life coaching skills

Are you a good listener? Maybe you have good communication skills, and your friends often come to you for advice. Perhaps because of these skills you have given thought to becoming a life coach, but are not really sure if you ACTUALLY have the bigger skills needed to be an effective life coach that helps people outside of who you already know. 

The good news is that if you already practice & live with these basic skills, you are on the right path. Here are a few examples of what you will need. Let’s take a look at the specifics. πŸŽ‰

What Is Life Coaching?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines life coaching as “the activity of helping clients decide what they want in their lives & how to achieve it.”

Frankly, I could not have said it better myself. But, this is the basic definition of life coaching. Like everything else in life, life coaching can be what you make it. There are many different aspects to a person’s personal life that a life coach can help with- ranging from career path, to relationships, to decision making, business coaching, and work-life balance. There are literally no limits to how you can help clients.

When it comes to life coaching, it is the responsibility of the coach i.e YOU πŸ’ƒ to practice active listening in order to get into a client’s emotions. You have to use your coaching tool of making a positive impact on a client to guide them into the deep stuff. The parts of themselves they are afraid to face. The parts of a person’s life that no one else knows about, and oftentimes that they do not allow themselves to think about. BUT, this is where the beauty is. This is where the personal growth & client’s progress happens. This is where you get to help them discover a growth mindset & get results.

All anyone wants to do is feel better. Whether that emotion of feeling better is success, happiness, fulfillment, moving forward, moving on, etc. A life coach who is an effective coach in the life coaching industry uses direct communication & helps their clients use their own words & encourages clients to overcome obstacles. The obstacles that will help them achieve whatever emotion they are looking to gain & hang on to.

Positive change is what you are here to help them do.

πŸ’Ž One of my favorite practices to get my own body moving & help balance my own emotions is in the Uplifted membership program. I can get in control of my emotions & balance them all back out in under 20 minutes by using the Women’s Yoga For Emotional Balance Practice.

What Makes A Good Life Coach?

Good life coaches have essential skills in life coaching. They have effective communication skills, practice active listening, develop a good coaching relationship, have positive & open body language even if coaching through a computer screen to help their clients.

Creating A Morning Routine

Professional coaches have self awareness & utilize professional development to gain key essential skills that will sharpen their coaching techniques & keep everyone on the same page. πŸ“–

You can be that good coach.

You can:

🌺 help your clients

🌺 use your client’s words to help them gain self confidence,

🌺 become self aware

🌺 sort through their own thoughts

🌺 discover self compassion

🌺 and utilize your own coaching questions to gain a better understanding of your client’s core competencies.

Your client’s overall well being should be the ultimate focus & contribute to your professional goals during your life coaching session. Communication skills, both verbal & non-verbal communication, will make you a better coach.

Allowing your clients to provide feedback to get a greater sense of your coaching skills is also a HUGE contribution.

Hearing the honest feedback to be constructive & productive will add to your own self awareness regarding your skills as a coach & also keep making you a better coach.

10 Life Coaching Skills That Mean It’s Your Path

Here is the short list of the 10 essential coaching skills you need to achieve business success as a life coach, learned through my own experiences & my own life coaching certification program with Dharma Coaching Institute, the Life Coach Certification Institute, & the International Coaching Federation:

Listening Actively πŸ‘‚

When many of us are engaged in a conversation, we have a tendency to already be thinking about what we are going to say next. There is not anything wrong with that, you’re only human after all. BUT, when it comes to coaching, active listening is an important skill. Believe it or not, this is a learned skill.

In order to be effective at this skill, you will need to be fully present. This means developing the skills to stay focused. For instance, if your client is talking about how they feel they need help to set up boundaries with their mother because she constantly expects her to drop what she’s doing, but you are still thinking about everything you need to do when the session is over, you are not fully present or active listening. You should be able to listen until she is finished with her whole train of thought; including wait time to verify she has it all out there. Life coaches can only successfully help their clients if they are able to listen & FULLY HEAR them.

I have found that the best way to turn your mind off & practice this type of listening is to have a routine that you stick to before a call, or a string of calls. A go- to yoga practice of mine to help with this while also keeping up energy for the coaching sessions is Yoga For Energy & Focus.

Receptive Body Language

In order to be a successful life coach, your body language can play a major role. You will need to be in a mental space to receive the information your client is giving to you in your coaching sessions. When you are utilizing your life coaching skills during a session, your body language should not be stand-offish, or make you appear unapproachable.

For instance, if your client is telling you about how their boss singled them out at work in a meeting full of their peers, but you are sitting across from them with your arms folded, she is not feeling invited to tell you her full feelings. Your job as a life coach is to receive the information she is giving you to guide her to follow her own intuition.

Your posture should be open. What does this look like? Sitting up straight with your shoulders back, giving an alertness to yourself. Your mind should be ready to receive information from your clients to help them get to their end goal that they have shared with you. I like to start my day in a way to help me set my intention(s) for the day, including having an open mind. I use a practice like Yoga For A Flexible Mind & Body to help with these specific skills.

Effective Communication Skills πŸ—£οΈ

This is more than just being able to talk to someone. In coaching, you must be able to be clear in your communication. As a life coach one of the core coaching skills is to be able to ask the questions that help their clients find the answers within themselves. After all, as yogi/ life coaches believe, all of the solutions you need to your problems are already within you. It is merely your job as a coach to clearly communicate to your clients how to get there.

The key skills in effective communication are to help your client get into their heart space. To help literally feel with their heart how they feel about a particular situation. Your coaching business should provide clarity & direct clients to move past their ego’s response to things, and move instead into how their heart feels. Each question should help you clients get deeper & deeper into that heart center. That’s where their solutions to their life lies. These are important skills to teach as coaching professionals because the more you practice the effective communication that provides clarity, the more your clients will develop the skill to start asking themselves these questions when they have concluded their time working with you. Coaching to help them get back to the “happy” place they are in when they leave their life coaches.

For instance, if a client has a hang up- also known as a limiting belief- about why they cannot seem to find a routine that works for them, your coaching skills need to steer them to WHY they REALLY cannot find a routine that works for them. You should offer a different perspective to consider, give feedback, direct your clients back to their ultimate goal, and also include some metaphors that relate to real life to help put their issue into perspective. Perhaps one that I could not see before. You are there to pull back the curtain on what they are not allowing themselves to see.

To help my clients move into the positive psychology state in my coaching business, I like to practice opening up my throat chakra. By using a practice like Throat Chakra Yoga Sequence: Speak Your Truth Without Fear – Vishuddha Chakra Yoga I can be ready to speak clearly & show up for my clients. To embody the skills I am helping my clients achieve.

Awareness πŸ’–

This pertains to not only self- awareness, but awareness of your client as well. As previously mentioned, one of the life coaching skills necessary is to pull back the curtain on what your clients are not allowing themselves to see. This means it is your job as their coach to notice/ be aware when they are missing a piece of their own puzzle. That piece of the puzzle may just be the piece they need to find the solution to their problem.

For instance, if we continue with the example used in the last section & your client cannot find that routine that sticks for her, you need to use your life coach skills to recognize their thoughts, reactions, emotions, behaviors, etc. So, if your client is not- at the core of the issue- able to get out of bed in the morning to do their workout, help them develop an action plan. Coach them even after they get off the call with you by giving them the skills they need to be successful. The ability to implement your teachings into their real world situations & circumstances.

Your coaching business should help your clients know when they are feeling certain emotions, triggering certain behaviors, etc. so they know to acknowledge what they are feeling when they feel it instead of shrugging it off. This includes celebrations, sadness, hurt, pain, happiness, glee, confidence, & all the things in between.

One of the best ways to increase awareness for both yourself & your clients is to make sure your mind & body are connected to feel out both you & your client. I really enjoyed Yoga For Your Body & Soul: 18 Day Challenge to help get connected.

Want to take that connection a step further? Or, have you considered ever getting your Yoga Teacher Certification? Start with the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Course to dive deeper into the mechanics of things like that mind, body, soul connection, meditation mechanics, and specific practice to get specific results for your mindset, and also to be coaching yourself more deeply.

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    Live What You Teach 🌟

    This is what it is to embody. To live the life you are coaching your clients to get to. Too many life coaches get caught up in what kind of coach they think people want as opposed to what they are actually aligned with when it comes to coaching.

    For instance, if you decide your niche is going to be to coach women on how to have stable romantic relationships, but you relate more with women who could benefit from coaching regarding their soul’s purpose, it will not work. Unfortunately, we cannot fake expertise within a certain group of people.

    This does not mean your alignment won’t change, but whatever lifestyle you are currently living should be the lifestyle you are trying to help others get as well. Your potential clients & current clients will not benefit you & you will not benefit them as a coach if your lifestyles & goals are not aligned with each other.

    Help yourself out first πŸ˜ƒ & get clear on your own intentions before you determine if coaching is the correct path for you. Embody Your Intentions will help you get clear on who you are & what you want in order to help you as a coach decide what community to serve.

    Be A Mirror For Your Clients

    Life coaches serve where they have just come from. What those skills look like is this…

    I’ve done a lot of work in the last 4-5 years on making/ keeping myself a priority & setting boundaries with people that expect me to people-please since having my own kids. Daughters at that. Some of the skills I was looking to embody were to be an example to my daughter in ways that were not demonstrated to me by my female family members. Those examples include: it is okay to put yourself first, it is okay to tell people “no”, you cannot be something for someone else without knowing who you are first, among other things. All of that to say…

    This is the community I serve. I have just done the work in this space, so I have the skills & knowledge to coach other women with similar goals in their life right now. And to help them be successful. Because I have already been coaching myself through the same issues in my life.

    As hard as it may be to do, think about the last 5 years of your life & determine what major life skills you have gained that you feel others could benefit from. There is no greater expert than you regarding these goals & outcomes because you have just lived them. Your potential clients will resonate with that & love you for it.

    Try out the Kali: 14 Day Challenge if you are struggling with facing who you have been over the last 5 years. To help you stop playing small, celebrate your wine, & share them with the people waiting to discover you!

    Effective Questioning ❓

    The biggest aspects of effective questioning in coaching are:

    πŸ’« Asking open ended questions

    by asking open ended questions it allows your coaching clients to do those deep dives into themselves. To not let them off the hook of sorts. To help them & guide them to do the hard work needed to make lasting change. Effective life coaches don’t let their clients continue to hide behind their limiting beliefs, and open ended questions support those skills.

    πŸ’« Keeping questions short & simple

    It is important to keep in mind here that short & simple DOES NOT mean yes or no questions. What it DOES mean is that life coaches ask questions that do not confuse their clients. Examples: “How does that make you feel? Why do you feel that way? What are you looking to gain?”

    πŸ’« Asking questions without judgment

    A life coach has the ability to ask questions without judgment. Life coach clients come to us looking for guidance & support to get the skills needed to make lasting change. It is not your job to judge them, or ask questions with judgment. We are neutral sounding boards helping them to get the life they want to be living. We offer them the skills they need to live a life of purpose. Help Kick Judgment Out Of Your Life.

    Eye Contact πŸ‘οΈ

    This includes basic facial expressions like head nods & eyebrow raises. It is separate from listening actively because it is that important. It offers a type of support, interest, & sincerity that a client needs to help them feel like they are in a safe space with their life coach.

    The eye contact should be a conversational type that includes looking away, possibly taking notes, etc. Help get your own intuition & inner guidance in check before your coaching begins using the Third Eye Chakra Yoga Sequence: Trust Your Intuition & Inner Guidance

    Wait Time ⏳

    Coaching is not a normal conversation, and we are not here to give advice like we typically do in personal conversations. Rather, in coaching, wait time is important to the process. Often when our clients get silent it is because they are working through their thinking process as opposed to offering you space to talk.

    Coaching involves holding the silent space to allow your clients to process those thoughts. Within those thoughts comes the self discovery, solutions, & answers. You are giving them the skills to find in the first place.

    Give Yin Yoga a try if you haven’t before. Holding the poses for an extended amount of time will do wonders in developing the skills necessary to practice patience & be effective with your wait time as a coach. Meet Yin Yoga – Full Class for Beginners

    Support ✨

    By far the biggest & greatest element to life coaching skills is support. While support encompasses everything above, it is important to give support it’s own section because this type of coaching skill is exactly why we sign up to be life coaches in the first place. This is why we show up. This is why we keep coaching. This is why we do what we do. This is our life.

    When you support , show up for, & hold space for your clients, you give them the things other people in their life cannot or will not. This is how you help them. As coaches, you have to offer a safe space for your clients to show up. A safe space for them to learn the skills you are coaching.

    You love them with your whole hearts so that they can learn to love themselves for the rest of their life.

    Closing Thoughts

    Life coaching is so much more than just giving advice. In fact, it is the complete opposite. You get to literally help people change their lives, and have a lasting impact. It is one of my own professional goals to touch as many women’s lives as I can. I hope that includes you. Together we can make a difference, make the world a better place, & raise the energetic vibration of the world! 🌎

    If you resonated with this, and were literally jumping up & down saying, “That’s me. That’s me! Where do I go from here?” Check out the How To Become a Life Coach blog post for a step by step guide to become a life coach.

    And if you want to go deeper and hone these key skills within yourself to be a better life coach that helps improve their client’s life I highly recommend taking a 200-hr yoga teacher training like the one offered here in Uplifted!

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