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I’ve been an internationally certified coach for over 5 years, I was an Assistant Trainer for the Beautiful You Coaching Academy for nearly 2 years, and I have worked with 100s of new coaches who are just starting out – especially introverted coaches!
As a result, I’ve had many conversations with new and budding coaches about whether introverts make good life coaches or not.
Firstly, I actually don’t think personality type, gender, nationality, anything really determines whether or not you’ll be a great coach.
I truly believe that attitude is everything.
That being a curious listener and a student of life are so key. That if you want to be a great coach with every fibre of your being, then you will be.
In my experience, the best coaches are the ones who truly care about others, who can hold space and support people, and who are always seeking to learn more, be better, and get really deep.
But if you consider yourself an introvert, empath, and/or highly sensitive person, here are 6 reasons that you have some beautiful natural skills that are perfect for coaching.
1 – Introverts are excellent listeners
One of my clients (a new coach) actually queried her skills as a coach, saying that she prefers to listen and only speak when she has something really important to say. She thought this was a bad thing and was going to negatively affect her impact with clients.
I believe it to be quite the opposite, actually.
Listening is probably one of the MOST important things about being a coach. I think we could probably all practise less talking and more listening, as a rule. But, as a coach, even more so. And if this is your natural tendency, it can really serve you to support your clients and genuinely understand them.
COACHING TIP – How can you use your listening skills to go even deeper with your client? Can you hear what they’re saying AND what they’re not saying and guide them to go a little deeper?
2 – Introverts create and hold calm, quiet space
Most introverts have a quieter energy and style about them. A quieter coaching space gives your clients permission to speak (or not), it naturally allows them to talk things through, answer their own questions, and feel safe to speak their minds.
More introverted people are generally less quick to fill pauses with words so that leaves space for clients to come to their own conclusions or take their thoughts and feelings a step further than they might otherwise.
COACHING TIP – Really allow quiet pauses and spaces to be okay for you. When you need to get your thoughts together, it is always okay to say ‘I just need a minute’. In my experience, people appreciate that you care so much to take a second to pause and gather your thoughts, it also gives them permission to do the same, AND sometimes it will even give them space to answer their own question, further confirming the belief we all have that our clients have the answers inside them, they sometimes just need someone to hold the space for them to explore.
3 – Introverts love one-on-one time
There’s still a pretty solid social belief that introverts don’t really like people. Not correct! In fact, we thrive in one-on-one situations because we don’t have to spread our energy, it’s more concentrated. We love getting into really deep and meaningful conversation quickly and this can create some pretty powerful stuff.
In a group situation, a more introverted type can get worn out and overwhelmed, that one-on-one is the space that we actually feel energised, if it’s with the right person.
COACHING TIP – Create a ritual before and after each session to open and close the space (it could be as simple as lighting a candle and extinguishing it at the end, for example). It’s important that you look after your own energy and give yourself very specific cues that the session is over.
4 – Introverts don’t waste time with small talk
It can be SO easy to get caught up with the small talk and pleasantries at the start of a session. The good thing is that introverts are really not that big on small talk.
In a one-hour session, you have to get down to business straight away to make the most of the client’s time (and yours).
COACHING TIP – In your welcome email for a new client, feel free to share how you conduct your sessions so that the client knows there will be no time for small talk and you’ll be getting straight into it. If a client gets caught up in it, don’t hesitate to interrupt the and say, ‘Let’s get on with it, we only have an hour and we have so much to do!’
5 – Introverts have a rich inner life, perfect for supporting clients with their big visions
As a life coach (or any coach!) it’s so important to support your client to begin with painting a beautiful vision for where they’d like to go with their goals. Introverts are known for our rich inner lives, where we can dream and envision the most beautiful things.
Some people find this difficult to do, but it is a huge asset to be able to guide someone into their OWN inner world to open the possibilities of what they can achieve and for what they see for themselves. So much of my experience as a coach has been that I see and believe in my clients before they have the ability to see and believe what’s possible for themselves.
COACHING TIP – When your client has a goal that isn’t particularly inspiring (or feels a little watered down), use your natural ability to turn within and dream big to guide them into doing this too.
6 – Introverts are all about going deep
Introverts get so much out of deep and meaningful conversation and really getting into the juicy heart of a topic or issue. We are energised by it. As a coach, it’s our job to help our clients create real and lasting change in their lives.
This requires going deep.
It requires further investigation into limiting beliefs or what is stopping our clients from achieving the goal they are working towards.
It involves curiously delving into what’s really going on.
This is our wheelhouse, this comes SO naturally to us that it’s a pleasure to be able to go there with our clients. This is not the be all and end all of being a great coach but it is why introverts have a real advantage.
COACHING TIP – The deeper you go, the more a client will be able to move and transform in their lives and with their goals. Use your curiosity and love of going deep to encourage your clients to do the same. Get really good at asking questions that invite them deeper and that they’re safe to go there because you’re there with them.
Introverts and The Beautiful You Coaching Academy
Since the moment I met Julie Parker and learned of the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, I was a fangirl. I actually think Julie and I nailed that introvert/extrovert dynamic when she was my coach, my teacher, and my boss while I was a trainer for the Academy, because she helped me to grow and expand in ways I could never have imagined.
The thing I love about Beautiful You is that heart centred, feminine energy around it (if you’ve done any research into coaching schools, you might know what I mean. There’s a lot of sell, sell, sell going on out there – no judgement, to each their own, I say but I also say, ‘not for me’ when something just isn’t!)
This worked so perfectly for me. I always felt during my training that Julie created a really safe space for learning and giving space for quieter souls to speak up and be supported.
Even more so, Julie and Beautiful You have made a deep and concerted effort to be inclusive of every soul who desires to be a coach and feel safe in the learning space, further proving my point that being a great coach is not determined by your age, race, gender, etc.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a life coach but you’ve been wondering if your more introverted side is going to handle it, I’m here to tell you that you absolutely can.
As a proud affiliate of the course, I’m also offering some bonuses if you choose to sign up with me that you can find out more about here.
If you have any questions or would like to chat to me about the course, being an introverted coach, or whether Beautiful You is right for you, please email me info(at)katherinemackenziesmith(dot)com
Brilliant post Katherine. As you already know, I’ve had experiences with people questioning how I could be a life coach if I was an introvert, and it really is a common misconception. I love and agree with all the points you’ve raised here. I was actually really surprised about how many other coaches I’ve come across online (and through Beautiful You) that are introverts.
PS. Hell yes to this —”if you want to be a great coach with every fibre of your being, then you will be.”
Ahhh thank you, Chloe! I’m so happy to hear it resonated. Big love to you, beautiful xx