A ‘life coach’ is a professional who assists you with recognising your goals in life and developing an action plan to achieve these. The term ‘coaching’ may sound like a foreign concept to some people, however in order to compete as a world-class athlete requires the knowledge, keen support, unbiased perspective and awareness of a coach. The equivalent is just as valid for CEOs, entrepreneurs, business leaders, executives and business professionals.
So, this begs the question: what is a life coach? A life coach is a person who is professionally trained to assist you with maximising your full potential and reaching the results that you want out of life. Life coaches do this by way of:
- Encouraging, and
- coaching people through specific challenges.
This is done so that they can reach certain milestones. Unlike therapists, psychologists as well as counsellors, life coaches are do not discuss past experiences or emotional trauma and to help you work through these. Life coaches are there to assist a person with bettering their current circumstances.
The rapport between a life coach and their client is a creative partnership. This relationship looks at:
- Identifying, clarifying and creating a vision for what the client wants
- Using the life coach’s expertise to modify goals as needed
- Encouraging the client’s self-discovery and growth
- Nurturing and evoking strategies as well as a plan of action based on what fits best with the client’s goals, personality and vision
- Fostering client accountability to increase productivity
Must-have character traits of a life coach
Consider the following questions. If you answer ‘yes’ to these, then you have some of the character traits that are required of a life coach:
- Do you like listening to other people and assisting them with bettering their situation?
- Are you capable of encouraging people to come to their own conclusions instead of telling them what you think that they should do?
- Are you familiar with asking questions that challenge someone to find their own solutions?
- Are you comfortable with being intimately aware of the details of someone’s personal and professional life?
- Are you ready to keep their information private?
There are many soft skills that are required for you to become a successful life coach. These are the following:
- You need to be able to communicate effectively, actively listen and remain calm, even if a client is frustrating you.
- In addition, you will be required to communicate with all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds.
It’s vital that you are confident in what you say in addition to the questions you ask. And, finally, it is hugely important that you are an ethical individual with high standards of integrity.
The path to becoming a life coach
A life coaching career is an incredibly rewarding one as you have the satisfaction of helping your clients achieve the goals that they have set for their lives. There are many, many courses out there which proclaim to make you into the best possible life coach out there. However, before you decide on the best life coaching course for you, take a look at each of these prospectuses and see if the specific course covers the following:
- Evaluating the client
- Interviewing your client in a sensitive manner
- Interpreting what your client has told you
- Helping your client set goals which are realistic
- Business/marketing tools
- Drawing up a marketing plan
- Designing a sales strategy
- Planning a customer service strategy
- Career coaching
- Teaching your client how to set SMART goals
- Helping them to learn the tools of properly assessing why they want to follow a particular career path
- Learning how to evaluate clients’ communication skills
- Principles of wellness as well as wellness coaching
- Teaching your client about wellness and fitness
- Unpacking wellness concepts for your client
- Building up a grid of health professionals so that you can refer your client if necessary
- Client/coach relationship
- Developing your listening skills
- Learning how to put yourself in your clients’ shoes
- Learning how to ask questions that matter
- Demonstration and presentation skills
- Learning the skill of making your clients mentally fit
- Uncovering your hidden verbal communication talents
- Unpacking the pros and cons of various audio-visual aids
- Designing a nutritional plan for clients
- Learning how to read and interpret food labels
- Giving advice on nutritional supplements
- Relationship coaching
- Discovering what relevant relationship skills are
- Acquiring the must-have skill of rewording and reworking feelings
- Unearthing skills to overcome shyness
- Time management
- Helping your clients to understand the benefit of timetabling
- Assist them with drawing up their own timetables
- Helping clients beat procrastination
- Self-coaching development
- Teaching your clients how they can deal with difficult situations on their own
- Learning how to emphasise the power of positivity
- Discovering the powerful art of visualisation
- The right skills for the job
- Acting in an ethical manner in your business
- Being professionally accountable
- Understanding values conflict and be able to help your clients overcome this
When you’ve found a course that offers all of these modules, then you know that you’ve found the right course for you!