What does it take to become a Life Coach?

To be a life coach, one is constantly client-facing or in front of people which can be quite tiresome to be constantly viewed, judged or idolized by others who look up to you. But, if your life coaching business is extremely popular and you have a strong online presence you probably also need to maintain an offline presence and on stage to spread your message across to a much wider audience. 

You might have seen many TED speakers or life coaches who are well published. They need to maintain a certain stature in front of the public and their audience and never let anything get to them. So what does it take to becoming a Life Coach? Is it money? Is it marketing? Is it grit and persistence? Or is it empathy and working around an ethical framework of coaching? Let’s find out. According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a life coach’s capacity to work with their clients is to offer a life direction that they cannot find for themselves.  

Holding Confidentiality

Nothing comes before holding true to your clients and their trust when they open up to you. We are all familiar with this from TV shows, but also in real life, therapists you find on sites like BetterHelp will adhere to this principle. The one main skill and requirement of a life coach or any mental health practitioner is to bind clients and themselves around a contract of confidentiality. A life coach is hired to share personal and deepest secrets, therefore building boundaries around for your practice keeps you credible and in line with the ethical framework of coaching. 

Be Objective

At the core of coaching lies the empathy that you provide to your clients. And in order to be empathetic, a coach should also look at asking the right questions at the right time that are objective. At times, as human nature prevails, listening to a client and their story can pull a coach towards a more personal decision or encounter transference that clouds their objective decision-making. For which it is vital for a coach to be under supervision, even when they have had ample years of experience. This helps in keeping the coach as objective as possible and looking at their client’s history positively. 


Being empathetic is one element. But with that, being firm and assertive is also very important. This helps to push the client to stick to his/her goals and keep the inertia in mind. Establishing some ground rules/ boundaries sets the pace right reminding the client of their position and why they came to a life coach. It’s likely that your client might not approve of you at first for being firm. But, in the long run, keeping their goals in mind, showing support with a little bit of firmness keeps the client in focus, pushing them out of their comfort zone. 

Being a good Listener

This trait comes in unmentioned. As a life coach, it is imperative for you to be a good listener and be observant at the same time. Almost half of your practice revolves around what is being said verbally and all that is unsaid, or in between the lines, which is most understood by asking the right sets of questions. 

These are some of the most crucial skill sets that are required to be a good coach. Others include being flexible, be willing to learn and always remain a dreamer. If you dream big for yourself, you will be able to transfer or inspire your clients to achieve the same. So are you ready to take on the challenge of becoming a life coach?

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