Before you hire a life coach, here are 7 Tips to help you to choose the right coach for you.

To get the full benefit of life coaching, make sure that you understand what coaching is and isn’t. Once you know what coaching is and isn’t, note the following:

how to choose a life coach

1. Choose a coach that suits your personality.

When asking yourself, “How to choose a Life Coach?” it’s important shop around to find a coach that is a good fit for your personality, goals, and values.

Ask questions like, “Do I want a gentle slow paced speaking coach or a fast-paced more direct speaking coach?”

Not every coach is for every client — and that’s okay. Finding the right coach can be life-changing.

This professional is on your team to help you to achieve your aspirations and the things that matter to you. Shop around until you find the right fit.

Don’t sign up for long term coaching, until you sample other individual sessions first. Choose from a variety of other coaches.

Most professionals will offer a single introductory session, some offer this at no charge.

The coach is also checking to see whether you are the right client for them — this is true of highly skilled and in demand professionals.

Look for ICF accredited course trained professionals or for ICF credentialed coaches. Aim to work with PCC and MCC coaches, rather than ACC level coaches.

ICF Coaching Competencies

2. Find a coach that is credible or experienced in the area that you want coaching on.

Even though professional coaches can coach any topic in any area of life, you might feel more comfortable speaking to someone who has expertise in the topic that you want coaching on.

This is different if you’re just wanting general life coaching. But if you want business coaching then look for someone with business experience.

Find their website and read their About Page or their bio. Watch YouTube videos or listen to audio podcasts so that you get a sense of their style and area of expertise.

If the coach has a blog, has published books and articles read a couple, to see if you’re on the same page.

An InnerLifeSkills trained coach will always be supportive of your beliefs, values and preferences. It’s nice to be coached by someone with shared values. It creates a type of resonance.

Furthermore, I would strongly suggest that you aren’t coached by a friend or family member. You want an outside objective person that you can pay, to be a professional in your corner.


3. Give thought to clarify what you want from your coaching relationship, before you have your first session.

Arriving at your first meeting with clarity about your most cherished long term aspirations means you’ll be able to get into the flow of your sessions quickly and will get more from the time.

Of course, if what you want is help on establishing what you really want, then arrive with that.

Ask these questions before your coaching session.


  • “What is most important to me right now?”
  • “What is the most valuable thing I can get from my coaching?”
  • “What inner obstacles am I facing?”
  • “Where do I want to be in 6 months to a year?”
  • “If I could change one thing in my life what would I want to change?”
which question have you asked

4. Don’t spend a lot of time giving background information and story.

Coaching is different to counselling and mentoring. If you are used to a more therapeutic way of working with a professional, you might be inclined to start your session with background information and long explanations of your past.

Some background information is perfectly appropriate, but unnecessary for the coaching process. A true ICF aligned coach is going to gently steer you away from focusing on the past and help you to focus more on the present and the future potential.

5. Be willing to be stretched and challenged in a supportive way.

You are going to be challenged in a gentle way to think deeply and to find insights. You will not be asked to perform, so there’s no pressure.

Take your time, relax and open your mind so that breakthrough insights can make their way to you.

If you hired a personal trainer, you would want them to challenge you but not break you. You wouldn’t want them saying to you, “It’s okay you don’t have to sweat.” This is the same with our life coaches.

InnerLifeSkills Coaches are taught to stretch and challenge you gently, not to break you.

6. Work as partnerstell your coach what you need from coaching and how you’d like to be coached.

True coaching is a partnership, it’s important to communicate with the coach and tell them what is working for you and what doesn’t work for you.

Tell them what pace you enjoy, if you need more time to think and if you’re getting frustrated or bored and want to change it up.

Use the equal to bridge process

I once coached a gentleman who told me that he did his best thinking when he paced. He was offered the opportunity to walk up and down during the session.

At first, he felt strange about this, but he was made to feel comfortable and we adapted. The session was very enjoyable and he excavated excellent insights and solutions.

Tell your coach what works for you and what doesn’t.


  • If you do your best thinking by sitting on the floor, then ask to sit on the floor.
  • If you’re a visual person and you like thinking in pictures, tell your coach, they’ll help you to do this more effectively.
  • If you are an intuitive person or you like to meditate, tell your coach they’ll help you to use what works for you.

7. No GUILT allowed!

If you don’t complete your planned actions between sessions, please don’t bring guilt into your process. Guilt will stop your coaching journey.

This is probably the most important tip. Every path to success is filled with obstacles, both outer and inner obstacles.

You’re going to come up with action plans, and life will get in the way sometimes and you won’t be able to do everything that you hope to do.

The worst thing that can then happen, is feeling so guilty about not accomplishing your actions, that you stop going to coaching.

When you hit obstacles, this is the time to go to coaching.

An InnerLifeSkills Coach is there to support you without judgement. They will not judge you for not doing what you said you wanted to do. They’re not going to comment or criticize or be disappointed or frustrated.

Coach the transformation of obstacles

Our clients and students are advised to leave their guilt at the door.

Guilt gets in the way of relationships. You’re going to hit the wall, and probably disappoint yourself sometimes by not doing as much as you hope to do.

Make yourself a promise, that when this happens that you’ll contact a coach and set up some more coaching sessions. This is the time when coaching is going to make a difference in your life.

The early stages of coaching are always easier, the inspiring goal setting, the creating of action plans — this is the easy part. It’s when the rubber hits the road and life gets in the way that you need coaching the most.

Remember this to get the full benefit of your relationship with your coach.

Summary of how to choose a Life Coach and to get the most from your coaching

• Choose a coach that suits your personality.
• Look for a coach that is credible or experienced in the area that you want coaching on.
Think about what you want from your coaching relationship, before you have your first session, so that you can help your coach to help you.
• Don’t spend a lot of time giving background information and story to your coach.
• Be willing to be stretched and challenged in a supportive way.
• Work as partners. Tell your coach what you need from coaching and how you’d like to be coached.
• If you don’t complete your actions between sessions, don’t bring guilt into your process, stay in coaching.