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What Makes A Good Coach?

EZRA
Aug 12 2021 | Insights

Coaching provides a number of great benefits to a business. But what makes a good coach? Ezra explores some of the key factors behind truly world-class professional coaches.


A great coach can be a positive and inspiring influence in the workplace. Having a coach who can support a team to do its best in a way that motivates and uplifts is an incredibly useful asset to any organization. 

Having a coaching program is a great way for businesses to elevate their teams, providing beneficial professional development, while giving teams the boost they need to deliver the best results. From goal setting to skills building, there is a lot of value that can come from an experienced coach.

So, what makes a good coach, and what can make an already good coach become a great one?

1. Being an effective goal setter

One of the ways that coaches can demonstrate their effectiveness is through being an effective goal setter. This involves identifying problems and issues and creating objectives around them, while also getting people to set their own goals. Goal setting helps to motivate and drive individuals in their work, and if a coach can draw these goals out of employees, using techniques such as SMART objectives, it can help people significantly boost their potential. 

2. Being Trustworthy

For coaches to develop good relationships, they need to establish trust with employees. Creating a sense of trust means people are far more likely to open up, creating honest and open relationships.  

3. Knowing how to transfer ownership

Coaches have a different function to management. While management can take on a lot more of a dictatorial role, coaches take ideas and problems and work to transform ownership of the solutions to the employee. It’s an active conversation that can encourage individuals to form and action ideas, helping them to develop in confidence and ability.

4. Being an effective listener

Active listening skills are vital for coaches. It’s one thing to listen to what someone is saying, but it’s another to make sense of it and show understanding for their concerns and viewpoint. 

In fact active listening is a core competency for coaches accredited through the International Coaching Federation:

“The ability to focus completely on what the client is saying and is not saying, to understand the meaning of what is said in the context of the client’s desires and to support client self expression.”

Active listening helps limit miscommunication to help people move forward and achieve more positive outcomes.

5. Being direct about the issues

One of the benefits of being a coach within an organization means they can be direct about the issues. A key skill of a good coach is being able to identify different problems, asking the right questions to help put solutions in place. It’s also a skill to know when to ask the questions, especially when it comes to checking in on progress.

6. Having the right experience and qualifications

For a coach to inspire and have the right kind of impact in the workplace, experience is vital. Some of the best coaches are those who have developed a wide range of experience in an industry and achieved success, something that can motivate others. It also ensures that suggestions and guidance come from a place of knowledge, from someone they can trust.

In addition to experience, the right qualifications can also have an impact. Achieving a qualification such as International Coaching Federation certification means a coach has undergone training and is required to adhere to industry standards and ethical codes. The coaching community is a diverse and exciting one, with constant research that helps coaches to improve and adapt according to current events.

7. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of employees

For a coach to do their job effectively, they need to get to know the people they are coaching. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of employees ensures they can draw out those strengths to help people perform, and tailor their approaches. Understanding both individual and collective strengths can help produce the best results from teams and ensure skills are being put to the best use.

8. Remains encouraging and optimistic

The world can be a challenging place, and given the recent global pandemic, it’s become even clearer how events can shape the workplace and affect individuals. One of the great strengths of a coach is to remain encouraging and optimistic, even during these difficult times. Strong coaches get to the heart of the issue, but have a talent for promoting optimism, even when the mood of the team isn’t quite there.

This approach helps to keep teams motivated and engaged, something that not only benefits an organization, but the individuals themselves too. 

9. Is a strong leader themselves

Coaching and leadership go hand in hand. In fact, many managers find themselves in the role of coach, which is why developing coaching skills can help managers become even more effective leaders.

Coaches with strong leadership skills possess authority and are confident in their actions. While managers might be more focused on ‘what’ needs doing, coaches, find solutions for how to get there, working to transform behaviors and challenges that could act as barriers to getting the job done. 

10. Maintains a consistent and constructive approach

Coaching is an ongoing process, it doesn’t end after the first session. An effective coach will not only research and plan to get the most out of a session, but they will follow up afterwards, providing additional feedback and guidance, while helping to maintain the commitment to the identified objectives. An effective coach will also think of alternative solutions, so if something doesn’t succeed on the first attempt, they will persist to find alternative routes to help employees stand the best chance of success.

For businesses and organizations looking to introduce coaching, there are a lot of potential benefits. To succeed, coaching should be an ongoing process, designed to bring the best out of employees. The right coach can develop effective relationships based on trust and respect, allowing a business to develop employees to their full potential, and achieve the best outcomes for the business. 

Allow your team to enjoy the the best in expert support with Ezra’s world-class employee coaching, built to fit into today’s working life. We’ve redesigned leadership coaching for the modern age to help transform people through affordable, scalable and high-impact solutions, with equitable access through our world-class coaching app. Find out today how digital coaching could make a big difference to your organization.

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