Coach: Here Are Some Ideas To Improve Your Skill As A Life Coach

by Jean-Paul Cortes

A broad life coaching skill set will allow you to better understand yourself, help others gain insight of themselves and create action much more quickly.

Remember that coaching is about teaching and helping others and yourself to learn.

The fact of the matter is that we are all life coaches to someone at some point in our lives, we may not recognize it as such but every one of us has a unique life experience that can be sought upon to help someone else move forward.

Of course, there are valuable skills that can help you be a better adviser. Mainly, getting yourself out of the way and allowing people discover their own path.

Here are some ideas:

  • Ask clear questions and give candid feedback to clarify the situation. Pay close attention to what is being said and what is not being said. Is the information being embellished or is something being left out? Notice body language, facial expressions, movements and tone of voice. To draw out information use open-ended questions; don't lead, encourage and empower the person to search for his/her own answer. Learn to listen.
  • Help the person identify possible actions by re-framing the situation and looking for other solutions. Questions such as: How can the situation be handled? What other options are there? are very powerful to engage someone to think creatively. Be willing to discuss the problem and the solutions sought but be mindful of not offering your own opinions. It's a coach's job to ask questions not answer them.
  • Establish a plan of action. Set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely (S.M.A.R.T). Hold the person accountable to the plan, this will avoid someone falling into the complacency trap, a dangerous place to be.
  • Offer support. What can you do to further a person's decision? What resources are available to you that may help someone with their goals? Follow up in a timely manner.
  • Be adaptable. Tailor your approach to each person's needs; everyone of us is not cut with the same pair of scissors, pay attention the the inherent differences and each person's values. Our values create a strong platform to launch us into action.
  • Focus on solutions. Avoid getting caught up in fire-fighting, what's the next step and how do we get there?
  • Create action. Nothing happens without action, uncover the reason behind what the person really wants and what it's going to take to get to the goal. Build on existing strengths it will help when faced with difficult situations.
  • Pay attention to results. We tend to slip back into familiar patterns of doing things; this is normal but does not encourage growth. Acknowledge how far you've gone and keep on going.
  • Use positive affirmations. Words have a powerful influence in determining successful outcomes, negative self-talk only hurts and frequently has nothing to do with how things really are.
  • Build on success. You've come very far in your life, re-trace your memory to past successes and notice what you did so you can repeat it in your present.
  • Endorse learning. When we lack faith in our life coaching skill set, we undermine our abilities and talents which is not good; learning new talents however will augment your confidence and remind you that we all have individual experiences and expertise that make us valuable.There are many more tools that you can add to your life coaching skill box and they're all used for one thing: getting better at what you do. Remember that we are all coaches to someone at some point in life. It's important that we learn how we can be the best coaches we can be.

Making It Fun

Learn a new technique and try it out on a friend, I'm sure it will be helpful both to you and your friend. You might even surprise yourself and find out if you have what it takes to become a life coach.

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