February 16, 2017
Last Updated:
March 4, 2021

3 Essential Skills Great Health Coaches Have

One of the advantages of being the world’s largest nutrition school, with world-class teachers and an in-depth curriculum that goes far beyond nutrition, is that our students and graduates are truly dedicated to health coaching. Every day they blow us away with their accomplishments and touch our hearts by making a positive impact in the lives of others.

Along the way we’ve noticed that there are some skills that great Health Coaches have mastered, regardless of whether they’re health coaching full-time or part-time, or if they’re integrated in health care, working with private clients, or leading small groups.

Take a look at the skills below. If you think you’re a natural at these, with a passion for wellness to boot, then you might already be a Health Coach in the making. If these aren’t strong skills for you just yet, that’s ok too because they’re all covered in the Health Coach Training Program so you’ll learn how to develop them along the way! 

Active listening

A common myth in any service-based role is that you must do all the talking and that, as a Health Coach, you are expected to be the authority figure guiding your clients on the path to wellness through instructions and fact-based knowledge. Not so. The truth is that you can’t really help people unless you are able to tune in and listen first. Sometimes that means listening to what the client doesn’t say, or what they rush over not realizing it’s important, and sometimes it’s just plain listening so that they feel truly heard. This is how you develop trust, refine your intuition and empathy, and customize truly meaningful and effective wellness programs.

Continuous learning

The world of health and nutrition is chock full of fascinating insights, research, different approaches, and techniques to support the body’s natural healing and detox. Think about it - different diets, body types, non-dietary wellness perspectives, ancient wisdom, biology, fitness, cooking methods, self-love, the microbiome… you get the picture. We could geek out on this ALL day, but we’ll stop here for now. The point is that there is always more to learn and great Health Coaches find balance in staying open to learning without getting overwhelmed so that they can continually apply what they learn in practical ways. This involves learning from clients too! Every person is an opportunity for a learning experience, and it is precisely this layering process of wisdom that creates greatness.


Having updated and organized resource files, a clear schedule to follow, and the ability to stay focused on priorities is a very important skill in health coaching. You can’t help anyone if you don’t have your stuff together! Great Health Coaches always seem to have the perfect handout, book recommendation, or link for any client who needs additional resources. They’re never late or unprepared, and they communicate and behave with professionalism. They’re human too, so they don’t create unrealistic expectations for perfection, but for the most part they are clear and organized in all the ways that matter.

Some additional capabilities of great Health Coaches:

  • Walking their talk when it comes to self-care
  • Being connected to their intuition
  • Having a sense of motivation and ambition
  • Solution-orientated and able to tackle challenges without getting frazzled
  • Holistic thinking, ability to see the big picture
  • Learning exactly how to eat for their unique body
  • Cultivating a positive relationship around eating and preparing food
  • Finding the skills they need to run a healthy business
  • Finding out how healthy they actually areand learning how to coach themselves

Still wondering if health coaching is right for you? Learn more about what Integrative Nutrition has to offer or get our Curriculum Guide today!

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