Coaching is a remarkable process, and it is no wonder that it’s caught on and taken off in the last decade. Ten years ago, not many people understood what a life coach was. In 2018, we have to explain less what coaching is, and instead reveal the greatness that could come of working with a talented coach.I have multiple coaches and coaching/mastermind groups that I participate in. Early on, I worked with coaches to gain knowledge and learn skills, with the idea that I would move on to implement and work on my own.I did stop receiving coaching intermittently, but always found that the periods without the support, accountability and guidance of my coaches were not as productive, well directed or enjoyable.The coaches in my life now are the exact right people for me at this time. I feel blessed to have found them (although I don’t believe there was any accident in that) and I take the relationships seriously.Coaching is an investment in real results and change. Whatever the investment amount, it is always an investment in yourself and that differentiates it, in my mind, from many spending options. Coaching is all about the client and every dollar you spend should come back to you in both income and self development (often the part that feels most valuable).It simply improves the quality of life in a very holistic way if done well.”Coaching comes from the world of sports and the arts, where athletes and actors receive coaching so that their work will become extraordinary instead of just okay. Coaching gives clients a secret weapon, a competitive edge that their un-coached peers do not enjoy. Coaching takes people from good to great. Coaching is not for dysfunctional people. It is not here to heal the sick and wounded. It’s there to help people reach their higher callings and unlived lives, the lives they are not living because they are trapped in their own isolated self-critical egos. Coaching expands their world.” Steve Chandler – The Prosperous CoachSo how do you choose a coach. What should a person look for when making that investment in themselves?Your coach becomes a significant partner in your life’s journey, and selecting someone goes beyond qualifications. As coaching has become more prevalent, the number of coaches has increased, as have the certification programs. The field has become easy to enter so choosing a coach can be confusing.When you are seeking a coach, some of the recommendations I and my colleagues would make so you can experience the highest level of coaching magic are:1. Ask a coach to give you the experience of coaching with them before you decide to commit. In a conversation, you can get a sense of coaching style, relatability, and listening skills. By the end of the conversation, you should know more about them, but more importantly, you should know something new about yourself.2. A person who will push you beyond your self imposed limits and see what you can’t, but should, see. If someone can hold you as powerful, even when you cannot, they are more likely to help you achieve your goals and discover greatness within you.3. Your coach needs to be fearless, and more concerned with your growth than with being liked. It’s important the coach be able to suggest bold action and address issues that are below the surface. Every client has a “goal behind the goal” and the right coach will be able to uncover the deeper level desires of the client.4. The person you choose as your coach should relish a challenge, be fun as well as serious, and set a high bar for you and your life. They must believe in you and your ability to achieve the goals you want to reach. They should also be able to see all of your strengths and understand that success in life is more than achieving a single goal. A holistic approach is best, and success on your terms should be the criteria.5. Are you looking for both self discovery and advisement? Some coaches lead you to your own conclusions and actions with powerful coaching questions. Others may offer more ideas and advice on what to do and how to do it. Some coaches combine the two, and are intuitively understanding of when to ask questions and when to offer advice.6. How much coaching does your prospective coach receive? If someone doesn’t use the services they are offering, it begs some questions. It is critical that coaches work on themselves and consequently are less likely to bring their own issues into the coaching work.7. Are you interested in taking action? There may be a great deal of clarity needed or decisions to make before you feel ready to act, but nonetheless, action is typically one of the desired outcomes of the coaching process. There are times when people are deeply disturbed or depressed and need to understand their feelings on a deeper level and therapy is a better option. A coach with integrity, who is aware of the difference, will be able to recognize specific needs.Coaching is one of the greatest support services you can treat yourself to. There is nothing like having an objective, dedicated and trusted advisor whose main objective for you is success (as your define it) with no other agenda. A person who will push you beyond your self imposed limits and see what you can’t see about and for you.If you want the fullest life possible, coaching isn’t a luxury as much as a very smart investment in yourself.