Updated: Oct 5
Coaching is a fast growing business these days and if you’re at all interested in the personal development space, it can seem like the market is saturated with coaches of every variety. And though it seems like the market may be crowded, it really isn’t. According to the International Coach Federation (ICF), there is currently an estimated 53,300 coaches worldwide, with a growing demand for personal coaching services every year. In 2016, the market value estimate for personal coaching in the U.S. surpassed $1B, with no signs of slowing.
If you’re being called to coaching as a career path or you're interested but worried that you’ll never be able to make a good living doing this kind of heart-centered work, rest assured that your only limits are the ones you’re placing on yourself.
Whether you’re looking to make the leap into the coaching profession or you’re striving to bring more coaching into your current business, here are 10 signs that you’re a natural coach.
1. You are not perfect. You’re perpetually on your own personal development journey. Not because you believe you’re broken or need fixing, but because you’re a lifelong student, you strive to be your best self, and you know that your own growth will serve others on their path.
2. People naturally open up to you with little prompting. You often hear people say, “I’ve never told anyone that before”. You may also find that you have a knack for making people cry. Not because you’re mean, but because you have a way of getting people to open up about their biggest dreams and fears.
3. Small talk is unbearable for you. You find yourself uncomfortable and unable to participate in small talk when networking and socializing. You tend to ask probing questions about bigger and more personal issues than the weather or what someone does for work. At parties, you generally prefer to be in the corner deep in conversation with just one person rather than circulating or entertaining.
4. You’re a natural cheerleader. This doesn’t mean that you’re happy all the time or the peppiest person you know. It actually means that you find yourself cheering on friends, family, customers and clients as they cross things off their bucket lists rather than getting jealous and bitter. It fills your cup when people you know achieve something great and you’re happy to be part of the celebration.
5. You’re not afraid to be (lovingly) blunt. Sometimes people need to hear the truth – and sometimes the truth stings. You’re the kind of person who doesn’t shy away from being direct and you’re able to do this in a way that truly supports the people you care about. You share the truth from your heart, with the intention of service, and you can communicate it in a way that conveys compassion and care.
6. You’re passionate about teaching. I know, I know… teaching is for consultants; coaches should be listening and asking questions. This is true but a great coach knows that there are lessons in asking the right questions and you’re the kind of person that loves to help people get to their “ah-ha” moment on their own. You’re also able to discern when you can just cut to the chase and offer up the perspective one might be missing.
7. You’re not afraid to be uncomfortable. There is so much discomfort in coaching - whether you’re being coached or doing the coaching - and you’re not afraid of being on either end of it. Whether you’re honoring a client’s process or you’re trying a new method or technique, you are able to stay with the discomfort for the sake of your own growth, and the growth of those you care about.
8. You’re not afraid of silence. In a very noisy world, you don’t shy away from silence: when a client is processing something profound, when you’re sitting with your own thoughts and emotions, or when the dead air is so uncomfortable you want to scream just to make some noise. You understand that there is power, and often an important lesson, hiding in the silence - and you are willing to listen for it.
9. You always see the best in everyone. As a coach, it’s important to see and hold the space of a client’s potential, especially when they’re struggling to see it themselves. You have a natural tendency to see the best in others and know that they can turn things around at any moment. In holding this vision for others, you are able to help them realize it for themselves.
10. You’re not afraid to fail. Because you’re a lifelong student, you inherently know that you’re going to have to try new things in order to take your clients and your business to the next level. You’re coachable and you’re not afraid to fall on your face because you understand that it’s part of the deal as an entrepreneur and leader. You also know that there are big payoffs for doing things a little differently, and that makes it totally worth the risk of failure. What do you think - does this sound like you? Would you add anything else to the list? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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