10 key points to consider when selecting a coach

Consider key information that will help you to decide what will work well for you. What's key when considering the selection of any coach is the relationship, feeling comfortable and confident. Relationships and connections are formed at the initial consultation between the client and the coach. A consultation session should be a relaxed affair that aims to create and gain knowledge about each other and the coaching process, considering and exploring some of the expectations you might have.


The 10 points below are about what you might want to consider as part of the initial consultation and then continue to evaluate over time. Reflection is very much a part of any learning and coaching relationship - one size does not fit all. Growing and developing takes time, and learning is subjective. Be open and honest - then enjoy your journey!

What to consider when choosing a coach

1. Consider the experience of your coaches life, career, background, and diversity of the client base. Do you feel a connection during the initial consultation?
2. Does their style of coaching suit you?
3. Support between sessions and fluidity?
4. How are you and your coach evaluating your progress?
5. Do the sessions allow you to feel more authentic (comfortable with your coach, yourself, and others)?
6. Are the tools used and applied portable relational tools?
7. Will you have an evidence-based track record for future reference? This will partly depend upon the way that you agree on aims, objectives and terms, and how you both agree to evaluate progress.
8. Is there an adequate opportunity to express yourself fully (confidentiality)?
9. Do you feel that there is trust, integrity, and honesty within the relationship?
10. Does each session provide you with the opportunity to stretch, taking you outside of your comfort zone, whilst being within the safety and protection of psychological, emotional balance?

A few explanatory points to help you to explore the points above further...

1. What are you looking to achieve as the primary driver for you wanting a coach? Is it that you are looking to bring a solution to a life, a career, or a behavioural issue, or are you looking to develop new skills to support your career direction?

2. Each coach has their unique style and approach that works for them and their clients. Consider how the description of the work fits with what you want to achieve. Ask as many questions as you possibly can to explore their style and approach.

3. Coaches will be happy to discuss similar experiences, and you will be able to gain insightful support and contact between sessions where there are complex relational issues.

4. Self-development and the way we learn is not one dimensional. What we learn on one level usually affects something or someone else. This results in a coaching relationship that is maturing by working with the changes brought into each session. It is important that the value of the process and the learning that is taking place is reflected upon.

5. Being honest and authentic in any relational situation is going to affect all the life situations around that relationship.

6. The tools used in coaching are memorable. They can make a profound change and will affect the way that you deal with the challenges you could face in the future. This learning can improve communication skills and positively benefit relational engagement.

7. Are there some memorable points where you experienced a shift a change in your situation as part of the coaching process? These learning shifts are part of the improvements that need recognition and reflection to consolidate the learning taking place.

8. Confidentiality is crucial and influences a client’s ability to express themselves.

9. Trust integrity and honesty, the cement of any relationship.

10. Stretching is about moving forward, adopting and adapting to new ways of thinking and working or stretching your existing boundaries or parameters, either emotionally, behaviourally, or psychologically.

One of the main criteria when selecting a coach is to have a fully exploratory approach during your initial consultation, as coaching styles and experiences are not an exact science. Search out any website information about your coach before your initial session.

Your sessions should be fluid, client-centred, and operate within the parameters of emotional, behavioural, physical, and lifestyle direction for positive change, improvement, and learning.

Look forward to a great experience and a learning and development journey that will lead to a greater sense of confidence, fulfilment, and well-being.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Durham, DL17
Written by Hazel Rowell-Peverley, Life Coach HR Consultancy Mentor Supervision and Mediator
Durham, DL17

Full Circle: all services are available locally, nationally or internationally. I work with person centred intervention, moving into solutions focussed objectives to challenge and facilitate the development of increased awareness and performance improvement.

Sessions are flexible weekdays, evenings and weekends, by appointment.

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