5 Attributes of a Successful Health Coach

What health coaching skills are important for you?

What attributes does your health coach posses that will assist you in journey towards well being? Are there any specific abilities that they require to better guide you along your path? What should you be looking for when you seek out a health coach? The five points below highlight some of the attributes a health coach may posses that will benefit you.

Remember, a health coaching regime is a relationship that you develop with your health coach. They are the guide with information, resources and support, while you are the active participant. The health coach cannot do this alone. It may take some time to develop this relationship. 

Health coaches are human beings, too, so they have their strengths and weaknesses. It is important for you to be clear with your intentions and honest with the health coach. Asking questions is definitely acceptable. There may be some skills you need more than others from a health coach to make the sessions valuable. Take the time to inquire about a health coach’s qualifications, abilities and coaching style to ensure they re a right fit for you.

Having an Optimistic Attitude

Positivity is the road to peace

Your health coach should have an optimistic attitude because there are going to be hurdles, blocks, and paths that may lead to dead ends and the may cause you to want to give up. Often times these situations are brief and temporary and after you move beyond them you may wonder why they ever appeared as a hinderance. While you may be having doubts about your ability to succeed in your journey to wellness, your health coach should always remain positive.  If you are experiencing pessimism and cannot see past the current state of affairs that are causing your illness, or are having difficulty completing the challenges set before you, your health coach is there is remind of what is on the other side.  Often times, a health coach may have gone through similar experiences as yourself. Perhaps not the identical illness, but most likely illness itself. Your journey is unique, but having someone there who has also been through a mentality of despair provides a model that optimism is a preferred state of being. 

Conflict Resolution Skills

As you begin your journey to healing, there may be a lot of conflict you have to resolve. Conflicts may need to be resolved within yourself, in your relationships with others, in your workspace, and in your lifestyle choices, such as: your diet, your fitness and your mental clarity.

As you begin coaching sessions tensions may arise for you as you try to sort through these conflicts.  Your health coach should be able to guide you through resolving these conflicts by peaceful negotiation. This means not only will they negotiate with you to find out what you are comfortable with trying, but also negotiate with your resistance. Your conflict may be coming from your resistance to change. And resolving those fears may prove beneficial for you. 

Effective Communication

You can ask questions

Having the ability to communicate clearly is essential for a health coach to be able to assist you in conflict resolution and provide you with the tools for your health and wellness journey. There are many ways to communicate and your health coach should be able to alter their language or provide alternative materials that make the information they are providing more accessible for you to comprehend. As mentioned above, health coaches are human beings and may miss signals from you that you are having trouble assimilating what they are saying. As a client, your active and honest participation to correct the health coach when they have misunderstood something, or by asking questions as to clarify what they mean, will make the process smoother. It takes time to build up trust, but hopefully a foundation will have started from the moment you got in contact with your health coach. They want to ensure you have understood what they are saying. So, they will check in with you to ensure you have been able to comprehend the information. This is a positive action and is not meant to ‘grill’ you or make you feel incompetent in that you were not able to convey what you actually meant the first time you said it. In conversation, it is often necessary to go through the diabetic style of back and forth clarify words and meanings because sometimes word change meanings in context, or we unintentionally use words incorrectly. This is an opportunity to be honest if you have not understood. This is not about judging you on your capabilities of assimilating information, it is about clarity of communication.

Active Listening

Active listening is when the health coach is able to focus on what you are saying and repeat it back to you in their own words to ensure they have understood what you have meant. This is when it allows for you to clarify any misconceptions the health coach had of what you were saying. The health coach themselves may ask questions to clarify what you said as mentioned in effectively communicating above. The health coach uses active listening to pick up on these subtleties to be able to clarify matters. The health coach is demonstrating that their focus is on you, that they wish to understand from you what you re trying to say and that they are invested in your interests. 

Having Self Confidence

A health coach that demonstrates self confidence can be affirming or possibly intimidating.  When done properly, a health coach the exudes confidence will demonstrate to you the possibility of how you can be have with a sense of self worth. When a health coach applies an optimistic attitude with effective communication, active listening and conflict resolution skills, they will create a warm and welcoming environment for you. The confidence that they demonstrate towards you is something they have worked on. And it is a continuing process for most individuals. People can experience many different events in their life that can cause different emotional and behavioural reactions. When you see a health coach demonstrate confidence they may be doing so to model that you too can confront challenging situations and succeed at them. However, if your health coach is failing in the other areas, their self confidence may come across as condescending. It is not your job as their client to educate them, but health coaches should appreciate critical feedback in a positive manner. It could be possible that they are unaware that their behaviour is not aligning with the way you view them. 

Health Coaching is a dynamic relationship between you and your coach. It is ever evolving and depends on many factors such as: the experience of the health coach, their natural; aptitudes, your personality and experience, current situational factors either of you may be experiencing, and how long you have been receiving coaching. At all times you should feel comfortable to be uncomfortable. This means that the health coach wants your trust for you to experience your full range of emotions that are applicable to the coaching you are doing, in an environment where you can challenge and be challenged in a format that begets your personal development to health and well being.

Published by Collin Wynter

Exploring rights of our freedom of expression and justice

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