It is absolutely critical that a Life Coach be a well-trained professional. All coaching sessions and records must be confidential unless otherwise required by law. The coach must remain positive and motivational at all times. In many ways, the coach is also a cheerleader. Once the client’s goal has been validated, the coach has to keep the client convinced that it can and will be reached.
Another critical aspect of life coaching is accountability. Most people already know HOW to reach their goal. They just need someone to help develop a plan and hold them accountable to it. The coach does not criticize the client for failing to complete an agreed upon step. He asks why it wasn’t completed and what needs to change so that it will be done.
The life coach must be flexible. Situations change and plans must be revised. As coaches, we have to remember that it is the client’s goal, not ours. Even if we think that the client should not change their goal, it is not our choice.
Characteristics of a Good Coach
Many characteristics of a good coach can be inferred from the above but there are others that are vital for an effective life coach. At first glance, life coaching may sound like a simple process but such is not the case. Being a successful coach requires both professional skills and a compassionate personality.
An appropriately trained coach has been taught skills related to assessment, goal-setting, planning and behavior management. Other areas of vital importance include skills in effective communication, active listening, in-depth questioning, motivation and inter-personal relationships. These, and others, will be discussed in subsequent chapters.
Certain personal characteristics are also necessary for a successful coach. Coaches must be compassionate and genuinely care about the best interests of the client. Coaches must be able to maintain a positive attitude and keep the client motivated as they move toward achieving process objectives. Other traits of importance include being supportive, respectful, inspiring and patient..