You have a dream. Becoming a life coach looks like an ideal fit. Freedom to be your own boss, set your own schedule, determine your own income. But the question remains, Do I have the qualities to be a great life coach?
Just by being interested in life coaching as a career is the first sign of having the heart of a coach. Being a great life coach though is something more than just a desire to coach others.
The people who are able to design an ideal life around a long-term, thriving life coaching business have more than just the desire to be a coach. They have the character qualities of a coach.
Being a professional life coach means living by the kinds of standards that enable clients to trust you and refer others to you with confidence.
No one meets all of these standards fully, every day. It’s a goal we strive for and keep working toward improvement. Look them over and see if the seeds of a great coach are waiting inside of you:
21 Characteristics of a Great Coach
- A heart to make a difference in the lives of others
- Able to put personal needs and ego aside in order to invest deeply in caring for others even when it means asking hard questions
- Willing to grow personally in self-awareness
- Develop empathy without pity or sympathy (see The difference between a coach and a counselor)
- Learn new tools and assessments to help support the specific needs of each client
- Humility to listen without judging or advising
- Continually work to improve communication skills
- Self-less focus on the client and their needs, goals, energy, etc.
- Willing to risk making a mistake
- Dedication to professional ethics
- Confidentiality and trust
- Perseverance and dedication
- Open to collaboration, mutual support, and accountability with other, more experienced coaches
- Utmost respect for the dignity of all people regardless of differences
- Ability to treat clients as equal partners in a co-creative process
- Willing to refer potential clients to another coach (or therapist!) who is a better fit for their needs
- Emotionally and mentally stable
- Represent skills, certifications and level of experience accurately and honestly
- Strive to uphold the core competency standards set for by their certification agency
- Wisdom. Wisdom does not necessarily come from age! I know an awful lot of “mature” people who you really should not look to for any kind of help. Wisdom is a combination of experience, intuition, humility and education.
If you can honestly say you have at least 19 of these 21 of character traits, you are a life coach. It’s in your genes. If you have less then 14 of them and still have a deep desire to be a life coach as well as a willingness to work on your personal growth, you can succeed as well.
As a life coach you can design an authentic life that allows you to define success your way.
You are more equipped than you realize. With this comprehensive Roadmap to Your Life Coaching Career, you can discover exactly what you have to offer as a life coach and create a realistic plan to get there.