by: Brandi Thomas
Below is a compiled list of the Traits and Qualities of a good Life Coach, while not all are naturally born into we can learn and improve on what I consider the most important traits a person must have in this field.
Feel invited to tip in with any thoughts and opinions about the topic below.
1. A deep desire to help
This is to state the obvious, but it is so important a trait for a life coach to have that omitting it from this list would have been an assumption that those considering pursuing the title of a Life Coach are taking it seriously. All of a life coach’s work is about helping people. Unless a life coach has a sincere and earnest desire to help people, his/her interventions will not be very effective and he/she will not be able to last in the field for long. Good and successful life coaches are people who took up this profession not to earn money but to help people.
2. Self awareness
Before setting out on a journey of helping other people deal with issues and problems they are facing in their personal or professional lives, a coach must know what he/she wants in life, how they plan to achieve your own goals, what their strengths and weaknesses are. A Life Coach must be aware of the inner self, of things that make them happy and those that are bothersome. Must be able to confront addictions and their own personal habits which needed attending to and moved through them. It is only when a coach has this kind of self-knowledge that one will be able to help a client become aware of their own self.
3. Integrity and high personal standards
Reputable coaches are men and women of unquestionable integrity. They are trustworthy in all cases and at all times, and have very high personal standards. Effective Life Coaches practice accountability for themselves and consideration for others. There is always a solution which can be found and is found within a moral code only.
Being perceptive allows a life coach to see things and situations with clarity. This trait enables coaches to understand the perspective of the client being worked with and makes it easier for both coach and client to connect with each other. As a result, coaches will be better equipped to help clients devise strategies to achieve their goals. Discernment and perceptiveness play an important role.
5. Curiousness and inquisitiveness
It is through continuous questioning that a life coach makes a client open up and indulge in self-reflection. Being curious is then an essential trait as only when the life coach is inclined to know her client more can the coach succeed in making the coaching successful. Natural curiosity and willingness to inquire about needed information helps broaden the scope in the coaches minds-eye and expands the intellectual capacity.
6. High regard, respect and concern for clients
Successful coaches value their clients and show high regard for their clients. They are always 'you' and not 'I' centered, meaning thereby that they hold clients right at the center of their attention. Reaching out for self care tools takes courage, determination and the right connection to accomplish healthy change and is a truly valued initiative. Coaches feel rewarded with their clients’ success and achievements are attained with the help of their coaching.
7. Excellent people skills
Having to deal with people all the time and not having good people skills can be to stressful for any professional, more so if the professional happens to be a life coach in the field of people. A friendly, non-intimidating but professional body language, the ability to instill confidence and trust in the clients, the skill of reassuring the clients while picking up on their clues and making them feel comfortable working with their coach goes a long way in establishing a healthy coach-client relationship.
8. Above average communication skills
Communication lies at the heart of the whole coaching process. The coaching may happen face-to-face, on the telephone, via Skype or through email, but a life coach can just not do without excellent communication skills. It is pertinent to clarify here that great communication does not mean using sophisticated words, but using clear, simple and polite language. This does not mean a lack of specific words either, rather knowing when and when not to use them. Communication extends far beyond verbal as well and every great Life Coach understands this. Also, it is not important for a coach to be an extrovert. Introverts can have as good communication skills and sometimes even better and can and do make great coaches.
9. Active listening skills
Having good communication skills is not by itself sufficient to make a great life coach. The coach must be a good listener too. It is crucial for a coach to pay full attention to what the clients say and to understand the meaning thereof and when unclear to actively seek the clues. The coach must allow and rather encourage the client to clearly express their true feelings and thoughts. By doing so, the coach lets the client discover their inner feelings, thoughts and ideas and know that they have all the resources they need inside them already. Knowing when to speak and when to actively listen is important.
Good Life coaches are able to keep their biases and personal agendas out of the coaching process. They make objective observations and communicate them to the client in clear and honest terms. Also, they must have the ability to keep any desire or temptation to control, manipulate or advise the client in check. There are other professions for bossing people around and simply appearing like a guru with positivity theories and this is not one of them.
11. Being non-judgmental
It is not unnatural to experience the desire to judge or criticize someone for their thoughts or actions. But a good life coach would have enough self-control and discretion to refrain from doing so. Self awareness takes the lead and there is room to grow for everyone involved. Intentions may be easily and quickly misunderstood and a good Life Coach knows this. The client should feel respected with your mistakes or learning opportunities and accepted for your lifestyle choices knowing you are in improve mode.
12. Quest for learning
Successful practitioners are invariably people who are open to new ideas and keep learning new things about the field of coaching, as also about themselves and their experiences. Learning interests the mind of a natural Life Coach for the more knowledge acquired the better equipped for unexpected differing perceptions. They never cease to work on themselves, trying to better themselves at physical, personal, and professional levels. They walk the talk, as you might say.