a coach who has completed accredited coaching education.

Many coaches are also a part of professional organizations, like the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and/or have earned credentials, which require advanced education and practice requirements. Both ICF Members and ICF Credential-holders adhere to strict ethical guidelines as part of ICF’s mission to protect and serve coaching consumers.

Plus, selecting a coach who holds an ICF Credential ensures that you’re working with the best in the industry. According to the 2022 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study, more than half of survey respondents (55%) who said their coach held a credential/certification reported that they were very satisfied with their coaching experience, compared to 27% of respondents whose coach did not hold a credential/certification. You can use the ICF Credentialed Coach Finder, a free, searchable database, to identify coaches who are both an ICF Member and Credential-holder.

Verifying Chemistry

The coaching process requires trust and collaboration, so it is important to make sure you have good chemistry with your coach. ICF recommends that you interview three coaches before you make a hiring decision. Ask each candidate about their qualifications, experience and skills, and be sure to request at least two references.

Suggested Questions to Ask

  • What is your coaching experience?
  • Have you completed coaching education/training? If so, from where?
  • What is your specialty?
  • What types of individuals and/or businesses do you work with most often?
  • What is your coaching philosophy?
  • What types of assessments are you certified to deliver?
  • What are some of your coaching success stories (i.e., specific examples/case studies)?
  • Are you a member of ICF?
  • Do you hold an ICF Credential?