How to find the right coach

There are so many coaches available that it can get confusing for clients to choose who they would like to go to. Some lead with their qualifications and others with their experience, but ultimately clients want to work with someone who will get them out of the state that they in, and presumably closer to the state where they want to be.


Many coaches claim to be able to deliver results, but how can a client really choose who to go to, when they are already in a low vibrational place and unable to make clear decisions or trust their instincts?

Here are 5 key skills to look for when speaking to a coach

By having a discovery call, clients may identify whether a coach has got these attributes.

1. Unconditional positive regard (known as UPR)

UPR is when a coach has pure intentions towards their client and puts their own agenda aside. For example, if a client has specific views or opinions based on the experience they are currently going through, a well-trained coach would not dispute or try to convince them of their own personal views, even if they have been through a similar experience themselves.

Instead, they would listen attentively, with curiosity and without judgment. The effect of UPR is that the client feels as though they are in a safe space and will be encouraged to open up more and share what is on their mind. If however they sense any disapproval from their coach, they may hold back which would not give them the best long-term outcomes from the sessions.

2. Empathy

Empathy is a key skill required to be a coach, but surprisingly not everyone has it. Having empathy throughout a session shows the client that they are being seen, heard and understood. The client will undoubtedly be going through a difficult time, and having someone show sincere care and compassion can be very comforting. It creates a warmth and connection between the coach and client, so they both feel as though they can have open and honest discussions. 

3. Active listening

Active listening is a skill where the coach shows that they are genuinely interested and are concentrating on what the client is saying. This may include (but is not limited to) paying attention to them speaking, through eye contact, nodding of the head and an openness in their body language, i.e. not folding their arms or looking away. It also includes repeating the client's words back to them in the same tone in which they said it. The effect of active listening is that the client feels as though the coach truly cares and is not just doing their job, which may consequently encourage them to share more. 

4. Silence

Interestingly, one of the most important, yet challenging tools in coaching is knowing when to give silence without it being awkward, and how long for. 'Holding space’ allows the client moments of silence by intentionally not speaking, interrupting or asking one question after the next. Instead, it is to simply be present and listen attentively, with an open and curious mind. The effect of silence is that it gives the client time to formulate their answers and ponder on a deeper level. 

5. Summarising

Finally, a good coach will have a clear way of wrapping up the session. They may use notes to conclude exactly what was covered, and most importantly use the client's own words in their summary, which is another powerful way of demonstrating that they have been listened to. It is also a useful way of replaying the conversation back and reminding them both of what was discussed.

In my experience, a successful coaching session is not one with clear objectives. Instead, it is where both the client and coach go on a journey together to explore whatever is current. This requires a great amount of trust, intuition and a sense of flow. I believe that outcomes are inevitable but the true measure of a session is the effect it leaves on them both, and most importantly the actions the client goes on to take.

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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Crowthorne RG45 & Slough SL1
Written by Nikita Thakrar
Crowthorne RG45 & Slough SL1

Nikita is a multifaceted coach who has dedicated her life to helping others achieve their goals and dreams. Nikita certified in Coaching under the guidance of Sue Knight (International author of "NLP at work") in 2012. Over the last decade Nikita has supported numerous clients of all ages and backgrounds to live in alignment with their purpose.

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