Choosing a life coach

Choosing a life coach can be an important decision - emotionally and financially - and is, therefore, a little daunting. It can also be the start of a new life.

What are the qualities to look out for in a coach? How do you know whether you've found the right person? First and foremost, you need to like them. The rapport - or 'chemistry' - is key to creating a successful coaching relationship.

But when someone doesn't reveal much about who they are, how are you supposed to know whether you like them? Here are some key qualities to look out for.


Try asking a few questions and testing their openness. If they don't state it on their website, you can ask about their background and why they decided to train as a coach.


Self-awareness is the key to emotional intelligence. It's a skill that requires constant work and vigilance, and it is concerning when a coach believes to be done with their own self-work.


Humility is the ability to remain teachable. Like parents can learn from their children, and teachers from their students, coaches can definitely learn from their clients. It's about participating in the process as an equal, rather than from the standpoint of the dogmatic expert.


In order to look the part, some coaches will hire expensive practice rooms and charge ridiculous amounts of money for their services. But are price and quality directly proportional to one another? In my experience, when it comes to the helping professions, This is rarely the case. When someone truly wants to help others, I believe they will try to make their services accessible to a wider range of the public.

Woman at laptop

Emotional health

Nobody is fully healed, but a good coach will have resolved most of their emotional issues, and there's a huge difference between resolving your issues and pretending they're not there. Someone who always appears happy isn't necessarily a healthy person, as they may well have dissociated from their issues and traumas.


By autonomy, I mean independence of thought and action, as opposed to being swayed by external influences. 


Strictly adhering to coaching models isn't just restricting - it can be downright stifling. When someone only follows patterns, they will inevitably become stagnant. Coaches must be capable of creative and critical thinking.


A good coach will not be scared of challenging his or her clients, even at the risk of losing them as clients. It almost goes without saying that tact, empathy and compassion are crucial qualities to look out for in a coach, but courage and integrity are equally important if you want to achieve any substantial change.


Last but not least - in fact possibly the single most important quality for a life coach to possess - is presence. It is only when the mind is calm, centred and focused that we can hold space for another person and have the necessary insight to help them get unstuck.

Are you ready to find the right coach for you? Use our search tool to find a coach you resonate with.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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London, E1

Written by Nico De Napoli

London, E1

Nico de Napoli is an accredited and experienced coach based in London. His approach integrates existential, positive psychology, cognitive and mind-body coaching.

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