How to be a great coach

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How to be a great coach

Last week we shared our social media tips to help you really maximize engagement from everything you post. We had some great feedback that confirmed measuring success on how many times a post is liked or shared, will never grow your coaching business.

It also started a conversation about how to be a great coach. So this week our blog looks at what you feel a great coach needs to know or do, if they are going to succeed in this highly competitive market.

The comments that kept being made were mostly on the importance of privacy, ethics and continuous improvement, plus the ability to demonstrate relevant personal or industry experience. The desire to help others was also important as was, membership of a professional body, but here are a few of the other ideas we felt would be helpful to share.


Create a safe space

To be successful, you need to quickly give confidence that you can guide the coaching process and create a safe environment where your client is free to share both private and personal information. Talk to them about the importance of honesty and give them the space to be heard and seen. Some clients may need you to give them permission before they are willing to really open up and share how they feel.

We also know some people seek help or support because they do not feel visible or heard within their life, so it’s really important you are able to create a space where they feel safe to talk about how they feel. This is much easier when you are meeting face to face, but is also possible over the phone or when you are using a webcam or Skype to run the session.

Tip: Be fearless as a coach and consider taking your client deeper and ask questions nobody else has ever asked. But only ask the questions you would be comfortable answering yourself.


Learn to talk less and listen more

When you look at how to be a great coach, it’s good to remember you are offering a service that helps others. Sometimes you may feel the best way to help is to simply share some great advice or just give them the answers. But we know this will make it more about you and not about them.

So use active listening and be fully present so you hear everything they say. Then use your detective skills to ask for clarification if you are unsure about anything they are saying. For example, if they say they want to be happier, ask them to explain what being happier would feel like or mean to them.

The more you listen, the more you are with the other person, so try to think less about what coaching tool to use and focus more on asking questions that will deliver the biggest return. This could be a couple of simple questions like – “Tell me more” or “What do you think”.

Tip: During your coaching sessions, you are trying to help your client build the skills needed to graduate and have lightbulb moments themselves. If they do, the message or lesson will land so much better.


Be your own best client

Some of you told us how you can sometimes feel like an imposter. You have questioned how you can possibly help others if you do not have everything worked out for yourselves. However, walking the walk as a coach does not mean you already have it all figured out.

You will be able to go much deeper with your clients if you have taken the time to work on yourself. This work will never stop if you have a desire to always grow, train, learn and study. This will make you even more attractive to potential clients, because you can demonstrate even deeper insight.

Tip: Be a client of what you are selling and seek the help of a professional coach. It will enable you to see the coaching process from a different viewpoint and experience the principles and practices you are selling to other people.


A deeper level of coaching

If you remain open to new experiences, your life will be full of lessons that help you evolve and grow. As a coach, your life can become one big lesson where you can no longer simply walk past something and not notice the thing you should learn for use in a future coaching session.

In the social media blog, we talked about active content creation. This is where you have a client or potential client in mind when you spot something that could be of interest to them. Take a minute to quickly share it with them and remember to add a short personal message explaining why this made you think of them.

Tip: Link what you share with something you discussed during a recent coaching session or how you think it could help them prepare for a future coaching session. And remember, anybody can hit forward, so always add value and make the message personal and meaningful.



Join our community

As a new online resource centre, we welcome members from all over the World and would love to connect with you on social media. We have pages on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, so no matter what you want to chat to us about, please remember to engage, like, share and join our community.


Further reading:

To support you grow and learn how to be a great coach, we have published a range of ebooks, kits and games that cover many different aspects of coaching:

The coaching manual: Comprehensive coaching manual with over 150 questions, plus fables, worksheets and tools for a successful coaching session. This manual also includes an introduction to Neuro Linguistic Programming and Transactional Analysis.

Coaching professional development: A virtual card game consists of 52 cards and provides you with a creative way to enhance your coaching and supervision skills. It includes 12 Illustrated Coaching Skill cards and 40 Question Cards divided into 4 themes.

Wheel of life: An easy to implement coaching tool and step by step guide on running an introductory workshop session.

Train and lead co-development session: The kit includes the essential documents you need to facilitate, train and lead a co-development session. 

Content is constantly being added to the site, so please check our on-line shop. Or read some of the other blog posts written by our team of international coaches.


Image: Thanks to Batel Studio for sharing their work on Unsplash.


Please note – Our materials can only be copied and distributed, if you include a reference and link to the original source: (cc) – 2020

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