7 Qualities of Coaching Excellence
This article featured in Inner Change Magazine for September 2012. It is my intention that if you are looking for a coach … and even in the thinking about it stage … you will find great value here my friends.
When we get a university or associate degree or a coaching certificate, it means we have done the book work. The degree or certification does not mean we will become an expert or even be very good in the practical application of this material.
It is important to find someone who is not only an expert but who is also a good fit. Someone could be highly skilled but might not resonate with you and, conversely, a poor coach might seem like a good fit but is not very skilled.
1. The expert coach strives to follow an industry-wide code of ethics.
More and more coaches are becoming part of the newly formed “Experts Industry,” a professional association that is establishing a code of ethics as well as business parameters for personal, business, and life coaches. Until late 2011, the coaching industry operated, to the best of my knowledge, with no official code of ethics. Without agreed upon boundaries and parameters in doing business, regardless of the field, some coaches will be honest and some will not. I look forward to this ‘industry association’ keeping coaching a ‘clean’ business.
2. The expert coach is a good listener.
An expert coach has done a tremendous amount of inner work with his or her own coach. Shutting down personal inner chatter is required to really listen to the client. This coach will repeat back to the client precisely what he or she heard, making absolutely sure the client is understood.
3. The expert coach is deeply curious.
The coach-client relationship is unique and more transparent than any other relationship between humans. As a result of item 2 above, to be the client’s biggest cheerleader, a coach must step out of his or her own world … and step into the world of the client. Now the expert coach can clearly see the client’s greatness and infinite potential. The coach already knows we each have these qualities buried within our beliefs as to our abilities.
4. The expert coach can ‘set aside’ his or her own point of view.
It really takes expertise to step into the client’s world and see her, and only her. A coach who judges the client and has poor pure listening skills cannot be your biggest proponent.
5. The expert coach is accountable.
Expert coaches often have their own coach, being proactively responsible and accountable for their own personal growth. They also have ‘blind spots’ that prevent them from putting aside their own points of view so they can be the ‘observers.’ Being coached and growing as a coach is just as important as being a coach for someone else. Expert coaches must learn and grow even faster than their clients.
6. The expert coach looks for what is missing in the client’s thinking.
The expert coach, with pure listening, sees through the blind spots and the things the client does not see. Once determined, the expert coach will begin a dialogue that will have the client ‘seeing’ her blind spots for herself.
7. The expert coach asks questions 98% of the time.
The expert coach knows through his or her own training that clients already have all the answers within them. And because the coach can ‘see’ what’s missing in their client’s thinking or thought process that would make a difference for them on-the-spot, it’s a challenge to just not ‘tell’ them what appears obvious. Asking questions is a skill. It’s easy to ‘tell’ someone what they can do. Do you, the client, want to learn to fish, so you can eat for a lifetime? Or would you prefer finding someone every day to do your fishing for you?