So you are ready for a coach!  Now what?  How do you choose a good coach… a coach that is right for you and will help you achieve your goals? 

Here are 4 simple steps to start with:

1.     Credentials & Training

Currently there are no state licensing requirements for coaches. To ensure that you choose a coach that is qualified, check their training and their credentials.  There are a vast number of schools that offer programs.  They all vary in length and in required hours of study and practice coaching.  Before you hire a coach, ask where they trained, then hop online and check out the school or program.  Make sure their training is as rigorous as you want it to be.

Ask your prospective coach about their credentialing.  Do they hold any certifications?  Ask if they are a member of the International Coaching Federation, which is the most widely recognized accrediting body for coaches in the world.  Please note that certification is not required in order to call yourself a coach, or to work with clients. Anyone can call themselves a coach, but you don’t want to work with just anyone.

Also remember it is not necessary for a well-trained and experienced coach to have specific knowledge in your field of expertise to train you effectively. For example, it is not necessary for a coach to know how to code to work with a programmer.  However, it does help if they have had experience coaching others in the same situation or with the same issue as you.

2.     Approach & Philosophy

There are different strategies and techniques that can be used when coaching someone for success. An evidence or knowledge-based coach, uses techniques based on scientifically proven practices, and is focused on measurable results. This is the type of coaching we practice here at RainShadow Coaching.

Understanding what approach your coach is trained in will help you get an idea as to their style as well as the types of tools and strategies they will use with you.  You want to choose a coach that practices a philosophy that matches your own.

3.     Mode

Do you prefer to work with your coach in a one-on-one scenario?  Maybe you would rather work with a group? Would you like your sessions to take place face-to-face in an office, or do you prefer over the phone or via video chat?

There are pros and cons to one-on-one coaching and group coaching, as well as in-person coaching vs. phone or online.  One-on-one coaching tends to be the most personalized and effective, but it also tends to be the most expensive.  Group coaching does not give you the same individualized attention, although you will often be learning from the group as much as the coach, and it is usually slightly less expensive.  Face-to-face coaching allows you to see your coach in person, but that means you must choose a coach from your general area, which limits your coach options and adds extra time and energy to travel to and from in-person sessions. 

Coaching can be equally effective in person or digital, one-on-one or in a group, it is simply a matter of what works best for you. 

4.   Are they a good fit for you?

This is your coaching process, and it needs to be what you want it to be. 

A good strong coaching relationship is one that is based on honesty and trust.  There will be times during the process of growth and change that you feel vulnerable and uncomfortable. You should feel secure and supported with your coach.

You also need to feel comfortable with the price of your coach.  I am often asked, “How much should I pay for a coach?”   Coaching can cost anywhere from $50-$5,000 an hour, depending on the experience level and type of coaching.

Here is what I recommend…Don’t pay more than you are comfortable investing in yourself.  But remember, coaching IS an investment.  You sometimes get what you pay for.  I know people who spend $100 or $150 on an hour-long massage, and afterwards they have a wonderful relaxed feeling, but it doesn’t change their life. Coaching can have lasting impact on you and your productivity.  So do not pay more than you can afford, but recognize that you are valuable and worth the investment of great coaching.

To register for a free consultation and to find out if Carrie is the right coach for you, fill out the form on this page!


Remember to ask your questions, be curious, and do your research.

I wish you all the best on your quest to find your coach!