What are the main skills of a health coach?
The skills of a health coach vary depending on their experience, but all certified health coaches mainly use the same techniques. These skills include motivational interviewing, behavior change, non-judgemental coaching, active listening, and accountability to name a few.
These skills are essential because they provide the health coach with the ability to understand each client’s individual needs. To help their clients, health coaches must be able to connect with them on a personal level. This connection is key in helping people feel comfortable and motivated to make the necessary changes in their lives.
What other skills do health coaches have?
You may be wondering what other skills health coaches have besides the core ones mentioned above and that all depends on their background. You see, health coaches are diverse, meaning that many of them come from different disciplines such as psychology, social work, nursing, fitness, nutrition, and more.
So, the skills of a health coach depend on their professional experience before becoming a health coach. Depending on your needs, you may want to seek out a health coach with a specific background.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the main skills of a health coach, let’s discuss each one in more detail.
Motivational interviewing is a technique that health coaches use to create the spark that motivates their clients to make changes. This technique is based on the idea that people are more likely to change their behavior if they are motivated to do so. To do this, health coaches first help their clients to identify their goals and then work with them to develop a plan to achieve these goals.
This process often includes helping clients to explore their personal values and beliefs about health and wellness. Motivational interviewing has been shown to be an effective way to help people make positive changes in their lives. It is a collaborative, strength-based approach that relies on the coach-client relationship to promote change. It is particularly effective in helping people to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors such as eating a healthy diet and being physically active.
The key benefits of motivational interviewing include:
- Helping people make healthy changes by exploring and resolving ambivalence
- Focuses on the person's own resources and strengths
- Helps coach and client develop mutually agreed upon goals
- Facilitates change by increasing intrinsic motivation
Health coaches use goal setting with their clients to help them identify areas of their health and overall wellness they would like to improve and set realistic goals to work towards achieving those improvements. The coach works with the client to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. They also help their clients to identify any barriers or roadblocks that may prevent them from achieving their goals and develop strategies to overcome those obstacles. Goal setting is a vital part of the health coaching process because it helps to keep clients motivated and on track.
Goal setting is powerful and when you have the help of a health coach to guide you through the process, it can be an even more effective tool to help you get to where you want to be.
Key takeaways of goal setting:
- Goal setting is the process of creating specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals (S.M.A.R.T Goals).
- Health coaches use goal setting with their clients to help them achieve success in their pursuit of improved health and wellbeing.
- By focusing on short-term goals as well as long-term goals, clients can make steady progress towards their ultimate objectives.
- Coaches work with clients to develop a plan of action that will help them stay on track and achieve their goals.
Behavioral change is the process of altering unhealthy behavioral patterns in order to improve one's health. Health coaches typically use behavioral change techniques with their clients in order to help them make lifestyle changes. Behavioral change techniques used by health coaches encompass all of the skills of a health coach like those we have mentioned above. Such as goal setting, problem-solving, and action planning.
Behavioral change requires that clients be motivated to make changes and be willing to put in the effort required to make those changes. It is also important for clients to have support from family, friends, and their health coach in order to successfully make behavioral changes. Creating a healthy lifestyle is a process that takes time, effort, and dedication, but the process becomes a lot easier with the help of a health coach.
The key benefits of behavioral change:
- Helps people adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors
- Improves health and wellbeing
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases
Stress management is the process of identifying and reducing the sources of stress in your life. Health coaches often use stress management techniques with their clients. This is because stress can have a major impact on a person's overall health and well-being. By helping their clients reduce stress, health coaches can improve their physical and mental health. In addition, stress management can also help to increase energy levels and improve productivity. As a result, a person will have a clearer mind and be better able to focus on their goals. Health coaches typically use a variety of stress management techniques with their clients, such as relaxation techniques, exercise, and a healthy diet which makes the journey to better health a whole lot easier.
Some people may also find relief in herbal remedies, such as chamomile tea or lavender oil. Stress management is often used to relieve stressors that cannot be avoided, such as work or family obligations. However, it can also be used to prevent stress in the first place. For example, people who practice stress management may be less likely to experience stress-related health problems, such as anxiety or heart disease.
The main benefits of stress management techniques used by health coaches help:
- Reduces the negative effects of stress on the body
- Improves physical and mental health
- Increases energy levels and productivity
- Helps to prevent stress-related health problems
Accountability is a key concept in coaching, particularly health coaching. accountability generally refers to taking responsibility for one's own actions, choices and behaviors. For health coaches, accountability is an important tool for helping clients make positive changes in their health and well-being. By holding clients accountable for their choices and actions, health coaches can help them to stick to their goals, stay on track and make lasting changes that stick. In short, accountability is a key ingredient in the success of any health coaching relationship.
How the skills utilized in health coaching can benefit you
Going at it alone can be tough, and trying to make lasting changes to your health can feel impossible. But it doesn't have to be that way. Health coaches possess a unique, evidence-based set of skills that can help you achieve your goals and improve your health. From setting SMART goals to behavioral change and stress management, health coaches have the tools and knowledge to help you on your journey to better health. So if you're looking for some guidance and support in making lasting changes in your life, consider working with a health coach. It could be the best decision you ever make.