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What to Look for in a Personal Coach


People often ask me what to look for when hiring a personal coach. I can understand that it’s a difficult decision because there are many coaches out there and the field continues to grow.


Best-in-class personal coaches will share these four important traits:

  1. Experienced, accredited specialists. A great personal coach will have official training accreditation and hands-on experience in the area(s) that you’re seeking support. If you can’t find credible information in website bios or in preliminary interviews, you’ll want to move on.
  2. Flexible fee and service options. Many people think that coaching is expensive, for top-earning executives only, and that you have to commit to a long-term contact. While such high-end services can be right for some, it’s a warning sign if a coach tries to push you into something you can’t afford. Best-in-class personal coaches will provide options to suit your needs and budget, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution.
  3. Sensible action planning. Forget crazy stunts like traveling cross-country to visit all of your old boyfriends in order to get your life on track. Real coaching isn’t what you see on reality TV or the movie screen. Instead, a great personal coach provides you with practical assignments consisting of tangible steps to achieve your future-focused goals.
  4. Measurement tools. How do you know if you are making progress? A best-in-class personal coach conducts regular check-ins and assessments with measurement tools. Examples would be setting metrics at the beginning of coaching to include what changes the client would like to see and what measurement would be used. Our organization uses a Progress Meter. A tool like this can measure satisfaction over time and the coach and client can track and celebrate successes or, if needed, make mid-course corrections.

Coaching is a wonderful investment to make in yourself. Be sure to make it wisely.


Kelly Walsh, M.Ed, ACC Owner, 1 Smart LifeAuthor: 
Kelly Walsh, M.Ed, ACC | Owner, 1 Smart Life

Over the past 18 years, Kelly has successfully coached business leaders and people from all walks of life to reach their highest potential. With a Master’s in counseling, professional coach and mediation certifications, and 20 years of Human Resources experience, she has successfully helped others define their dreams and create pathways to success. She is the creator and owner of 1 Smart Life, LLC a new style of personal coaching with a team of experts in all of life’s challenging areas.

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