Finding a health coach is sort of like finding the perfect pair of shoes. It's not just about finding someone who is objectively a good coach — it's about finding someone whose skills and assets are a good match for your particular needs. To help ensure you find the right health coach for you, it's best to interview a few of them. Most coaches are happy to have a brief interview or get-to-know-you session before taking on a client. This is because it's also important to them that they have clients they feel able to interact with effectively. Here are some questions you should ask during this session.
What aspects of a client's life do you focus on?
Some health coaches may focus primarily on diet and exercise. Others take a more holistic approach and also focus on how you're sleeping, what you're doing in your spare time, what your family life is like, and so forth. There is no wrong answer here, but if you were really hoping for some advice on sleep and the coach you're talking to never even mentions sleep, they may not be the right coach for you. On the other hand, if a certain coach seems to really focus on sleep, they're probably a great choice.
How do you motivate your clients?
Health coaching is largely about motivation. It will be your coach's job to keep you motivated when your own internal motivation starts to slip. Every coach has a different motivational strategy. Some may send you daily texts. Others may motivate you by having you check in on a certain schedule. If you hear a coach talk about their motivational tactics and think their approach will work for you, that's a very good sign.
Do you work with any other medical professionals?
The best health coaches have interaction with more specialized professionals such as dietitians, nurses, and sometimes even doctors. They should refer their clients to these professionals as needed, being that health coaching is not always the right solution for every health struggle or ailment. You probably have an idea of what other type of medical professional you may need to see. For example, if you really struggle with diet, hearing a health coach say they work closely with a dietitian can be great.
Interviewing a health coach can tell you a bit more about them and their practice. You'll know when you find the right coach for you. It should feel natural and easy.