Category Archives: Health

The Basics Behind Health Coaching

A health coach is often employed by a person who has some type of chronic illness. This isn’t always the case though, sometimes people need a coach to guide them through making healthy changes on their own. These coaches become models in the area of self awareness and are able to engage in a caring relationship with the person being coached. People who enjoy this type of work have to complete one of the many health coaching certification programs offered, either online or in a traditional classroom.

People who are already licensed health care providers can train to be health coaches, but this isn’t a certification in health coaching. The types of professionals who seek our training include; physicians, nurses, health care administrators, physical therapists, massage therapists, pastoral care associates, psychotherapists, and social workers. This training can take anywhere from several weeks to a more comprehensive 12 month program and it also includes many classes that are necessary for certification.

The certification program may include specific training modules that must be completed, in order to gain certification for health coaching. After taking all the required courses, there is an application for a certificate that must be submitted within the following year’s time. Besides turning in proof of course completion and the application, there are a few other steps that need to be taken before certification can be achieved.

One online program requires that a person seeking certification must show proof that he/she has been employed as a health coach for 6 months or been paid for at least 60 hours of health coaching. An application fee of 250 dollars needs to be submitted, as well as the following; current resume, 3 references from professionals, sample contract for a client, written description of some sort of scope of professional service, and promotional materials.

Once all the proper documentation has been gathered and is ready for submittal, there is an evaluation of skill that needs to take place. The person applying for certification will need to demonstrate the following:

  1. Understanding of how to practice emotional wellness
  2. Ability to avoid prescriptions and medical diagnosis
  3. A vision for what their practice will be
  4. Ability to be non-judgmental and work with this type of attitude
  5. Ability to perform a Health Assessment
  6. Understanding of several health strategies
  7. Ability to listen in both a somatic and verbal manner

The seven classes necessary for health coaching certification include a course on the basic fundamentals, skills needed, personal mastery, personal mastery partnership in coaching, the business of coaching, how to coach from an integrative health perspective, and the seven steps of change.

At least 80 percent of these classes need to be attended in order to gain certification. If any classes are missed, the person enrolled in the course must listen to the tapes of the missed class.

There is a lot involved in attending these programs; above is an example of just one, but the benefits are fantastic. Being able to help others through their feelings of powerlessness against the physical and emotional issues they may be going through is a great feeling.

The Key to Replacing Bad Habits With Good

Too many people are quick to take physical well-being and fitness for granted until it is too late and they find themselves without it. It is a familiar story. No matter how many examples individuals see of the impact such things as lack of exercise, poor nutrition, harmful lifestyle habits and preferences and stress on the health and well-being, physical and mental of others, they have a tendency to ignore it. They tuck it out of sight and out of mind, categorizing it as “someone else’s problem” – that is until it comes home to roost over their own door.

Yet, although you may have the best of intentions, it is never easy to replace old habits with ones that optimize both your fitness and energy levels. This is particularly true if you feel you have little or no support in the task. This is where a health coach comes into play. Health coaching is a wonderful way of helping us get onto the right track and staying there. The role of a health coach is to act as both your guide and champion. This results in a strong basis of motivation and makes it much easier for you to locate what you need to achieve your short and long term goals concerning health and fitness.

One of the biggest problems individuals face is their own unrealistic approach to the problem. They set goals to improve their overall fitness and health or to simply address a specific health issue that are not probable. They are unrealistic and can make it difficult and stressful to achieve. This increases the level of disappointment and sensation of failure. The result is a resurgence of the old habits. If, however, you work together with a health coach, you will be guided through a process of identifying, selecting and implementing distinct and achievable objectives. A life coach will also help you through the process and, in doing so you will acquire the basic tools you need to create for yourself an improved quality of life.

Another problem facing many who wish to alter their current bad habits to improve their health and fitness level in general is the availability of what can only be termed as generic information. The guidance and instruction one can access tends to be applicable in a variety of broad or non-specific situations. This contradicts the individual wants and needs of every human. Where they come from, their situation and circumstance varies one-from-the-other. This is also applicable to what they need and hope to achieve. It is obvious that if anyone wants to make progress, they need an approach that is tailored to their own requirements. It is the only way to motivate them towards a successful change. Health coaching is designed to look at each and every individual. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Health coaching allows everyone to feel a part of their own personal transformation as coaches guide him or her through the steps necessary to address personal needs. Under a health coach the program will fit in with the individual’s own life style including the demands of time and place.

A health coach is not to be confused with a personal trainer. An online coach cannot be there physically urging someone on to do more, eat less and direct the level and type of physical exertion. A health coach works on a different level. He or she guides the client through the sometime painful process of discovering and comprehending what their goal actually is. A health coach helps a client realize and utilize his or her own personal strength, motivation and inner being to accomplish the goals at hand. This is more effective since it works on changing from within not relying on the rote directions from some external force. It is easier to obtain what we really want when we are provided with the right tools, are truly self-motivated and have the support we require. If these are all in place it is much easier to make those changes in our life we need, finding motivation and determination to succeed within us.

Musings From a Health Coach

I’ll begin with a conversation I had with a student just this past week. A female in her early 30s, let’s call her Joe, signed up for the health coach training program, not in order to become a health coach, but simply to learn how to live a healthier life. However, as she moved through the program Joe became a little more open to the idea of health coaching and has just recently signed on a client. Unfortunately, just a few days after signing the client, the client called Joe to say that she was reconsidering the health coaching program for financial reasons. So Joe began to doubt the worth of she is offering as a health coach, just as any new health coach would after having a client cancel their program.

During our call last week, Joe started asking me questions like, “What am I providing for the client? Why is it valuable? Do I really have something of worth to offer them if it’s nothing physical that they are getting from me?”

Of course, there may be many reasons that someone would back out of working with a health coach before their program has begun. If a client backs out because of finances after already committing to the program, one reason could be that they don’t know or understand everything that a health coach can provide for them. They understand it in theory, but they don’t actually feel it and they can’t imagine how great it could be. I want to focus on this potential situation in particular because it is easy to avoid with a little practice.

The average person has forgotten what it feels like to have a health professional fully committed to spending a significant amount of time on them.They have forgotten that someone could be physically, mentally and emotionally focused on them for longer than 5 minutes! When a health coach sits down with a client, the cell phone goes off, there are no televisions in sight and the door is closed. No one is leaving or coming. Health coach and client face each other seated, in comfortable chairs with a notepad and glass of water, and they talk. They work through the challenges that interrupt a healthy, balanced lifestyle and they create solutions so that the client may move forward with his or her goals and dreams. Even if the potential client does understand this, sometimes they still can’t see the benefit because they have never had someone do this for them.

All that being said, there is a solution!

It simply takes more of an effort to help your prospective client see what you can do for them.

I know two specific “tricks” that you can use to overcome this health coaching challenge and I think that as you read them, your faith in the value of your service will be reaffirmed.

First of all, you need to tweak your initial conversation with the potential client. There are two steps to take during an initial consultation that I believe are essential. The first step is to summarize their health challenges and/or goals after taking their health history.

This step helps to establish trust between client and coach and to remind them of what it feels like to have someone listen and actually hear them.

Then right after you summarize their specific health challenges and/or goals, you ask the magic question. That question is, “How do you want my support with reaching these health goals (or, with overcoming these health challenges)?”

Sometimes they will have no idea how to answer this question. You can clarify by giving them examples of how you could support them, like by talking through the problem with them, taking them grocery shopping, giving them private cooking lessons, trouble-shooting when they can’t figure out how to fit more greens in their diet, organizing their pantry, teaching them about nutrition, etc.

The point is that they need to verbalize how they want you to support them with reaching their health goals and you need to confirm that that is what you can and want to do for them.

Don’t forget to give them some examples of what you will do together, ask them if they have any specific requests, and take notes!

My second thought on how to help a potential client see the worth of your service is less specific but even more important. It has to do with your confidence level.

In order for a person to want to trust you with their future, they have to respect you. It almost verges on the point of them needing to idolize you. They need to want what you have. This is a very subtle, instinctual and possibly unconscious feeling that they get about you based on your feelings about yourself. Some of the time you cannot control this, but most of the time you can.

One way you can improve your confidence in yourself and your service is to practice talking to people. Practice asking them questions and try to get them to talk about their personal life. They won’t know what you’re doing and you will become very skilled at making someone comfortable with opening up to you and getting them into the right mindset to say “yes!” to working with you.

I believe that once you start putting those suggestions into practice, you will begin to believe that the work you do is invaluable, as will your potential clients.

What Is Health Coaching

I am an ex medical professional who finished her medical studies 32 years ago, and fate had it that I have not practiced medicine for the last 18 years. You could say, I should be more knowledgeable about health matters than the general public, and I believe I am; however, health coaching was not known to me.

I registered at Health Coach Training and only when I asked my husband to practice with me, and after we practiced together, that he started to realize what health coaching is, and to appreciate what his wife is doing. This is just a reflection of the public’s awareness about health coaching.

For practice purposes, we discussed the level of satisfaction in 8 areas of life that he thought may affect his health, and he asked him to choose the area that he wished most to talk about. To my surprise, this was sleep; for I was not aware yet that he wakes up 3 times a night and was tired through the day. This was significant for him; he could not enjoy his work.

An alarm bell rang in my head. Could it be our relationship? Or is it something else? It was serious for me; I needed to explore it; for if it was our relationship, then we need to explore it and handle it. Or was it something else? It was equally serious for him, for if we thought it is his coffee, while our relationship was the culprit, then drinking less coffee will not be helpful.

We had to talk and explore various issues that play a role in his life and I say his life because it is not me who does not sleep through the night. It is him who needs to decide if there is anything that bothered him. It is he who decides whether any relationship exists between his sleeplessness and coffee or the kind of food he ate or may be work related issues.

Not knowing what he could do so that he slept better, we dug into ourselves and drew some answers from within and we started him on a tiny manageable step that he can do and he was committed to doing it. To start with, he may not drink coffee after 3pm and if this is not possible he should drink decaffeinated coffee after 3pm. Definitely he should take Max GXL for this helps people sleep better at night. I had recommended to him these supplements in the past, however, he did not take them. Now, he had to commit himself to take them.

With these steps in mind, he started the following day. This time I woke up with him at 5am to make sure he took his supplements. Of course I would not do that for any client; however, this is how sincerely I would go about helping you find ways to support yourself, so that you do not forget what you need to do.

What else did I do? I researched the internet to see what people actually do to help themselves with sleeplessness apart from going to the doctor and getting themselves a sleeping pill. And I found quite a lot. Relaxation exercises, foods that can be eaten and others that should not be eaten for evening meals, no alcohol at night, these are just examples which I showed to him when he came home. There were many others that can be used by any client with sleeping problems.

He also came to an agreement that he should not take a longer nap after 4pm. If needed, no longer than 30 minutes. I found myself alert around him, whenever I noticed him asleep I jumped to wake him up: ‘wakie, wakie – no sleep after 4’. And it worked. He did not sleep through straight away, it was 4 days later.

And I tell you something: his face lit up as we discussed his sleeplessness, as if he sensed the sincerity of my approach. He opened up when we explored together the reasons for his lack of sleep. He could see I genuinely wanted to help and support him. (He probably just prayed when my schooling will be finished, so that I have more time with him)

I think my husband’s story gives you a good idea and a vivid picture about what health coaching is all about. Basically, sometimes we know what we ought to do; however, sometimes we deliberately choose to ignore it. Knowing it and doing it are two different things. Having said that, sometimes we would not know what we can do to help ourselves.

As a health coach, it is my job to remind you of what you already know; to help you get the answers you need for the best choices for your unique situation; to forward to you sifted information that is relevant to your problem under discussion, aiming at shortening the learning curve for you; and help you identify what you need to do to accomplish your goal, and get you into action by taking tiny manageable steps each week and holding you accountable for moving forward.

Health Coach Salary

Health and Wellness Coach salaries can vary quite a lot. The U.S. Dept. of Labor Bureau statistics reported that in 2010 that the salary for Health and Wellness Coaches ranged from $23,443 – $61,928 a year. Of course, a lot will depend on the particular career path you choose to take after having received your training.

There are wide-ranging opportunities available, from owning your own business, to working for a corporate wellness program, to joining a physician’s practice. The salary potential is quite variable. Indeed.com states that the median salary for a Health and Wellness Coach is $72,000 annually. However, many job listings you’ll find in this field omit adding a salary figure in their career ads, so it may be difficult to tell as a job applicant what you can expect to make. The interview will be key. Also, keep in mind that the more education and experience you have, the higher your pay scale will be as an employee.

If you choose to go the route of an Independent or Personal Health and Wellness Coach, as a small business owner, many factors that affect your salary are controlled by the parameters you choose to set.

For instance, take a look at these questions you need to address in your business:

Do I want to work from home or meet my client in an outside establishment? If so, you eliminate office space costs.

Do I want to work part-time, and have just a few clients a week, or would I rather work with as much business as I can reasonably keep up with, such as 70+ hours a week?

Do I want to offer extra features and services to boost my income, such as online courses or printed materials?

Will I be spending time and money advertising my services in order to to generate business?

Those questions and more are just some of the things to consider when starting your own Health and Wellness Coaching business. They determine your overall yearly income.

Given these wide-ranging options, the monthly salary could be anywhere from $200 – $300 a month to even earning $1,000′s+ of dollars a month. Personal health coaches often have fees between $100 – $150 an hour. Some coaches do offer packages of multiple sessions at a lower per hour rate.

Another financial bonus, is that when you own your own small business, numerous expenses are tax deductible, giving you quite an advantage in terms of annual earnings.

If you choose a different career path, and prefer to become an employee as a Health and Wellness Coach, you may find that as with any occupation, the larger the role and responsibility, the higher your pay.

For example, if you work for a corporation as an Employee Health and Wellness Administrator (around $50,000 annually), your job will involve less responsibility than if you were a Wellness Program Manager (around $75,000 annually).

Checking with local job listings will yield varying results depending on how large and established the company or practice is, as well as how broad the job responsibilities are.

Achieve Your Wellness Goals With Help From a Health Coach

You may be feeling that your career is not shaping according to your expectations, or perhaps you are thinking that you need to add to your educational qualifications. If you are in business, you may be thinking on the lines of seeking advice from a professional business coach. Or, you think that your relationship is not really fulfilling. Under all such circumstances, people are prompted to seek the help of life coaches. Now, assume that all your attempts to lose weight through various diet programs have failed to bring in positive results, and you are at wits ends to know how to proceed for achieving your targeted goals. Here, you’ll find a health coach helpful in making the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle.

What are they?

Health coaches are professionals who coach people motivated to follow healthier lifestyles. Generally, they are freelancers who may be associated with other practitioners, like massage therapists, chiropractors or a wellness/fitness center.

Well, anybody can claim to be a health coach, but some go to join a course and get a certificate. The job of a health coach is not to diagnose or prescribe, as some may wrongly claim to be. Some of these professionals may have a background in nursing or be experienced in connected fields, like acupuncture, personal training or acupressure.

Like any other coach, a health coach works with its client to understand what is stopping them from reaching their goals. You can opt to seek assistance from a coach for making changes in your lifestyle, but a coach may work keeping in mind the diagnosis provided by a doctor. For instance, your physician may ask you to control your intake of sugar, but he may lack the time to guide you by preparing a detailed diet program, which includes helpful recipes. For that purpose, you’ll realize your that health coach can be of great help, and assist your treatment.

How do they work?

The majority of wellness or health coaches would want to know your personal goals, and design a plan to help you achieve it. Usually, coaches assist their clients for a specified length of time, for example three to six months, during which they help the clients to bring changes in their lifestyle and get used to them. They can offer their services to an individual or may coach a group of people needing their support. Some may guide their clients through telephonic talks.

Seven Good Reasons to Work With a Health

Health Coaching is a new model for total health and wellness in the individual. Health Coaching is not something you only do when you are sick. Health Coaching is about optimization of human potential and has a philosophy of ever expanding possibilities. Health Coaching recognizes that there is an innate intelligence within you, an inborn wisdom that governs all healing, function and repair and that the purpose of all health and wellness practices is to remove interference to this intelligence so your body can heal itself. The 7 good reasons to work with a Health Coach below will outline clearly how you can reach that state of health and wellness in your life right now.

  1. You need to be held accountable.

As children there is always someone there to make sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to. As adults, we’re supposed to be able to do this for ourselves. But what if we can’t? What if we keep making other things more important than our health and well being and not moving forward? A health coach can help by checking and asking the right questions and by being a gentle reminder to keep you moving toward your health and wellness goals.

Also, in most traditional models of seeing a health practitioner, we tend to see that person as an expert – they know more about our body than we do and they can tell us exactly what we need to do to get better. This system encourages us in a sense, to place our health in someone else’s hands. We are no longer responsible, the health practitioner is. We are not really accountable, the health practitioner or the pills they told us to take are. In health coaching, you are the best and only expert on you and the only one qualified to know if something will work or not.

  1. You want to get your health and well being on track once and for all

Far too many of us have joined gyms or started a diet in the past feeling initially excited only to watch our enthusiasm drain away a few weeks later. We can feel disappointed with ourselves, with the money we’ve wasted and with the lack of results we’ve achieved. Things change, our responsibilities change, time we have available changes and our health and wellness goals. What is it that’s stopping you from committing to a path of improved health? A health coach will help you figure out those answers once and for all and help you find real-life solutions that not only work for you but keep working for you in the future.

  1. You know what you need to do be healthy but you just can’t seem to stick to the changes

So, it’s not a question of good health education – the majority of us understand clearly what we need to do to stay healthy – eat lots of fruit and veggies, minimize red meat, exercise regularly and don’t smoke or drink too much. Simple right? Why aren’t more of us doing it then? Before we make any changes in our life we need to agree with the changes, they need to be congruent with our values and they need to make sense in the context of our lives.

  1. You struggle with being overweight, are always dieting or otherwise don’t feel good about the way you look.

Being overweight is an issue that affects many Australians. It damages our health and damages our self-esteem. Here, a health coach will help you find your way amidst the huge amount of conflicting information available and keep things as simple as possible – no “diets” just a good look at the way you see, value and use food and how that impacts the amount and types of foods you eat each day.

  1. You can’t seem to find or make the time to eat well, exercise regularly or take time for yourself

What’s really going on here? What issues are holding you back from giving yourself what you need to be healthy? Most of us are crazy busy and challenged with “not enough” time but is that the real issue? A health coach will help you identify your personal priorities and find a way to work in your health and wellness goals so you can keep on doing what you want, when you want.

  1. You’ve been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, a stress related condition or some other chronic disease and you want to discover other treatment options available to you.

You’ve had the wake up call. Your body is sending you messages loud and clear that something needs to change. A health coach will help you identify options, alternatives, complimentary treatments and educate you more on conventional approaches so you are well informed and can make the best decisions possible for your health.

  1. You have “an addictive personality” and make changes only to find yourself slipping back into unhealthy choices or behavior patterns

Addictive behavior patterns, food addiction and drugs and alcohol can sabotage completely our attempts to make lasting changes in our lives. Health coaching sessions will educate, inspire and support you to deal with these tough issues so you develop all the skills and knowledge you need to create and maintain a life of vibrant health and well being free from addictions of all kinds.

As those of us who’ve had a serious wake up call know, health is the most important thing in our lives – without it, nothing much matters.  Unfortunately, too many of us wait until it’s too late to make changes to our diet and lifestyle. 80% of people in Australia die of “lifestyle diseases” like heart disease, complications of diabetes and many forms of cancer. Can you afford to wait til something’s broken to fix it?

Health coaching is not something you only do when you’re sick. It will help you find your way to better health and well being. After all, you are the best (and only) expert on you. By asking the right questions, providing education and real-world experience we’ll look at alternatives and discover new ideas, possibilities and ways of looking at your health. We’ll help you find what works in your life right now without slipping back into negative eating, exercise or behavior habits. You choose the lifestyle changes, you set the pace and you discover just how good it is possible to feel!

Susan Living is a community focused speaker, workshop facilitator and health coach extraordinaire! Passionate about making vibrant health and well being accessible to all, her down to earth and practical thoughts on health and well being are life-changing. Her insights into the nature of food and addiction and the intricacies and psychology of eating are applicable to anyone with a body.

The Benefits of a Health Coach

Have you ever attempted to get into good shape but failed? Have you ever tried to implement a diet just to find it too difficult to stick with? Have you ever found it to be incredibly difficult to stick with an organized exercise regime? If this is your current situation, you should certainly consider hiring a personal health coach.

Your personal health coach will not be able to guarantee that you will increase your achievements in these areas of health, but the best part about having a coach is the fact that they can help you keep on track when it comes to your health. Many people find it difficult to stay on track with their health strategies, especially when there is no accountability for their actions.

With a health coach though, there will be a person tracking every strategy you utilize as well as every action you take to achieve your goals. A health coach will even track the amount of progress you are making towards your goals each week. Keeping track of your progress will be incredibly important when you are attempting to achieve specific goals.

A coach for your health will also be able to guide you towards the most effective actions you can take for the goals you are working towards. Whether you are dealing with a specific health condition, or you simply want to get into better overall shape, a coach will be able to guide you in the specific directions you need to go in order to move closer towards your goals.

The different actions a coach may recommend to you will include new diets, eliminating certain foods you are eating from your diet, specific exercises you can perform, as well as many other tactics that will increase your overall health.

In general, a health coach’s goal is generally focused on increasing their clients overall stamina and vitality. Other goals of a coach are generally related to the goals each individual has established for themselves. A coach for achieving good health will usually attempt to guide their clients towards the best actions they can take to achieve their personal goals.

A coach may not be able to describe the causes of a specific illness, or present a solution for a specific illness, but they will be able to move their clients towards a direction that makes them healthier all around. A coach may utilize meal plans in order to regulate the food their clients are consuming on a regular basis.

Another recommendation from a personal coach may be related to a specific exercise. Perhaps you are hoping to achieve better overall health. If this is your situation, a coach will likely recommend a solution that is similar to running a mile a day, or some other activity, that will certainly add to your overall vitality.

One of the most important aspects of having a health coach is the fact that they will help you stick with your plans. Not only will a coach develop the strategies you must implement in order to become healthier, but they will also stick with you in order to make sure you are following through with the plans that have been laid out for you. It is this follow-through approach to getting healthy that is the most important step for achieving vibrant health.

Tips in Health Coach Training

Health coach training is a good investment if you want a long career in the health and wellness industry. This industry is slowly growing as one of the most fulfilling and profitable industries today. More and more people are becoming aware of the importance in preventative health and are engaging in health and wellness and may need health coaches along the way.

Health coach training prepares you to become a person of authority when it comes to good health. It is a rapidly growing career and is predicted to become a trillion dollar industry over the next few years. If you are interested in keeping yourself healthy and fit, it would be wise to train to be a health coach in order to learn more about the natural strategies of living a healthy and long life.

The first step in becoming an effective and successful health coach is to live a healthy life. If you are healthy and fit, you become more credible and efficient in teaching others to follow the healthy lifestyle that you live yourself. Walk the walk and talk the talk and you will soon learn ways of not just keeping yourself healthy but also other people that you deal with as a health coach.

When you decide to become a health coach, make sure that you have the qualities that it takes to become one. Being a wellness coach requires you to have compassion, patience and a sincere desire to help other people achieve good health and the happiness that comes with it. If you are caring by nature, then you might have a shot at being a good wellness coach.

Being a wellness coach is also not just all about philanthropy, it is also a business and a source of income. Before engaging into the field of health counseling, determine the salary range that you could expect to make in a month. You can’t just offer your services for free and it takes a lot of hard work too so make sure that you are paid for what you and your services are worth.

Do some research with health coaches in your area and ask the amount of salary that you could expect when you enter this business. Consider the demographics of your area, the economy, the population and other factors that may affect your health counseling venture. Being a wellness coach also requires financial investment so make sure that you can expect a return or revenue in your area.

If you think that being a wellness coach is lucrative and fulfilling, you can jumpstart your career in many ways. A lot of coaches work in private practice and only for themselves. If you feel that you are qualified and you have a good business background, you can use your marketing knowledge to build a name for yourself as a wellness coach.

In order to build credibility, you should engage in considerable training and attend schools that will give you a certification. Certifications will not only train you on how to become a good wellness coach, it is also a good addition to your resume.

What Makes a Good Health

There are of course many qualities that make a person a good health coach. While it certainly makes sense for someone already in the health and wellness industry, it is not necessarily a requirement to become a health coach.

This article discusses some of the basic qualities of what makes a person a good health or wellness coach, regardless of his/her background.

One such quality is the ability to empathetically communicate with people. Empathetic communication will encourage the client to accept you as a trusted health coach. What this means is that the health coach can identify with the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of his client. Using empathy may lead to an improved relationship between the health coach and client.

Another quality that is related to empathetic communication is to really listen, actually to listen effectively. A coach needs to be trained to listen effectively since people vary in their communication skills. Some clients may express themselves clearly while others may not. A coach needs to be aware of the different needs of his/her client base and how the coach/client communication and listening skills affect the interaction.

The wellness coach has to leave his personal opinions out of the coaching session. The coach needs to be completely non-judgmental. The wellness coach absolutely should not judge his/her client based on his personal standards or opinions. Much of a coach’s training will be on how to be aware of this and to have the self control to NOT allow his personal opinions to be communicated.

Another fundamental quality of a health coach is the integrity to keep all information about the client confidential. The coach/client relationship is based on trust and the client must be sure that the coach can be trusted with private matters.

In addition, the coach still must be somewhat of a mentor, guidance counselor and cheerleader all wrapped up in one! The health coach should allow the client some flexibility in the agenda of each session, but the coach should also guide the session conversation so that it is an effective one. The client sets his/her own goals, again with the guidance from the coach. The coach may challenge the client a bit if the goals are too vague or too big. In the latter case, the coach may suggest smaller “bite size” goals so that the client has a better chance of reaching those goals. Of course, all successes are celebrated.

In summary, there are many qualities that a health coach should have and there are also many roles that he/she has. Each coaching relationship will be different and the wellness coach will need to be a bit flexible. A coaching relationship can in some cases grow into a life-long friendship as well.