So you’ve decided to work with a life coach – congratulations!
Fewer things can catapult your success like engaging a professional coach.
I personally believe coaching can be the most mind-blowing, life-expanding, perspective-shifting, exciting gig you’ll ever say yes to!
No doubt that belief is fueled by my own experience where my life changed more in three months of working with an LOA coach than in the three years of working LOA on my own.
(Jeanna Gabellini rocked my world in ways I didn’t know possible!)
Not everyone has that experience, though, so here are 5 tips for getting the most out of your coaching experience:
1. Choose Your Coach Wisely
Hiring the right coach makes a world of difference about how things unfold.
Not everyone knows how to hire a coach (I learned that the hard way myself), so here are my suggestions for finding your best match …
You’re not necessarily looking for the most experienced, most raved about, expensive (or cheapest) or nearest coach you can find.
Those are not the criteria to use when choosing your coach!
Sometimes the coach who serves you best could be brand new at this stuff. She might be more expensive (or less expensive) than you expected. Your best friend might have had terrible results with him. She might have the worst website you’ve ever clicked on. His testimonials might not be impressive, or even exist.
Those things don’t necessarily matter.
What you want to pay attention to is whether this coach feels right to you now.
Let your inner guidance pick your coach, which you’ll recognize based on the resonance you feel with them. You might also spot that guidance based on who you feel most excited to work with.
Some coaches have slick and compelling enrollment spiels, so make sure you’re listening to your inner guidance above all else.
Where do you go looking for a coach, you might be wondering?
There are three common approaches to finding candidate coaches for evaluation:
Of course, an even more effective approach is simply to set an intention for your best coach to be revealed to you, and see who Universe delivers.
It’s not a bad idea to do your due diligence before making it official: click on their website, check out their social media, listen to an interview, read a few articles, request a phone chat.
No one ever told me you’re supposed to shop for coaches the same way you’d interview contractors or personal trainers. If you don’t already have clear signals as to who your coach is, interview two or three so you can gauge rapport with each.
Really it’s about paying attention to the one that “clicks” best for you. You’ll know it when it happens. Follow that guidance!
2. Get Clear About What You Want
Sometimes people hire a coach without a clear goal or intention about what they want to achieve in the work together.
Knowing your “why” behind engaging a coach will also impact your hiring decision, since some coaches have specialties and some are well-rounded.
Your coach will likely guide you through this process, but you’ll be a tremendous help by having a good idea about the end result you’d like to achieve.
That could be as simple as “feel better” in general, or as specific as “double my income,” “drop habits of worry,” or “navigate this divorce with grace and sanity.”
When you clearly know why you’re investing in this coaching relationship, you’re more likely to hit your target.
Communicating your goal or intention to your coach is essential, so make sure you’re both on the same page about what you’re creating together.
3. Know How To Measure Success
How will you know the coaching is working?
That’s the question worth knowing the answer to in advance.
If your coach doesn’t ask in the beginning what your idea of success looks like, be pro-active in sharing so he/she knows what you’re measuring progress by.
It’ll help your sessions be more targeted and effective when both of you are clear about what you’re looking for as signs of success.
For example, if you’ve engaged a coach to help you thrive in a new business, how will you know you’re getting there? Is it an amount of profit or number of clients, a satisfaction level, an audience size or some other measure?
Talk with your coach about this for best results!
4. Be Honest & Open
For the love of God, please be straight with your coach.
Yes, I know you like them, and that you want them to like you, too. You want them to feel like they’re doing a good job for you. You want them to succeed.
But your coach is handicapped if you aren’t open and honest about what’s up for you.
As clients, most of us know the right answers. We know what we’re supposed to say and what our coach wants to hear.
But if you don’t speak to what’s true for you, you’re sabotaging your coach, yourself and the work you’re doing together.
Give your coach a chance to do their best work by letting them know what’s going on – in your head and in your world. If something’s not working, say so. If their suggestions aren’t landing, speak to it. If you don’t think they understand what you’re dealing with, clue them in.
It’s not your job to stroke your coach’s ego. They can handle it when you disagree with their approach or question their methods.
Keeping those thoughts to yourself isn’t how you set either of you up for highest success.
I’m not saying your coach will magically get it right when you speak to the truth of what’s up for you – but I am saying you both have a much better chance of success when you do.
5. Do the Work
I know you would never do this, but some people subconsciously think that just by hiring a coach they’ve bought their way into a solution.
They think they’ve spent the money and are investing the time (in sessions), thus things will improve.
That isn’t how it usually works.
You’re not off the hook just because you hired professional help. This is still your party to lead.
That means you must do the work. Whatever work you and your coach agree on, doing that work is where the magic happens.
You can’t buy your way into a better life just by hiring a life coach. You have to invest in yourself by doing the work if you expect results.
Yes, sometimes the optimism and positive expectation we feel when we get an expert in our corner is enough to usher in some easy wins right off the bat before we even lift a finger.
But if we want lasting and significant transformation, it requires change on our part.
(This is also where being honest with your coach comes in handy. Although it’s sort of like going to the dentist … they’ll ask if you floss, but they can tell as soon as you open your mouth.)
Coaching can usher incredible life transformation to those who engage it. I have said before that coaching is better than sex, when it’s done right.
Hiring the right coach for you, putting forth clear expectations and methods of measuring progress, keeping the lines of communication open and authentic, as well as investing time in the work (beyond just session time) are the basics of getting the most out of your coaching.
If you want to experience the benefits of what life coaching can do for you, follow those tips to set yourself up for highest success.
And for those of you who have experience in this already, whether you’re a fellow coach or a client of one, please share your tips for how to get the most out of coaching, too!
PS – for those who are wondering, yes, I still happily offer private coaching services on a limited basis. It’s one of several ways I love to help you rock it.
PPS – for those of you lamenting you have no budget for a life coach, excuses be gone!
PPPS – if you think coaching is so cool you want to be one, we’ve got you covered there, too.
“Don’t quit your day job” was the harsh (albeit well-intentioned) conclusion.
Maybe it was a scare tactic designed to weed out the uncommitted, I thought. It was the sort of advice that made you think twice about making the leap!
But while the “lucky to make $30k a year” thought was discouraging, I wanted it badly enough that I just figured I’d dial down to live on $30k (less than a third of what I was making in corporate world) – and hope for the best.
It turns out it wasn’t a scare tactic.
It was a very harsh reality in the fledgling industry. A whole lotta coaches not doing much other than trading services with each other, salivating at the whiff of a potential paying client, tripping over each other to win seemingly scarce business.
It wasn’t pretty.
What’s changed since then?
I’d like to say everything.
But unfortunately, I regularly meet aspiring and struggling coaches – many with exceptional coach skills and training – wavering in their commitment to the profession as they struggle to keep their head above water living very modest lifestyles.
And I get it, because I nearly traveled that path myself.
While I’ve appreciated a consistent six figure practice and enjoyed the work tremendously, it’s both disturbing and ridiculous that I am the exception rather than the rule in this industry.
On Monday, February 7th at 2 pm eastern I’m jumping on the phone with two of my smartest colleagues to say out loud what many coaches don’t like to admit (i.e. that your prosperity coach is making $17,000 a year) and to share the secret to thriving as a coach.
I’ll post the call replay here once it’s done if you’re not able to dial in live.
In the meantime, click here for more about what Lisa, Patty and I are up to with this clarion call to coaches.
See you Monday. 🙂
Update: here’s a quick link to the recording: