After careful debate (and honestly a bit of procrastination), you’ve decided to seek the assistance of a life coach. You’re not quite in need of a therapist, but you know that there are some serious roadblocks that are hindering your personal and/or professional progression.

Making the decision to hire a life coach is just half of the battle. Choosing the RIGHT life coach is just as important. Just because someone says they’re a life coach does not mean they’re the right fit for you, and like any life-altering relationship, it is important for clients to have a solid, genuine connection with their coach. But finding the right coach doesn’t have to be an exhausting task. Here are three key characteristics that you should look out for.

1. You have great chemistry.

The relationship between a coach and their client is well …like a relationship. You must gel. A lot of intimate details will have to be shared in order to make any progress, and people are more inclined to be vulnerable with someone who they click with. While a coach doesn’t necessarily have to mirror your race, gender or sociology-economic status, they must be able to relate to your challenges in some sort of way.

2. A great life coach is empathetic, but firm.

I’m sure that you can find someone to listen to you gossip, but that isn’t a life coach, it is a paid friend. While empathy is essential to human progress, great life coaches hold their clients accountable. Most of us are action-oriented individuals by nature, so excuses don’t hold up. The life coach for you is caring and shows concern for what is happening in your life, but will firmly call you out on your s*** while nudging you in the right direction.

3. You look forward to your coaching sessions.

Any form of self improvement is daunting at times, but if you dread your coaching sessions, something is way way off. Hiring a life coach is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make for yourself. While you won’t be excited all of the time, your coach should be someone who you actually want to see.

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