BE CAREFUL WHEN LOOKING FOR
Karen S. Peterson, USA TODAY
When it comes to selecting a life coach, it truly
is buyer beware. Anyone can lay claim to the label, experts say.
Interested clients should shop carefully. The International Coach
Federation (www.coachfederation.org) is trying to bring order to chaos.
The non-profit association, with more than 5,000 members, has created a
formal accreditation program for the many schools that train coaches. SEE
THE INDUSTRY (INTERNATIONAL COACH FEDERATION) STANDARDS.
The group plans to set up a credentialing process
for graduates of formal coaching courses and provide a referral service
Its Web site says it lists "business
coaches, financial coaches, relationships coaches, spiritual coaches,
life planning coaches, a rock 'n' roll band coach and hundreds of
And it suggests, "Since coaches often
specialize in various areas, it's a good idea for the prospective client
to shop around for the coach with the most experience and combination of
qualities they seek."
The Web site says prospective clients should:
themselves about coaching.
specific goals to be met through coaching.
three coaches before making a decision.
about experience, qualifications, skills.
for at least two references.
a coach who "feels right." There should be a genuine
connection between client and coach.
Other experts caution that although no contract is signed, coaches
expect clients to make what they see as a reasonable time commitment,
which might run from three to six months, or more.
Thornton is a licensed psychotherapist
AND a life coach. She is a member of the International Coach Federation
and President of the ICF Connecticut Chapter.
SEE THE INDUSTRY
(INTERNATIONAL COACH FEDERATION) STANDARDS.