How to Become a Life Coach

Do you enjoy inspiring other people to achieve their dreams? Would you like to play an integral role in creating foundational relationships and assisting people overcome self-doubt and fear? Can you envision helping a person develop meaningful goals, achieving those goals, and building a purposeful life? If these ideas sound appealing, becoming a life coach might be the right career path for you.

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What is a life coach?

A life coach is a person who creates a confidential relationship with a client, assists in defining a clear and meaningful life goal for them, and then works to close the distance between where the client is currently at and where they eventually need to be to achieve their dream. Coaching is, in essence, a relationship between a coach and a client, or a coach and a group of clients, where the coach facilitates the client’s journey toward the fulfillment of a specific goal.

Effective life coaches will have the following three traits:

  • Empowerment – to help the client realise their self-belief and self-worth through attitude and reflection.
  • Guidance – to provide the support a person needs to open their mind and broaden their perspective, leading to achievable goals.
  • Improvement – that clearly defines the progress the client is making through the coaching sessions.

A life coach offers a supportive path through a person’s struggles and a tangible way to positively change a client’s life. Successful life coaches engage in self-reflection and know what they stand for; they’re flexible enough to continually seek out additional studies and training to assist their clients in changing their lives for the better.

Are there different kinds of life coaching?

Life coaching first became popular in the 1980s as a means to help an individual achieve a work/life balance, or to motivate a workforce, and has since branched out to various career fields. Here’s a sampling of the types of life coaching you can specialise in:

  • Executive business
  • Interview coaching
  • Performance management
  • Group coaching
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Personal development
  • Spiritual
  • Relationship
  • Youth coaching
  • Retirement
  • Business leadership
  • Financial
  • Career
  • Recovery
  • Small business
  • Sports.

Some of these areas may require additional experience and training in human resources, and management. Research an area of coaching that appeals to you and learn about study programs available in that area. This will give you a clear idea of what’s involved in your chosen discipline.

What skills do you need to become a life coach?

It’s true that the success of a life coach is dependent on how willing a client is to do the hard work. However, without a skilled and caring life coach, the client will never have the opportunity to make that choice. With that in mind, here are the skills needed to be a successful life coach:

1. Respect confidentiality

No matter who’s paying for the coaching sessions, your client deserves a coach who adheres to this rule. Clients will share some emotional and deeply personal thoughts and experiences, and for you to help make a difference in their lives, you need to honour their confidentiality.

2. Be objective and able to stay detached

A life coach needs to look at a client and their goal from an objective standpoint. Although empathy is a vital trait in any life coach, too much empathy or getting caught up in the client’s struggles can cause you to lose focus on their primary goal. You need to be involved and enthusiastic, but also remain objective and maintain a professional distance.

3. Have excellent listening skills

A critical life coaching skill is the ability to listen. The better you are at observing and listening, the more effectively you can serve your client. Often, listening entails hearing what’s not said, and that requires an in-depth, active, and highly attentive kind of listening. Many life coaches cite this skill as one they were able to hone through their online and certification classes.

4. Flexibility in communication mediums

Because of our modern lifestyles, today’s life coaches must be flexible in terms of communication modes. Being open and comfortable in using alternative communication methods other than meeting face-to-face can help you land a larger client base. You’ll need to develop the ability to communicate over Skype, telephone, and online to attract clients in today’s busy world.

5. Willing to become certified

Earning a recognised life coaching certification will only give your position more credibility in a client’s eyes. It’s also a means to prove that you care about the job and want to continuously improve your abilities.

Start your life coaching career today.

Does life coach feel like the career for you? Do you want to learn these crucial skills needed to become a life coach? Enrol today in the International Career Institute’s Life Coaching course and make a difference in the lives of others today.

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Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.