You are currently viewing 9 Essential Qualities of a Great Personal Coach

9 Essential Qualities of a Great Personal Coach

A successful personal coach will have qualities such as excellent communication skills, empathy, a non-judgmental attitude, an open-minded approach, an ability to inspire, a willingness to challenge, a positive mindset, a commitment to results, and a passion for helping others.

Excellent communication skills

Communication skills are the abilities you use when giving and receiving different kinds of information. They include both verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as listening skills. Verbal communication includes speaking, writing and reading, while nonverbal communication includes body language, facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice and gestures. Listening skills involve understanding what is being said and interpreting the meaning behind the words. A life coach must possess excellent communication skills. This is essential because they need to be able to effectively communicate with their clients and help them to identify and work towards their goals. Additionally, they need to be able to pick up on subtle nuances in their client’s language that can provide insight into their thoughts and feelings. Listening skills are vital for a life coach to recognize their client’s needs and to provide guidance in order to help them reach their goals. Without being able to interpret the meaning behind their words, a life coach would be unable to effectively coach their clients. On the other hand, some people argue that life coaches don’t need to be great listeners in order to be effective. They argue that life coaches need to be good at giving advice and helping people take action, and that being a great listener is not necessarily a requirement for this. However, the effectiveness of life coaching relies heavily on the ability to interpret the underlying thoughts and feelings of a client; this requires a life coach to be an attentive and empathetic listener.

Be empathic

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is important for the life coach to be empathic. Empathy allows the life coach to better understand the thoughts and emotions of the person they are coaching, which makes it easier for them to provide helpful advice and guidance. It also helps create a sense of trust between the life coach and their client, which is essential for effective coaching. Through empathy, the life coach is able to create an effective bond with their client, which is pivotal for successful coaching. For example, when a client is discussing a difficult issue, the life coach can offer genuine support and understanding, rather than criticism or judgement. For instance, when a client is sharing their personal insecurities and doubts, the life coach can offer understanding and reassurance that their experiences are valid and normal.

A non-judgmental attitude

A non-judgmental attitude is one in which you do not make judgments about others based on their appearance, beliefs, or actions. This attitude helps to create an environment of mutual respect and understanding. It also allows us to engage in meaningful conversations and debate without feeling like we are being judged or attacked. This is like having a blank canvas – one that is open to possibility and exploration. Instead of being limited by preconceptions, this canvas is open to whatever creativity, ideas, or solutions we might bring to it. For instance, by maintaining an attitude of respect and openness, we can come to understand and appreciate different approaches, perspectives, and beliefs. It’s like a modern day version of “agree to disagree” – except without the disagreeing part.

Open- minded approach

An open-minded approach to life in which you are willing to accept new beliefs or ideas, even if they differ from your own. By taking an open-minded approach, we can learn to appreciate the different points of view that people have and come to a better understanding of the world around us. We can also learn to accept that not all beliefs are mutually exclusive, and that sometimes there can be multiple perspectives to the same situation. This kind of attitude is essential for any meaningful progress and can help us break through barriers that limit our thinking and understanding. Such an attitude is key to a life coach. In order to enable clients to make real progress, it is important to be able to consider different angles and perspectives, to be open to different points of view, and to be willing to explore all options. This can help to reveal new possibilities and offer insights that may have been overlooked. On the other hand, some people may prefer a more traditional approach to coaching that is focused on providing support and advice based on the coach’s own experience and expertise. This approach can be helpful for those who want guidance from someone who has already been through a similar experience and can offer tried-and-tested advice. However, a life coach does not give advice, but rather guides the coachee find a solution. While a traditional coaching approach is helpful for those who need support, a life coach’s role is to help the coachee discover their own path to success, rather than offering pre-determined advice.

Ability to inspire

The definition of inspire is to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. A life coach inspires the coachee to take action. A life coach helps the coachee to identify and set goals, break them down into achievable steps, and develop strategies to help them stay motivated and on track. Through this process, the life coach provides the support, encouragement, and accountability that is necessary to inspire the coachee to take action. With their guidance, the life coach inspires the coachee to take ownership of their life, emboldening them to take the necessary steps to make meaningful change. For instance, a life coach may help a coachee learn how to manage their time more effectively, set clear boundaries with friends and family, or develop healthier habits. Up to 77% of people who have a life coach reported progress in their well-being within the first three to four months.  As Albert Einstein once said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” But that doesn’t mean you should start pedaling faster and faster until you fall off!

Willingness to challenge

The life coach must be willing to challenge the coachee to take action and get results. The coach must be able to push the coachee to look beyond their current situation and work to create lasting changes. They must have the ability to ask difficult questions and hold the coachee accountable for their actions. A life coach must possess the tenacity to both motivate and inspire their client to take the necessary steps to achieve their desired outcome. For instance, a life coach may challenge their client to set realistic goals and come up with a plan of action to reach those goals. On the other hand, a life coach should also be understanding and compassionate. They should be able to provide support and encouragement when their client is struggling. They should be able to listen to their client’s concerns and help them find ways to cope with stressful situations. A life coach should be a good balance of both challenge and compassion; this is essential for helping their clients reach their goals and develop their self-confidence. This is similar to a personal trainer who both pushes their clients to work hard, while also providing a supportive environment. They should be able to recognize when their clients need a break and when they need to be encouraged to keep going. By providing the right balance of challenge and compassion, they can help their clients reach their fullest potential.  As the former Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry once wrote: “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”

A positive mindset

A positive mindset is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the good in people and situations. It is optimistic and hopeful, and it sees the glass as half full, not half empty. That is the quality expected of a life coach. A life coach is someone who helps people set and reach goals and make positive changes in their lives, and having a positive mindset is an essential part of that process. A life coach has to be able to help their clients stay focused on the positive and find ways to move past the negative. A life coach is a source of encouragement and positivity, providing the necessary support to help their clients create and navigate a path towards fulfilment. For example, a life coach may help their client identify and break down limiting beliefs that are preventing them from reaching a certain goal, and then provide tools to help them develop a new mindset that encourages progress. It’s like a gardener tending to a garden, nurturing the soil, removing the weeds, and pruning back any excess branches to allow for optimal growth. They are helping to create the environment for their client’s success, and providing the support for them to reach their goals.  As the famous author Roy T. Bennett once wrote: “Great Leaders Create More Leaders.” Successful leaders have vision and inspire others to help them turn vision into reality. Great leaders build more leaders, not followers. Great leaders have vision, share vision, and inspire others to create their own.” But let’s be honest, if great leaders have vision, then bad leaders have a blindfold and a map of the wrong destination!

Commitment to results

A commitment to results , a willingness to take risks, and a strong sense of accountability are all qualities of a great leader. The ability to inspire, motivate and empower others to take action is also key. A great leader is someone who encourages others to reach their potential and become leaders in their own right, instead of blindly following their directions. That is how a life coach helps the coachee. This is why a great leader is somebody who can not only bring out the best in others, but also give them the opportunity to take the initiative and become the masters of their own destiny. A life coach wants to see results from the coachee. He is committed to seeing the coachee change. A great leader can be a powerful mentor, providing guidance and support to help the coachee take control of their own life and achieve success. With this in mind, a life coach encourages their coachee to trust their own judgement and empower themselves to reach their full potential.

A passion for helping others

Life coaches help their clients achieve their goals, combined with a strong understanding of how to motivate and inspire. A life coach helps the coachee to identify their values, define their goals, and create a plan to achieve them. They provide guidance and support to help their clients build the confidence to take the necessary steps to reach their goals. They also provide motivation and inspiration to help the coachee stay on track and stay motivated. Through compassionate conversation, a life coach assists the coachee in uncovering their unique potential, and encourages them to take control of their life and create the success and fulfilment they desire. For instance, life coaches might help clients develop a plan to manage their time more effectively, set meaningful goals, or teach tools to reduce stress and anxiety.  Diana Dentinger, a life coach, wrote: “Your Life Purpose is a blend of your Core Personality Needs. Remember it, define it and refine it as you journey through life.” But don’t forget to add a little fun into your life, too! After all, laughter is the best medicine.

We have highlighted the 9 key qualities of a great personal coach. A great personal coach understands that having fun and a sense of humor is essential in life. They know that when you have fun, you’re able to take on life with a much more positive attitude and approach. They also understand that laughter has the power to relieve stress and help us stay focused on our purpose. Let these qualities help you identify the right life coach for yourself. A great coach is like the breath of fresh air in the middle of a stressful day; they give you an opportunity to pause and refocus, allowing you to move forward with a renewed energy.


Elphas Sipho Mdluli- MBA Areas of Expertise Business Leadership – Operations Leadership – Financial Management – Process Optimisation – Decision Making Stakeholder Engagement – Project Delivery – Organisational Strategy – Relationship Management – Negotiation Skills Strategy Development – Change Management – Relationship Building – Team Empowerment – Performance Improvement Critical Thinking – Systems Thinking – Strategic Planning – People Management – Business Administration Executive Summary As a meticulous, driven and people-oriented professional, Elphas is motivated by ensuring the achievement of organisational goals. He is fuelled by improving business performance, whilst his all-embracing skillset has enabled him to successfully execute projects across various platforms. His career has presented the effective delivery of solutions, leveraging expertise in financial, operations, administrative and business processes, as well as the management of integrated transformational projects. Elphas thrives in complex environments where strong leadership is required to drive business performance. As a highly focused and participative leader who believes in effective teamwork, he prides himself on his innate ability to connect with and lead stakeholders across all levels of an organisation. With a dedication to continuous improvement, Elphas has completed a vast range of courses, including currently completing his Doctor of Business Administration, building upon his MBA, Bachelor of Ministry degree and Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting, to mention just a few. Career Summary Elphas has built his career on a strong academic foundation across a diverse range of areas, including accounting, management development, ministry, finance, corporate governance, risk management, behavioural intelligence, leadership and business administration. He is a Business Leader, an Author, a Lecturer and a pillar within his community. His diverse roles have shaped his skillset and his early roles consisted of Chairperson and Senior Pastor for Christian Liberty Centre and Branch Officer for Select Management Services before moving to Sibonelo Savings and Credit Cooperative Society as Accountant, Manager and then General Manager. In 2013 Elphas spearheaded the start-up of Life Solutions Investments, an organisation providing Training & Consultancy as well as leading operations of a Block Yard. He has also been contracted by Calvary College as a part-time Lecturer. In addition, Elphas has written and published numerous books based in business, marriage and spirituality, as well as being Founder and Senior Pastor of the Freedom Centre International Church. As a result of his sharp business acumen, Elphas was offered the role as Executive Manager for Eswatini Association of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (ESASCCO) where he effectively led teams across various departments. He oversaw Administration, Finance, Training, ICT and the Insurance departments. Elphas has consistently excelled in improving performance and has enjoyed many successes throughout his career, which is evident in the success of the organisations in which he is involved. Elphas provides a significant contribution to the long-term sustainable growth through his extensive experience, vast administration knowledge and impeccable business leadership abilities. His implementation skills are forefront in overall strategic development, and his involvement in business ensures ground-breaking improvement in performance. He is a resourceful professional who has a passion for the development of commerce and the progress of human capital within business, ensuring and facilitating significant growth and financial health of an organisation.

Leave a Reply