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What makes a great coach?

20th Feb 2013
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Karen Williams has a few simple but insightful pointers for you to improve your coaching.

Being a great coach is an art form; not everyone can do it easily. To many it seems like an effortlessly learnt skill, but in reality it's a talent in which very few people excel. Whether you are a full-time coach, leader, manager or want to get on better with your kids, knowing how you can be a better coach is key.

To be an effective coach, not only do you need to learn how to communicate well and help others to get results, you need to guide, motivate and inspire others to reach their full potential.

A great coach is likely to have the following talents or qualities:

  • A sound understanding of coaching philosophies

You don’t need to follow the GROW or COACH model religiously to be a great coach, but having an understanding of coaching frameworks and transformational questions is a good place to start. When you have a sound understanding of the philosophies of coaching, you’ll recognise the principles that exist in an effective coaching conversation.

  • The ability to communicate well

We can all say we communicate well, although as a coach, less is more. A great coach listens more than he or she speaks, reflects the coachee’s language back to them, recognises the importance of silence, and builds rapport with ease. A great coach is non-directive, non-judgemental, and observant of what is and is not said by their coachee. The skills of being able to empathise and put yourself in your coachee’s shoes are important too.

  • Be an effective motivator and cheerleader

Being positive, proactive and an effective motivator are important parts of being a great coach, as you’ll need to encourage your coachee to get great results. If they fail to deliver their agreed actions or don’t do something that is important to them, you may need to reflect this back to them. To be a great coach, you need to be able to inspire, support, challenge, and lead by example, and also encourage your coachees to celebrate their successes.

  • Be committed towards results

You don’t need to know the life and work of your coachee intimately to help them to get the outcomes they desire, and sometimes it is advantageous not to know the detail. But you do need to be committed towards helping them to achieve results. You can then both measure the outcomes and how they impact on the bottom line, whether this is financial or a softer measure.

  • The ability to take your skills into any situation

Being a great coach is important in a formal one-to-one setting, but taking these skills into other situations will cultivate and build relationships. Whether you take a coaching approach into a training environment, use your talents to facilitate a meeting, or soothe a difficult situation, coaching is a way of life, a technique that gets great results.

  • Are you a great coach?

A great coach can be trained and developed, and some people naturally possess the skills to encourage others to perform at their best. Even when you know the talents and expertise you require, it is also all too easy to forget how to be a great coach. If you recognise where you need to improve or develop yourself, go and take action today.

A business mentor, author, speaker, and firewalk instructor, Karen Williams inspires professionals to reach their true potential and achieve success. Karen predominantly works with solo entrepreneurs who have decided to break free from the corporate world and want to create a successful business, stand out from the crowd and enjoy every step of the way! She is the author of The Secrets of Successful Coaches and How to Stand Out in your Business and would love to help you to stand out in your business. You can sign up for her free ebook ‘30 Ways To Stand Out In Your Business In 30 Minutes Or Less’ here.

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