Life coaching can be a rewarding career path if you enjoy helping people. Life coaches are all about helping people make plans to achieve their goals and reach their highest selves. Many people talk about the best qualities of a life coach, but here are three qualities that would make you an inefficient life coach.
Three qualities you should NOT have as a life coach
- Using negative reinforcement. First, you shouldn’t rely on negative reinforcements when it comes to your clients. We have a society that heavily favors negative reinforcement, but we also have a society that has little intrinsic motivation. The thing about negative reinforcement is that it doesn’t encourage people to do things because they want to or because they enjoy it. It encourages them to do things to avoid punishment. This is no way to motivate your clients or create lasting and effective change. If you heavily rely on negative reinforcement to create changes in your client’s life, you will not be an effective life coach.
- Thinking your way is the only way. Next, becoming a life coach isn’t about pushing your ideas and opinions on others. It is about helping others think through their problems and develop their own opinions and decisions on different things. If you feel the need to push your opinion on your clients without letting them work up to their own methods of solving problems, you may be failing your clients and yourself. Learning how to let others work through their problems can be a difficult thing to learn, but it will serve you very well once you do.
- Interrupting without listening to the client. Finally, a life coach’s job is primarily to listen, so if you spend more time talking than listening to your client, you are not doing your job properly. The same goes for interrupting your client when they’re trying to speak or cutting in for them and not letting them finish their thoughts. When you cut your client off, it doesn’t allow them to adequately express their own opinions or feel like you are open to listening to them. This doesn’t create a listening and learning environment and can even sever a healthy coaching relationship.
Being a good life coach is all about listening to your clients and helping them work through their problems and come to effective solutions. Life coaches do not give their clients the answer to their problems, nor do they focus on why the problem was created. Life coaches are all about moving forward, not backward. If helping people overcome their problems is your passion, you should consider taking a certified life coaching course, such as Coach Training Alliance’s Certified Coach Program, to become a life coach.