How to choose the right life coach


Do you want to take the next step in your career but your boss continually promotes others? Or, perhaps you have an amazing idea for a romance novel stuck in your head but your kids, job and way-too-playful dog leave you no free time to pursue the idea?

If there’s something you’re failing to succeed in again and again, you might consider some help. Just like a good school coach can evaluate sporting talents without us even knowing we had them, a life coach can help solve those life challenges; because they know you can, even if you don’t know how.

But how to understand whether the person – smiling from a photo on her website – is the one to really open up a door to the new opportunities for you? The life coaching industry is booming in New Zealand, and having lots of options definitely doesn’t ease the decision. We asked Hayat Berkaoui, a life coach from Mt Maunganui, for the insider’s tips on choosing the right specialist.


There are coaches for every area of life. I focus mainly on personal development and improvement, career guidance, relationship coaching and spiritual health. And while you might be keen to flip your life completely, most people just want coaching in a specific area, such as finance, or physical health. Find someone who is specialised in the area you require help with.


You want your life coach to be accredited or have extensive experience. Personal life experience is often what makes a coach a good coach. The coach should understand where you and your issues are coming from and have real-life experience to help you work through them. You can often find a coach’s bio and specialisation on their website – read it thoroughly and ask yourself, ‘Will that person understand me like she understands herself?’


Because a coaching service isn’t tangible, people often find it hard to spend money, not knowing what they will gain from it. Look for what the coach offers in regards to tools and materials. One-on-one sessions are great, but are there any video lessons, templates or special diaries included in the price to guide you? Explore the options stated on the website or in a brochure – each package should have specific features that the client invests in. The clearer the packages are described, the more transparent it becomes of what you’re investing in.


I would advise people to always have a chat over the phone or via Skype prior to making your final decision. I offer a free 45 minute Skype session – normally it’s enough to develop a connection. Both coach and client will decide based on the introductory conversation if they want to work together.


Coaching is a wonderful journey; a journey of self-exploration and honesty. From that sense of being open and honest, you will work towards your goals. Be ready to be coached. You will most likely go through some inner conflicts when working through barriers. Sign up for coaching when you feel that you are ready for this. A coach is there to support you and help you through the hard times, but it is you that has to do the work

Hayat Berkaoui

Hayat Berkaoui

Life Coach

When your name means ‘Life’, questioning your purpose on Earth and how to live afulfilled live seems inevitable.Half Dutch half Moroccan, Hayat was born in The Netherlands, but travelledto over 30 countries to findthe answers. Becoming a Life Coach was what she was looking for. Now Hayat is ready to take you on your own journey of finding happiness and fulfilment, whether it means a change in your career, guidance within relationships or simply feeling better about yourself.