A guide to selecting the right coach for you.

Jackie Demetriou| 19 July 2023


In my previous coaching articles, coaching in a nutshell and the power of coaching and its various domains, we explored the nature of coaching and the various domains in which it is practiced. In this article, we shall explore key factors to consider when selecting a coach who will inspire, challenge, and empower you on your growth and development journey.

Embarking on a journey of personal and professional development requires guidance, support, and expertise. It can be a transformative experience that takes you closer to your personal and professional aspirations. Working with a coach who is supportive and holds you accountable to taking the actions you have identified to reach your outcomes is an invaluable and worthwhile investment. Therefore, choosing the right organizational or personal coach for yourself is a critical step towards your growth and success.

Know your need for coaching

Coaching is outcomes based and as such goal focused and action oriented. Therefore, it is essential that you understand the nature of coaching and what you hope to achieve from it prior to selecting a coach. There are several different types of modalities such as coaching, therapy, counselling, mentoring, consulting and training which support individuals’ growth so that they can achieve certain outcomes. It is therefore important that know what your needs are so that you select the right modality according to your own specific requirements. The differences between these modalities should be explained to you by a potential coach during the coaching discovery and chemistry session, which is referenced under the Compatibility section below. Taking the time to reflect on your specific objectives and desired outcomes will ensure that you select and receive the right support. Understanding your needs will help you find a coach with specialized expertise and experience in those areas, ensuring a tailored coaching experience.

Research and coaching credentials

When selecting a coach, credentials, qualifications and experience all matter. Look for coaches who have certifications and who have received training from accredited coach training institutions and have experience utilizing evidence-based coaching methodologies.  Research their track record and testimonials from past clients to gain insight into their ability to deliver the results that you want for yourself. Additionally, reach out to trusted friends, colleagues, or mentors who have previously worked with a coach. Their recommendations can provide valuable insights and help you create a shortlist of potential coaches. Conduct thorough research on each candidate, reviewing their qualifications, certifications and testimonials to gauge their expertise and effectiveness.

Compatibility with your learning style and preferences

Establishing a good rapport and trust with your coach is absolutely foundational for successful coaching to take place.  Most coaches offer complimentary coaching discovery and chemistry sessions before you sign up so that you can connect with them to gauge their communication styles and approaches.  Pay attention to their active listening skills, empathy, and their ability to create a safe and non-judgmental space. Trust your instincts and choose someone with whom you feel comfortable being vulnerable and whom you trust so that you feel free to open up and share your challenges, dreams, and aspirations without fear of being judged.

Coaching methodology

Coaches use various methodologies and frameworks.  Consider the coaching style and approach that resonates with you. Some coaches stick to a specific approach only whilst others will be eclectic in their approach. An excellent coach recognizes that each person is unique and as such is able to easily use different methodologies and apply appropriate tools and techniques that resonates with your preferred learning style and unique issues that you bring to coaching. Hence, choose a coach who is able to easily adapt their style and methodology accordingly.  

Supportive and challenging to inspire your growth

As coaching is action oriented, an effective coach will hold you accountable for achieving your chosen outcomes and as such will strike a balance between support and challenge. Your coach should be able to provide encouragement, empathy, and a safe space for self-expression, while also pushing you outside your comfort zone to facilitate your growth. Look for a coach who is dedicated to your success and motivates you to stretch yourself beyond your perceived limits.

Flexibility and accountability

Consider the coach’s availability, session frequency, duration and preferred mode of communication. Assess their availability and commitment to regular coaching sessions and the levels of support provided between sessions. A coach who is accessible and provides ongoing accountability and guidance can greatly enhance your progress and keep you motivated. An ongoing commitment is essential for lasting progress.

Ethical practice and values alignment

Look for a coach who champions integrity, respect, and confidentiality. Ensure that the coach’s values are compatible with yours.   Their ethical approach and commitment to your best interests are vital for establishing and maintaining a relationship that fosters trust, growth, and positive change, all essential ingredients for successful coaching.


Selecting the right organizational and personal coach is vital towards unlocking your full potential and achieving your goals. By following the steps above, you can make an informed decision. Choosing the right coach is a serious investment in your growth and success and you will gain the guidance, support, and inspiration to thrive and create the fulfilling and impactful life that you want.