“A coach, to my mind, needs to fulfill some basic requirements: gain the trust of the client and co-create with them a supportive environment, be non-judgmental, be a good listener, be able to ask the right open-ended questions to establish the client’s needs and respond accurately, communicate effectively in language the client understands, and show a sense of humor to lighten the atmosphere when necessary.”
So began a testimonial I received a few days ago from one of my recent clients. How timely for a Law of Attraction coach such as I. I say timely because I had just been pondering to myself for some days what I consider to be the chief attributes of a skilled coach since I had been planning to write this article for some time, when voila … these words appeared in my inbox as if by magic!
I so love the Law of Attraction.
Ask and it is indeed given.
I do categorically agree with John, my client when he says how critical it is to co-create and establish a bond of trust with each other. Without that, what else is there?
A prerequisite of a great coach is that they must be able to create a safe, supportive environment that builds upon ongoing mutual respect and confidence as well as showing genuine concern for the client’s welfare, perceptions, individual learning style, personality and natural abilities. For me, seeing each client in their highest potential and holding the vision for their surefire success is always something that strengthens our bond and as I hold the space for them to be all that they can be ~ even sometimes when they don’t see that possibility themselves, the coaching process moves along much more rapidly and deeply… always.
A great coach always displays personal integrity, honesty and sincerity, makes clear agreements and keeps their promises, while unfailingly providing ongoing support for their client’s new beliefs, behaviors and actions.
They are always solution focused.
So what would YOU say are the qualities you would look for in a coach?
What would you perhaps add?
As a coach who is hoping to receive accreditation from the International Coach Federation, I’ve had to study their requirements and inquire into them to my own satisfaction, so here are a few more highlights I think you all could benefit from when evaluating whether the coach you are thinking of working with not only meets ethical standards and guidelines, but has high standards of integrity in their dealings with their clients: i.e. YOU!
I think it’s really important that you both lay down the groundwork and define the parameters before you even get started on sessions.
It’s essential that your future coach explain to you what they will provide in your coaching sessions and to come to a simple agreement with you beforehand about the coaching process and your forthcoming relationship.
To my mind you both have to be on the same page BEFORE you even get started so there are no surprises at a later date. This should include discussing logistics, fees and scheduling as well their coaching methods and your prospective needs. You need to work out whether you will be a ‘team fit’. For my part I have a very clear vision of my ‘ideal client’ so by and large the people who are attracted to working with me always fall into that sector; consequently I can almost guarantee in advance that the working relationship will not only be harmonious and successful but be pleasurable and fun for us both.
Nevertheless I do send out a very basic Coaching Agreement to every client once we’ve agreed to work together which sets a professional tone for our future relationship. I find everyone benefits from a bit of certainty before beginning a series of sessions that could feel quite daunting until we get under way!
John commented on how important it is for a coach to be able to listen to what his or her client has to say; I call this Active Listening ~ being able to focus completely on what the client is saying but more importantly on what they might NOT be saying and being able to read between the lines. I find that by using my intuition and asking powerful and quality questions, I am often able to get to the truth of a situation that my clients have long overlooked, at which point we are then able to co-create rapid solutions.
I think that an ability to be fully present and flexible also helps create a spontaneous relationship with each client, while being able to ‘dance in the moment’ and be truly response-able is also a vital skill. After all, each client is so unique that no two sessions are ever the same, nor are there ever typical solutions.
They ask open-ended questions that help you get more clear and ones that will challenge your beliefs and assumptions which will lead to your eventual breakthrough.
Finally an expert coach will be not only be experienced at Goal Setting and at outlining an effective coaching plan with their clients but will also hold them absolutely accountable for what they say they are going to do. They will also ensure that their clients become 100% responsible for their results, above all moving them away from ‘victim’ or blame mentality. I always smile when I hear my clients say, “Oops, I shouldn’t have said that, should I?” because I know I have done a good job at empowering them to think differently and become more self aware… at which point their transformation is beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Of course there are many other essential ingredients to what will create an inspiring relationship between coach and client but the final one I want to cover here is the element of discretion and I will always respect the confidentiality of all my client’s information. This is vital in establishing and maintaining a ‘sacred space’ where the real transformational work can happen.