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Don't Become a Life Coach

Mar 30, 2008
Don't become a life coach unless you know exactly what you are getting into and why. If you want to be your own boss and help hundreds or thousands of people move forward with their lives, then being a life coach may be the job for you. However, there are a few questions you should answer. Sort out your thoughts and plans before you take the plunge. Here's how.

1.Write down WHY you are thinking of becoming a Life Coach.

2.List the key skills that you think are required to be an outstanding Life Coach. Not just a good coach, but an OUTSTANDING coach. Have you been coached yourself? Have you seen any great coaches in action? If so, what do they do?

3.Ask yourself "Without any formal training, could I help people who come to me with this problem? What life experience have I had in this field?" Go down each and give yourself a rating of 1-10, with a 10 being you are an expert and could help this person without any training or further help.

Now check if you have scored less than 7 on any of the skills. If you did then write these down in a column or mark them clearly. This is to remind you that these are the skills you have to work on and develop them well enough to succeed in the coaching profession.

You need a good reality check before jumping into the life coach pool. Be true to yourself. There's no point dilly-dallying here if you are not honest with yourself. Before you get going, ask yourself this:

"Can I build up on the skills where I scored less than 7"

"Am I committed enough to tackle my weak points and master them?"

You have to be practical at this juncture. The competition out there is cut-throat and scoring less than 7 and not being able to upgrade is not that good a sign.

Here are some of the key skills you need to be a life coach:

*Listening- There is more to listening than just hearing. Capturing the unsaid makes up the core of the listening skill.

*Feedback- Be ready to give some constructive feedback without sounding partisan or critical.

*Observing- Stay alert to the underlying factors so you can act on them.

*Analyzing- As a Life Coach you will come across some information which you will have to analyze and draw conclusions from.

*Communication- Be comfortable with communicating yourself, whatever be the medium.

*Timing- Be aware of when your client needs to move to the next stage. You should also know when to ask what type of questions.

*Assimilation- Be prepared by integrating all your information.

*Organizing- If you are not organized, you are bound to get confused. Keep your entire information and work load in an orderly fashion.

*Empathy- Be kind and compassionate to your client's needs and problems.

*Ethics- Maintain your client's information in confidentiality.

*Complimenting- Feel free to compliment your clients whenever necessary. It makes them happy.

*Motivating- Encourage your clients and make them feel happy about what they are doing.

*Empowering- Empower your clients to move ahead and succeed.

*Energetic- You have to be energetic because you need high levels of vigor to be able to motivate.

*Positivism- You as a Life Coach should be positive in your approach, attitude, tone and even writing. It is your positive outlook that spreads to your clients.

*Creative- You have to come up with a number of new ideas to help your clients. Idea formation plays a major role in the career of a Life Coach.

*Thirst for Knowledge- There are new things happening every minute and you, as a Life Coach, have to be familiar with the changes around you. Update yourself with research and get familiar with new areas that you may encounter. This is so you can help your client with what he prefers to work on.

Time to rate yourself again. This time do it with the skills listed above.

Now, put together all the skills you scored below 7 for. Remember, you have to work on these. As for those skills where you scored over 7, it's good news! That's half the job done. However, jot down these scores because you have to polish them up.

Surely you are a lot closer to understanding your potential as a Life Coach. On the other hand, let's get more certain on this and take a few more tests, just to be on the safer side.

The best way to assess whether you are ready is to get yourself your own coach. Not only will you gain tremendously from the improvement in the quality of your life, you can also pick up first-hand tips and tricks from your coach on Life Coaching. Over a period of time, you are sure to decide if coaching is meant for you or not.
About the Author
Craig Miller is known as the Cake Coach, and he helps coaches learn how to have their cake and eat it too. If you want to accelerate your coaching business, then check out www.thecakecoach.com.
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