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7 essential skills for life coaches to master

Life coaching is a very rewarding career. It can be extremely satisfying to help another person make a big breakthrough. Being successful as a life coach requires that you develop a number of skills. Here are 7 of the key skills you'll need to be an excellent life coach.

Active Listening

Coaches need to be capable of really hearing what their clients are saying. Active listening is a skill that a life coach uses in every session. Active listening is a method of being present and listening to your client without judgment. It means that while you're listening, you're not thinking about what to say in response, you're just taking in what has been said. It also involves reflecting back to the client what was said to make sure you understood it.

Asking good questions

Coaches ask a lot of questions. This is because the right question can often create a deeper awareness in the client. Learning to ask good questions is an important part of any coach training program. Coaches want their questions to expand the client's awareness not lead them to what the coach thinks they should do. This involves asking open-ended questions that require reflection and expansion from the client.


Often a client will have a large problem or project that they just don't know how to tackle. That's where a coach needs problem-solving skills. A coach can help them recognize the smaller pieces of a larger problem or project. A coach will often also help the client come up with a list of options for a solution. The key here isn't that the coach is solving the problem for them but rather that they are using their problem-solving skills to break down the problem into small stages. The coach will then help the client figure out where to start and what action to take next.

Empathy & Compassion

A client wants to feel understood. Strong emotions may sometimes arise during a coaching session. A skilled life coach will be able to empathize with the client and show compassion for their experiences. Showing compassion and empathy are skills that take the non-judgmental aspect of listening and bring it into how the coach holds space for the client.

Patience & Respect

Clients can be frustrating sometimes. As a coach, the solution might be really plain to you. But your role isn't to solve the issue for the client but to partner with the client so that they find the solution. Good coaches are very patient with their clients. They're also respectful of their clients. No one wants to work with a coach who gets impatient or interrupts them constantly. Patience and respect are key skills.

Organizational Skills

To be a great coach, you'll need to be organized. You'll use organizational skills directly with your clients. You'll help them organize their thoughts, make lists and find ways to accomplish things they desire to accomplish. But the need for organization skills goes beyond simply working with your clients. You'll need to be organized in your business as well. You'll need to keep track of your appointments, your clients, notes from your sessions, and the finances of your business. If you don't have strong organizational skills, your business will suffer.


You'll need to have a strong coaching presence which usually means being grounded in the present moment. Mindfulness practice is an excellent practice for a life coach to have. Being mindful allows you to really be with the client in the moment rather than thinking about your to-do list or what happened earlier in the day. Mindfulness is also an element of active listening.

These are 7 of the essential skills you will need to be an excellent life coach. Taking a self-inventory of where you stand with these skills is a great first step. Then you can find the right training to help you develop these skills. The spiritual life coach certification program at Starseed Academy includes all of these skills and many more.

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