An awesome business coach possesses skills, attributes and traits that make them exceptional. These qualities often follow through with consultants, trainers, life coaches and advisors. So as an experienced coach myself, this is my take on what we need to have to be an outstanding coach.
What does it take to be an awesome business coach?
There is a fine line between demonstration of your expertise, selling your service and just be a person who constantly takes their ego out for a walk. A great coach will not be constantly sprouting about their achievements and will recognise too much of this can sometimes have the effect of making the other person feel small or inadequate.
I met recently with a coach who is a little quiet and shy and I said to this coach – that this was great. Being a little quieter usually means that person is a great listener. Being able to ask great questions, listen and think about possible solutions is all part of the package. The ‘Loud Mouth’ usually isn’t a good listener and when you listen is when you pick up some really critical aspects.
A great coach must also be a great leader. They should guide, empower, inspire and lead by example. If I said to my clients to follow up on quotes and I did not ‘practice what I preach’ then how can I expect others to do what I say, when I cannot myself?
Communication & Confidence
A quality coach has to be able to stand up and ‘play devil’s advocate’ or challenge a concept or disagree with a client. Being a ‘yes-man’ achieves nothing and soon clients don’t see the value in your sessions. When you know you have a valid point to raise, or your client needs to be challenged on a matter, do you have the confidence and great communication skills to do this well. It should never be argumentative, aggressive or done in a negative way. You need to be honest with your clients, but before you are, work out if they can handle ‘brutal honesty’ or it needs to be ‘sugar-coated’. Not every client is the same.
The above (confidence) comes from knowledge. When you know what you are doing, and do it well and are experienced, then with that grows confidence. Although sometimes I meet with new coaches who have exceptional resumes but just have that little self-doubt. We work out why and address it in a productive and positive way. They themselves will always be constantly expanding their own knowledge, skills and experience. These days if you are not moving forward, you are in fact slipping backward.
I truly believe a quality coach will enjoy challenges, love the opportunity to solve a problem and will have the ability to see various options, directions or opportunities. I love the expression:
‘A challenge is an opportunity in disguise’
Often challenges allow us and our clients to grow, evolve and emerge as better people and stronger business owners.
Motivational & Enthusiastic
An engaged and authentic coach will be motivated in what they do and in how they work with their clients. Their enthusiasm for what they are coaching will be massively contagious and they will be consistent in this. Their approach will not be like a roller-coaster ride that the client just doesn’t know if today will present Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
Sharing & Caring
Whilst coaching can be lucrative; the best coaches will love what they do more than they love invoicing. They will jump out of bed in the morning excited to see what the day brings and they will remain strong, positive and energised for the entire day. They will genuinely care about their clients, the business they are working on and the best outcomes to be achieved. They might fall into bed at night exhausted, but they will have a smile on their face.
Fair, Ethical & Honest
Any good leader, coach or advisor is always ethical and honest. Their approach is always fair and truthful. They should have a diplomatic manner about them and will be open and truthful. For example, if a client is not getting value from the sessions, then drawing this to their attention and sometimes even suggesting that client pauses, leaves or drops down to a smaller package might be the better option for the client. This fairness goes both ways; they should do what is right by both their own business, but also by the client. If it can’t be a win-win situation, then they need to consider what is the right course of action?
Being a coach, advisor, trainer is a hugely satisfying career. However it comes with massive responsibility, duties and obligations, as does any leadership role.
Through my ‘Coach the Coach’™ program I work with new and emerging coaches to challenge them to be the best they can. We do work on practical aspects, such as marketing, or systems, templates etc, but we also cover less tangible aspects included as above. If you’d like to have a meeting with me to discuss your aspirations or intention to enter the profession, please make contact with me and call me on 0411 622 666.