Professional coaches can help improve leadership skills, manage career changes, deal with personal relationships and any other challenge presented by life. The vast majority of people have never used a professional coach. There’s probably a greater use of therapists than professional coaches. (Therapists are trained to deal with psychological and social challenges.)
A coach has been described as someone who figures-out where you are right now and where you want to be in the future. There is a peer-to-peer relationship between the client and the coach.
Standards have been developed by organizations such as the International Coach Federation (ICF), but anyone can call herself a coach. The ICF has established a credential system, but there are many coaches who are not certified.
The ICF recommends asking a prospective coach: Tell me about your training; What are examples of coaching that you have done that are similar to my situation; and, Can I see your contract?
To search for a coach, visit the ICF’s Coach Referral Service.