The lifestyle coach plays a very important role in the NDPP. Providing important information as well as support, the lifestyle coach will lead the group by upholding the principles of the program and will likely wear many hats over the course of the lifestyle intervention program. Lifestyle coaches do not need to be an expert in diabetes nor is it their role to give specific information on diabetes or any other medical condition. What they do need, however, is empathy, an ability to facilitate the group and to utilize the curriculum to help participants develop the skill sets needed to adopt healthy lifestyles.
Qualified trained lifestyle coaches are able to:
- Engage the group, through facilitation and group discussion.
- Keep the fidelity of the program.
- Provide reinforced learning to connect the dots among the various topics.
- Provide support by addressing and working through any challenges or barriers.
- Maintain high expectations and standards, expressing ongoing confidence that participants will be able to reach and maintain their goals.
- Establish accountability with clear and consistent expectations, like attendance and self-monitoring.
- Practice active listening skills.
- Understand the principles of behavior change and adult learning.
- Provide a positive attitude, be enthusiastic and have good communication skills.