As a life coach, you may be an expert at many different aspects of life. That’s why you’re called a life coach. That being said, life coaches know that in life, there is always room to grow, learn more, and improve yourself in various ways. The great life coaches know that this goes for their coaching practice as well. They never stop being thirsty for more knowledge about how to be a better life coach. In this article, we will go over 13 tips in which you can improve your life coaching skills.
Is there such a thing as the perfect life coach?
I’m not sure if there is anyone out there who knows absolutely everything it takes to be the most perfect life coach imaginable. I don’t believe there are any perfect life coaches, but there are those life coaches who seem to have it figured out.
They click with their clients. They have a deep, passionate understanding of life. They always know what to say and when to say it. They are wise and optimistic. Their clients seem to come to them, willingly paying them thousands of dollars to help them turn their life around instead of them chasing after prospects. They seem to genuinely be in love with life and are able to withstand the darkness people face with strength and grace.
They have developed expert life coaching skills and can be considered in the big leagues of the industry.
How did they get there?
Famous life coaches achieved their status for a reason. Because they change peoples’ lives.
These pro life coaches have either been hustling for years to get there, putting in years of time and hard work, investing thousands of dollars in marketing strategies, or have learned expert life coaching skills and applied them conscientiously to every single client, earning a reputation as a noteworthy coach.
Life coaching is as complex as life itself.
In life there is always more to learn no matter how successful you are. The same goes for life coaching. Even the pros know that they don’t know it all.
If you want to become a better life coach, we have researched skills that are necessary to do so.
Here are 11 tips for improving life coaching skills
1. First and foremost, get certified
While certifications are not required to be a life coach, obtaining one should still be a necessity if you want to improve your life coaching skills – if you don’t already have one. Life coach certification courses will teach you the basics of the life coaching industry, what to expect working with clients, and will help you zone in on what you want to specialize in. Some courses, such as iNLPCenter’s accredited life coaching certification course, will teach you the psychology behind life coaching and how to heal your clients on a subconscious level. Having a certification behind your name will also give you a sense of legibility and trust when your potential clients research you.
2. Lead with the desire to help people
There are many benefits of being a life coach. You might have decided to get certified in life coaching because of the desire to achieve financial freedom, travel, and better your own life. However, the best life coaches lead with the desire to help people. When you put yourself out there as a coach with the intention of wanting to make as much money as you can, your clients will pick up on it. The same goes when your intention is to help people. Clients will notice that that is your true passion and thus, feel more comfortable giving you their money. Helping people is what life coaching really is all about.
3. Be positive
As a life coach, being a source of positivity in your client’s life is a requirement. You have to be an example of what a positive mindset looks like and how it can change your life. However, you must have a realistic grasp on what living with a positive mindset is, and it has to come off as so. Being “too positive” to someone who is in a dark place can rub them the wrong way or cause them to distrust you. They might laugh sarcastically at you, wince, or roll their eyes when you tell them to think more positively. It may not seem possible to them and unrealistic. The key is in showing them what being positive means, which also means addressing the negative. You can’t have one without the other. Finding a balance between being realistic and being positive, healing the negative, and then making the conscious choice to be more positive and optimistic in life is the key.
4. Be Authentic
We can sense when someone isn’t being real with us. As a life coach, being authentic is essential if you want to keep clients around. Putting on a face like you have it all together wound up in a perfectly neat wrapping paper with a bow on top isn’t really true. None of us humans have it all together all of the time. Being authentic means being relatable, which will help you build meaningful relationships with your clients. If they see that you struggle too, but have the life coaching skills to overcome them, they will listen to you.
5. Speak the truth
Honesty is key. As a life coach, you are confronted with difficult and personal life situations daily. If you don’t know what to tell someone during a tough conversation, stick to honesty. Speak the truth to your clients about what you think and feel even when it’s difficult. They hired you for your thoughts and opinions on life, so share them.
6. Be vulnerable
Establishing a relationship with your client can be difficult if they are having trouble opening up to you. One good way to get past this is to show them vulnerability. Tell them a personal story, a daily struggle you face, or about a battle you overcame. They will feel more safe and comfortable sharing with you after you show them that their relationship with you is a safe space to be open and vulnerable.
7. Be present and focus on the client
Active listening involves being fully present with your client and focused on what they are saying rather than formulating a response in your head before they finish speaking. We all have a lot going on in our lives and we tend to let our thoughts drift when we’re in conversation with someone. This is a big no-no when your client is paying you to listen to their problems. Each session should revolve around them and their life, not yours. Yes, you can relate to them when appropriate and tell stories about yourself when you know it would provide information or motivation regarding their particular situation. However, the session isn’t a chance for you to tell your story to get an ego boost about how inspirational you are. Be there for your client. Be curious about them and observant, fully focused on helping them.
8. Be ultra understanding, compassionate, and non-judgemental… to the extreme
When someone hires a life coach, there is probably some area of their life that they are struggling in, which can be sensitive to talk about with someone new. They might be dealing with a lot of guilt and shame around the subject. It can be scary opening up to someone – even a professional – about your thoughts and feelings regarding this sensitive subject. Your job as a life coach is to be the non-judgemental, compassionate, and understanding presence in their life. They hired you because they are trying to make a positive change for their future, not to be criticized about their past.
9. Take notes
After each session with a client, one method to improve your life coaching skills is to take notes about how it went. Write out areas in which you did well and where you can improve upon. Before your next session, read the notes from the prior session to remind yourself.
10. Take care of YOU
One of the best ways to help others is by taking care of yourself first. You cannot be a great life coach until you learn how to be the best version of yourself. This involves self-care, self-love, self-awareness, a healthy lifestyle, confidence in your abilities, and self-worth. While many people may believe this is selfish thinking, it is quite the opposite.
11. Hire your own life coach
You already know the value of life coaching and how it can help people in so many ways. One great way to demonstrate the value of life coaching is by hiring one yourself. This way you have your own mentor who can help you improve your life coaching skills. They can also be a support system for you when you deal with your own life stresses and provide inspiration for you to continue your great work.