1.      Relationship quality

  • The most important. Studies both in therapy and coaching have shown this is one of the best predictors of a successful outcome (de Haan, 2008)
  • When you meet a potential coach, you need to feel that:
    • You will be able to work with her/him,
    • She/he will be able to help you,
    • You can open your mind and your heart to her/him.

2.      Domain or niche

  • Theme, e.g., life coach, business coach, holistic coach, executive coach…
  • Categories of clients, e.g., women, executives, managers…
  • Coaching approach, e.g., Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), solution-focused, mindfulness-based…

3.      Qualifications and on-going development

A serious coach will:

  • Have at least one recognised qualification in the field,
  • Be a member of a recognised coaching organisations, e.g., Association for Coaching, International Coaching Federation,
  • Engage in regular supervision,
  • Engage in continuous personal and professional development activities,
  • Follow ethical guidelines,
  • Be personally accredited once enough experience.

4.      Experience

  • Shows the coach has stayed in business,
  • Not a guarantee of quality,
  • If going only with experience, you may miss on a very talented coach who happens to be at the beginning of her/his career.

5.      Format of meetings

  • Decide what you are comfortable with,
  • If  you want to meet in person, your coach needs to be in the same geographical area,
  • If online, you are less restricted as to where your potential coach is based.

6.      Price

  • Know your budget,
  • Prices vary widely,
  • Prices are not always a reflection of the quality of the service,
  • Your potential coach must be clear and comfortable talking about money. Ideally, prices are known in advance, e.g., shown on website.


If when while and after talking with a potential coach, it feels right in your head, your heart and your guts, it probably is.

De Haan, E. (2008) Relational coaching. Journeys towards mastering one-to-one learning. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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