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7 Skills To Be An Effective Life Coach

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I'm often asked what skills are needed to become a successful Life Coach. Of course there is no one answer to that because different Life Coaches specialize in different areas and as such require different skills sets.

Having said that, there are a number of commonalities that will run through all successful Life Coaches and the following seven are probably the ones that you cannot do without if you want to succeed.

1. Rapport Building Ability

I wouldn't say it's impossible to coach somebody that doesn't like you, but it's pretty close. Therefore, Life Coaches need to be able to build rapid rapport with potential clients and maintain that rapport through the coaching relationship. Without rapport it is difficult to build trust and without trust the coaching relationship breaks down and very little positive change happens.

2. Questioning Skills

At the core of professional Life Coaching lies the need to ask searching questions that will challenge the clients way of thinking about things. If as a Life Coach you cannot do that then it's difficult to have any control of the process. And it's almost impossible to get a client to change if you can't change their thinking with great questions that promote introspection and deep thought.

3. Listening Skills

Questioning skills are redundant if the Life Coach can't shut up and listen to the response she is getting. It's easy to dive in and offer advice when we see a client floundering, but that isn't what Life Coaching is all about. We want the client to come to their own conclusions because then they are exponentially more likely to follow through and act when they do so.

4. Be Prepared to Fail.

No Life Coach succeeds with every client, or even close. Life Coaching is a black art and what works with one client may not work with another. A Life Coach has to be prepared to make mistakes by stepping outside the norm from time to time. This doesn't mean to act recklessly, but be flexible and open-minded and concentrating on what is right for the client rather than worrying about this process or that process will work.

5. Think Outside The Box

There is no cookie cutter approach to Life Coaching even though there are models that form loose structures. Great Life Coaches are creative thinkers and they are always looking for new approaches that will help resistant clients.

6. A Willingness To Learn

I have been a professional Life Coach for over 6 years but I still read books on the subject on a daily basis. I write a blog because it helps me compose my thoughts and I am always on the look out for further education that will help me become a better Life Coach.

7. A Desire To Help Others

You would think this is fairly obvious, but I can assure you I have met Life Coaches whose reason for becoming a coach first and foremost was to make money. That's never going to work because coaching is a service industry. If it isn't obvious you are there for your clients first and foremost, then you won't need that stick for beating prospective clients away with because there won't be any!
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