Many are deathly afraid of sharks, spiders and mosquitoes. People drive so that they can avoid flying, even though driving is statistically more dangerous. Perception colours our opinion of most things. The same applies to life coaching, and a client’s perception of the life coaching process.
Here are eight indispensable positive life coaching skills that will make you a valuable, sought-after life coach. With these skills you can make your clients happy by delivering actual results, and ensuring a positive perception of the life coaching process.
You have a second wave mind-set
A strong focus on positive experiences, traits, thoughts, and emotions carries the message that people should only strive for positive experiences and should avoid negative experiences. Positive psychology has been criticised for advocating an almost exclusive focus on well-being as well as positive outcomes. The unwarranted embrace of the positive can be seen as ‘first wave positive psychology’. Second wave positive psychology’s focus remains the improvement of well-being and it grows humans’ complex nature by identifying:
- That apparently negative experiences can add to positive aspects of human functioning and transformation
- That superficially positive qualities and experiences can be harmful to well-being under certain circumstances
- The importance of coping withnegative views, experiences and behaviour.
You contemplate the relationship clients have with themselves
Self-acceptance is the key to psychological well-being. Self-acceptance is not founded on self-evaluation based on some standard. The acceptance of self is based on a relational stance where a person accepts themselves at a very fundamental level, allowing for a healthy relationship with themselves.
You aim to grow both subjective and psychological well-being
Subjective well-being (SWB) is often referred to a ‘happiness’, and involves life satisfaction; positive effect, and negative effect. Psychological well-being (PWB) involves perceived thriving in the face of life challenges. A life that is marked by high levels of PWB is likely to be characterised by many positive and pleasurable feelings in addition to difficult and uncomfortable ones. By only focusing on SWB, you weaken the very nitty-gritties of the second wave perspective.
You assist clients with building their strengths
Strengths are features of a person that allow them to perform at their personal best. Strengths can help the client to recognise them more effectively. These directly contribute to increased well-being. People who make use of their strengths have been found to experience increased positivity; vitality; self-esteem; job satisfaction, and engagement at work.
You recognise the complex nature of human functioning
When you use convenient labels, you ignore the client’s characteristics that contribute to their unique identity and circumstances. Once you start categorising clients in terms of their problems, you risk hindering their progress through a collection of standardised facts drawn from your assumptions.
You don’t see your clients as broken and in need of fixing
Clients are experts in their own lives. You, as the life coaching practitioner, are merely the facilitator. The aim of a practitioner is to ultimately become redundant by helping clients to behave in line with their personal values and effectively cope with challenges.
You address underlying motives for change
Research reveals that the underlying motives for change are a strong predictor of well-being. Gaining insight into the underlying motives for change allows the clients to move from simply achieving particular results to achieving results that structurally affect their well-being.
You have a science-based practice
A technical understanding of positive psychology, including the ability to critically consume the research literature, effectively use relevant assessments, and create interventions that are within the bounds of the field, is a critical component to being an effective positive life coach. Even though you don’t have to be a statistics expert, you do need to know how to interpret scientific findings and translate them into real-world practice. You can confidently grab an academic journal, read an article and distil the most important findings to apply to real life settings.
To learn more about becoming a life coach, check out Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Life Coaching Certification Course. For additional information about this as well as our other online fitness qualifications, please visit our website.