According to a recent survey, there are approximately 64,100 professionals who performed life coaching worldwide (International Coach Federation, 2016). This includes both professionals who incorporate life coaching skills into their day-to-day work, and also individuals for whom life coaching is a full-time career.
Among these many talented professionals, several stand out from the rest. These caring and dedicated life coaches possess several exceptional traits and qualities that help them connect with their clients and make a difference in their lives. These traits and habits, which you can hone throughout your life coach training, can help you excel in your future career.
Read on to discover which traits are often found among great life coaches.
1. Master Active Listening to Truly Connect With Clients Once You Become a Life Coach
One of the main draws of a career in life coaching is the desire to help others achieve their true potential. To do so, one tool that great life coaches use is “active listening.”
The University of Colorado defines active listening as “a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding” (University of Colorado, 1998). In essence, this requires that a listener devote their undivided attention to what a speaker is saying. Additional techniques, like restating what the speaker said, and considering the emotional core of what is being said, are also considered to be a part of active listening.
To help students hone their active listening skills, life coach diploma programs include many hands-on opportunities both in class through discussions, as well as with clients in a supervised practicum setting. By staying focused and engaged with your clients, you can excel in your life coaching career.
2. After You Become a Life Coach, Be Mindful of How you Communicate Your Self-Confidence
Communicating personal successes and self-confidence to clients can be beneficial for you when you become a life coach. It can demonstrate to clients that you have an idea of what it takes to succeed, and that you possess a mindset that can help them find success of their own.
Where these qualities can go wrong, though, is when you spend too much time talking about your own accomplishments. Research shows that talking too much about your own successes can upset some listeners, and make them less receptive to what you are saying (Ghose, 2015). As a result, a well-intentioned comment could in fact have negative and unintended results.
A simple way to avoid this is to speak about yourself only when necessary. After all, the reason most people get into life coaching is because they want to help others—the coach’s life should not be the focus. When you do communicate, communicate your accomplishments in a concise, humble way, and be aware of how your client reacts. If you sense that you’re losing them, pivot to another topic of conversation to avoid alienating them.
3. Great Life Coaches Really Care About the People They Work With
Life coaching is all about helping people improve their lives. In fact, one of the main qualities that help great life coaches accomplish this is to be a ‘people person’ (Durham, 2015).
Dr. Elliot Cohen—author of 25 books on philosophical counselling, professional ethics, and more—notes that things like avoiding judgement and focusing on shared values and experiences can be very effective methods for connecting with clients. He adds, however, that it is important to “Properly distance yourself to and from the target’s subjective world.” (Cohen, 2015). This will help you avoid becoming emotionally overwhelmed, so that you can provide the best possible care for your clients.
At a life coaching school like Rhodes Wellness College you will learn how to strike the balance between emotional investment and clear-headed thinking. It’s a great opportunity for you if your goal is to devote yourself to helping others lead more fulfilling lives.
Do you want to study life coaching and help make a difference in the world?
Visit Rhodes Wellness College to learn more about our program.
Cohen, E. D. (2015, May 17). How to Be Empathetic. Retrieved December 21, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-would-aristotle-do/201505/how-be-empathetic
2016 ICF Global Coaching Study. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2016, from http://www.coachfederation.org/files/FileDownloads/2016ICFGlobalCoachingStudy_ExecutiveSummary.pdf?_ga=1.163361276.1950243841.1482272958
Active Listening. (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2016, from http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/activel.htm
Durham, J. (2015, October 27). Personal Qualities Required To Be a Good Coach. Retrieved December 21, 2016, from http://www.lifecoachexpert.co.uk/personal-qualities-required-to-be-a-good-coach.html
Ghose, T. (2015, May 15). Braggers Gonna Brag, But It Usually Backfires. Retrieved December 21, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/50848-bragging-annoys-people.html