How to Choose a Coach

Finding the right coach for your needs and personality can be a daunting task. However, it is of the greatest importance to find someone who is not only qualified, but who has a style that matches your needs. To make sure your coach is qualified and can deliver what you need, here are some tips to consider:

Education and Experience

How much experience does the coach have and where did they learn their coaching skills? There are many self-proclaimed coaches that actually have little-to-no experience and have very little training. Ensure the coach you choose brings both education and experience to support you to achieve your goals.


Choose a coach who is accredited by an internationally recognized organization, such as the International Coach Federation (ICF), to ensure they have standardized skills and are accountable to a code of ethics. Getting accredited through the ICF is a long and complex process, and the set of standards associated with each accreditation is very strict.


Select someone that has a solid and quality reputation. Select a coach for whom coaching is a career choice and a calling, not someone who may have failed in another role and found coaching as a default role to which he or she may not be 100% committed.


Request that the coach provide you with references from past clients. If he or she declines, or if you're offered just one or two, this could be a point of concern. You should certainly inquire as to why you cannot have a broad(er) sample. Whether there may have been bad experiences or no experiences (due to inexperience) in the past, there could be something that is not quite on the level.


Some coaches insist that you come to their location in person; others will agree to meet with you at a local coffee shop or work with you by phone. If you would prefer a particular meeting location or method, make sure the coach you're considering will at least discuss your request.


A coach should be able to help you find and establish your goals. However, before meeting with anyone, take some time to determine your own goals and potential milestones. When you do meet with your coach, inquire as to how the process works and what results might look like.


Your first meeting is vital in establishing the extent to which your potential coach and you are compatible. Don't forget that this an individual to whom you will be revealing personal details of your life. Make sure you make the most of the first session, but also bear in mind that the first consultation should be free. Beware of anyone who charges for an initial consultation.

Pathway to Possibility Inc.
188 Westlake Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M4C 4S4
(416) 669-4586
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