Intrigued enough about life coaching to want to check it out? You may be wondering where you can find life coaches who may be good matches for you. Luckily, when it comes to coaching, we’re living in a world of abundance. Thousands and thousands of coaches, with different personalities, coaching styles, and specialties, are eager to work with you.
Strategy tip: Get a list of contenders
Trying to find one, perfect coach right off the bat puts too much pressure on your search. I suggest that you start with gathering the names of 5 to 15 coaches who may be worthy of the honor of getting to work with wondrous, incredible you. You can narrow down the list over time. The time you spend looking for names of coaches is valuable, even if you don’t find a good fit right away. You’re also subtly learning about what coaching is and getting clearer on what you want in a coach.
The world is your oyster
Because almost all coaches work by phone (and many also work via the Internet), you can work with a coach anywhere in the world. If your main language is English, English-speaking countries like the United States, Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand are brimming with coaches who speak your language. But don’t discount the rest of the world too quickly. Native English-speaking coaches live in countries like Israel, China, and Spain, where the dominant language isn’t English.
Where to Find Names of Coaches
The major sources of names of coaches are:
- coach databases
- Internet searches
Getting recommendations from people you know can be a good way to find a life coach. But not necessarily. Coaching is such a personal service that a coach may be a perfect fit for your best friend may not be a good fit for you at all.
Where do you get recommendations?
You can ask people you know in real life — family, friends, work colleagues, members of groups. You can also post your request online in forums, google/yahoo/other groups, Nings, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups. You may get especially good recommendations from groups that are related to your area of interest.
If you’re taking a class related to some of your coaching interests , the teacher may be able to give you recommendations. (The teacher may end up being a coach him- or herself.)
If you’re not comfortable asking for recommendations, not to worry. You can get find more coaches than you could possibly need in online databases. Organizations that certify coaches have databases to help you find their coaches. So do many organizations that train coaches. The following are a few of the databases from reputable certification organizations and coaching schools.
International Coach Federation (ICF):
The ICF is one of the major coaching certification bodies. You can use its database to search for a coach from its massive membership.
The search form, which I found a bit overwhelming at first, allows you to choose coaches based on some fairly specific criteria, including fees a coach charges, a coach’s life experience, and a coach’s specialty.
International Academy of Coaching (IAC)
This certification organization has a smaller membership and a simpler “find a coach” form.
Martha Beck’s coaches
I’m a big Martha Beck fan. Her books radically changed my life for the better, and I’m grateful to her. I haven’t taken her training program or know the coaches who’ve been through her programs personally, but I have a feeling you’ll do well if you work with one of them.
Coach U has extensive training programs that include, among other things, work on having a strong personal foundation in life. A database of their graduates (along with Corporate Coach U graduates) can be found at:
The Coaches Training Institute (CTI)
Though I don’t have personal experience with this organization, I love their philosophy and approach, which is deeply respectful of clients and grounded in the idea that everyone is creative and resourceful.
I think their database is worth checking out.
You may also want to check out reviews of coaches on Yelp. You can look in your local area, but you can also look anywhere in your country and even anywhere in the world where they speak English. I found the reviews to be overly positive, so I probably wouldn’t take them too seriously as recommendations.
But reading reviews can give you a sense of how the coaches approach their practices.
Don’t forget Internet searches in your quest to find life coaches. Most coaches have an Internet presence. Some have extensive sites with articles, audios, videos, testimonials, interviews, and other materials to help you get to know them.
You can do searches for things that you care about that won’t necessarily show up in a database, like personal qualities (a sweet, gentle life coach) or specialties. You can be as wacky or picky as you want. The only cost is a few seconds of your time to type in the search.
I had some fun playing around with this. Results were all over the place: some were irrelevant, some were surprises, and some were exactly what I’d wanted. Creative searches help you see what’s out there — and you may just find some gems.