Learn about the qualities of a good coach and how you can adopt these qualities for the benefit of your students and your coaching program.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”
Likewise, if you want to be a great coach, you must make a deliberate effort to sharpen your coaching skills and build capacity for the job.
To make it to the list of the top coaches in your niche, there are qualities you need to cultivate, and these include being coachable, a good listener, master the art of asking questions, a problem solver, and a goal setter; other qualities include being accessible, trustworthy, and believing in your advice. Failure to develop these qualities can spell doom to your career.
Here are twelve infallible tips to help you chart your path to a great coaching career.
So let’s get started!
Table of Contents:
What are the qualities of a good coach?
- Have A Positive Outlook
- They are Coachable
- They Listen and Encourage
- Ask Questions and Encourage A Conversation
- They Build Trust
- They Set a Specific Goal
- They Measure Results and Give Feedback
- Hold Their Clients Accountable
- Problem Solvers
- Acknowledge Their Coachie’s Strengths
- Exude a High Level of Conviction
1. Have A Positive Outlook
The life of a coach is not always rosy, neither are the lives of his/her trainees.
But an excellent coach is full of positive vibes.
He/she is the source of encouragement to his/her trainees.
Your students will come to you discouraged and sometimes on the verge of throwing in the towel.
But your good advice will give them hope and the reason to continue with the training and finish the course.
This interaction is essential to developing strong relationships with them.
It will also help you have a positive impact on their lives.
Remember that as a coach, you are a leader, leading your students to finish your course.
Your positive outlook will come in handy in determining the direction the class will take.
It will also determine whether they will accomplish the set goals.
2. They Are Coachable
People who excel in the coaching business are excellent students.
They seek knowledge and are willing to learn from those who are more experienced than them.
As they learn, they are not ashamed of sharing what they know.
They will respond openly to questions on their performance.
These qualities allow such individuals to build the capacity to acquire knowledge and wisdom, which they share with others.
Often the coaching job requires someone sensitive, insightful, and understanding about the plight of others.
You can only achieve these qualities if you have a coachable spirit.
You must be willing to listen to the spoken and unspoken messages of your trainees.
With this quality, you can relate to different people with diverse personalities and help bring out the best in them.
3. They Listen And Encourage
As stated above, great coaches are excellent listeners for both verbal and no-verbal cues from their students.
Before they propose solutions to problems, they hear the thoughts and frustrations of their students.
This approach to coaching enables them to know the needs of the students.
Good listening skills allow trainers to understand factors such as personal fears that might impede the learning process of his/her students.
Another advantage of lending a listening ear to their trainees is it allows them to get feedback.
This way, they can gauge the impact of their training on the students and the effectiveness of the teaching methods.
With this information, the tutors can adjust their training methods to suit the needs of the students.
When trainees are discouraged and are almost giving up, a good coach will encourage them and walk with them through difficulties.
This move enables learners to build confidence and the resolve to pursue their goals irrespective of the prevailing challenges.
4. Ask Questions And Encourage A Conversation
Great coaches are masters of the art of asking questions.
They do not just listen to what their students have to say.
They spur their thoughts with intelligent questions that stimulate innovation.
This way, learners can create solutions to problems and discover new possibilities.
It also allows students to take calculated risks to deliver optimal solutions.
Asking learners the right questions unlocks great ideas, dispels erroneous assumptions, and builds trust.
It also encourages focused conversations between coaches and learners.
5. They Build Trust
Winning other people’s trust takes time.
Great coaches start this process by establishing boundaries of their engagement with their clients.
They then provide the students with clear learning objectives.
During the learning process, the coach must exercise good judgment and fulfill their part of the bargain that pertains to any agreement or promises made.
It is not a one-time act, but the bare minimum for winning the learners’ trust.
6. They Set A Specific Goal
Every good coach aims to build meaningful relationships with their coachees.
Good relationships allow the learners to develop trust in their coaches, which is an important ingredient to create the perfect coaching environment.
The best coaches take a keen interest in the development of each learner.
Therefore, they set specific goals for each student depending on their abilities.
This approach allows the coach to focus on individual aspects of the training.
On completion of each training goal, the coach introduces the learner to the next course.
This phased approach to coaching comes with many advantages.
For example, learners and coaches can track the progress of the coaching program and evaluate its impact.
Coaches can also estimate the areas of development they need to cover.
By focusing on a phased coaching plan, top trainers in the market can deliver their lessons in manageable doses that allow coaches to handle other personal and professional responsibilities.
7. They Measure Results And Give Feedback
A good coach will need to measure the effectiveness of their training on your students.
You need to know whether they can turn your teachings into meaningful actions.
To achieve this, the best coaches in the market give periodic assessment tests to their trainees after completing each coaching goal.
You can use assessments to determine knowledge gaps, compare the trainee’s current performance with the desired output or mastery of skills.
In addition to assessing clients’ skills, good trainers give constructive feedback on their performance.
This information is critical to the trainees as it helps them know the areas they are doing well and those they need to improve.
8. Hold Their Clients Accountable
Holding someone to account is never easy.
Often it requires coaches to have uncomfortable discussions with their trainees.
It is, however, a necessary pain to achieve coaching goals.
Coaches may have to push their clients to take action on their goals by breaking them into actionable points and tracking their progress.
If the trainees complete the set activities and achieve their goals, congratulate them and ask what they did to succeed.
On the other hand, if the trainees do not achieve their goals, ask them to explain why they think they failed and what they can do to succeed.
Coaches need to maintain a balance to avoid pushing their clients too much.
Doing so might make them bitter about the coaching program.
When this happens, it will be hard to achieve meaningful results with the coaching program.
9. Problem Solvers
People sign up for coaching programs because they have various needs.
The best coaches in the industry listen carefully to their clients and identify their problems.
They prescribe suitable solutions to these problems and break them into simple, actionable goals that clients can follow through over a period.
This breakdown of the proposed solutions constitutes the coaching program.
The coach then walks with the trainee through the program until the problem is solved.
To excel in the art of solving problems, the coaches must be good listeners, researchers, and communicators.
The trainers should be able to analyze client information and propose creative solutions that meet their needs.
Also, good coaches are excellent decision-makers.
They give direction on how to contact a coaching program, depending on the needs of their clients.
If you agree with a client when you will be available for them, be committed to honoring your promise.
It is discouraging when clients try to reach you, and they cannot find you.
If this happens consecutively, they will move to your competitors.
You may also suffer reputational damage and cannot attract new clients.
To avoid this tragedy, you must be consistently present when your trainees need you.
It does not mean that you have to bug them.
On the contrary, you need to establish a coaching plan and be available when you say you will.
Moreover, adopt a coaching style and be consistent.
When you mix different coaching styles, it will be difficult for your clients to follow through with your coaching sessions.
11. Acknowledge Their Coachee’s Strengths
To succeed in the coaching business, you need to be attentive to your clients to identify their strengths and weaknesses.
However, capitalize on helping them shine on their strengths rather than amplifying their weak points.
Acknowledging your clients’ strengths allows you to build rapport with them.
It also cements their trust in you.
Developing trust with your clients is a big win because it is a critical ingredient for effective coaching.
On the flip side, focusing on the weaknesses of your client is likely to break their spirit.
Such individuals will lack the confidence to try new things, and it will be hard for them to meet their objectives.
In the end, your coaching might leave them in a worse state than they were before enrolling in the program.
12. Exude A High-Level Of Conviction
One way of standing out in the coaching business is using your experience to your advantage.
Since you are an expert in your niche, you know what works and what doesn’t.
This way, you can analyze your client’s suggestions and tell whether they are viable solutions to the problem at hand or not.
Standing by your decisions exudes conviction that they will work.
The good news is that clients want a coach who believes in their opinions.
Such individuals can provide direction and guidance, unlike indecisive trainers.
If you want to pursue a coaching career, then you must aim to be among the best.
It is the only way to ensure that you get clients regularly who are willing and able to pay well for your services.
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