Finding a Coach is pretty easy, there's a lot of us out there. Some have a qualification, some don't. There's a myriad of organisations training us and several registers. But there's no regulation, no governing body and it's a bit of a free-for-all. Anyone can set up as a Coach, Executive Coach, Mindset Coach, Life Coach or Well-Being Coach. You name it, someone out there will be coaching it.
From visiting a Coach's website you may be able to find out about their approach and what qualifications and experience they have - and even what their clients have said about them. You can see their photo, read their blogs or watch one of their videos. There's no doubt you can get an impression but there's no substitute for being in the room with someone, is there? It's an opportunity to ask the questions you need to ask, see if you feel comfortable with them and generally size your prospective Coach up to see if they're a good match for you.
It's likely your Coaching will take place over a significant period of time - anything from six months to several years. They'll be guiding, motivating and encouraging you to have breakthroughs in every aspect of your life. Trust is paramount. You're going on a journey together and that's why this first session really matters.
More than this though, it's an opportunity to share what's going on in your life and how you think and feel about it all. For me, it's mainly about listening. And that's a privilege. Offering this for free is really the least I can do, if we are going to work together over a longer period.
I always do this. It may take two hours and involve me travelling quite a distance to that first meeting. But it never feels like too much trouble and I have never regretted this way of working. The reason I always offer this is simple: It enables my clients to make a fully informed decision about working with me (or not) and it allows me to decide whether I'm the right person for them.
Some people have labelled this as a loss-leader but I really don't see it like that, because meeting people and listening to where they are at with their lives is always productive. It's about empathy and putting myself in their shoes. For me, it's a gift - as there is always something to be learnt from hearing someone else share. Maybe I should be paying my prospective clients for the first session?
Joking aside, I'm always happy to spend quality time with other human beings, going through their stuff. If they become a client then great, if not, then great. It's never wasted.