Coaching is a well-known tactic used by leaders in business, but not every leader knows how to reach their full potential at becoming a top coach! In general, a coach helps the team achieve goals and improve overall personal development. The advantages of mastering these qualities lead you to better rapport, employee engagement, and better sales! There are many set skills you can acquire to become great at the role and improve your team’s overall performance and attitude.
One of the top qualities of a coach is to be non-judgemental, and to welcome any concerns, questions, or feelings into the workplace with an open mind. To maintain an open conversation a good coach should be able to put themselves in the employee’s shoes to try and understand their experience and thoughts. Instead of being judgemental because you don’t think the same way, asking questions to gain clarification and understanding is a must to show you are being empathetic.
2. Builds Rapport
Building rapport within coaching is a crucial skill to develop to be able to form productive relationships. Without forming that initial relationship between yourself and coachee, there will be no genuine connection to be able to help develop their skills or reach their full potential. To be able to build rapport you must see eye to eye, be able to see things from their point of view, and truly understand their thoughts and feelings. You must really want to get to know the coachee as well as their values and needs to really grasp who they are to help them progress.
To be a top coach, you must be trustworthy and make sure you have positive relationships with the person you are wanting to coach. The better the rapport is between you and your team member, the more trust they will have when deciding if they want you to coach them. As a trustworthy coach, your employees will be able to communicate their concerns and come to you for support. A top coach will also be able to own up to their mistakes, be vulnerable and show the team that everybody’s human! This will create a productive, honest, and trusting work environment.
Top coaches also have the skill of being able to challenge their employees in a way that pushes them to progress. Challenging moves the coachee out of their comfort zone into a learning zone, where they are able to pick up new skills and ways of working. It is important to ensure it is not too big of a push as this can lead to employees in stress, and can damage rapport, trust, and the coaching relationship that has been built.
In order to fully understand another person’s views and opinions, you have to listen! Be curious and paraphrase back to them to make sure you are understanding correctly and to show them you are interested in what they have to say. A top coach will focus and prevent anything from distracting them. If your phone is constantly going off whilst they are talking they may not think you are fully listening! If you feel you need to take some notes, let them know and repeat back to them. They will appreciate you are taking what they are saying to full attention, so you have that information with you!
6. Asks open questions
Open-ended questions starting with “what” and “how” are one way of showing how interested a good coach is to learn about an employee and how they are feeling. It will create a strong relationship and the coachee will be more likely to trust someone who is showing curiosity towards them and their needs. Using “why” questions will ruin relationships as they tend to come across as more judgemental, and the coachee may view it as offensive.
7. Goal Orientated
Having a clear understanding of setting goals is essential to being a good coach. It helps define what they want the team to achieve whether that be short-term or long-term and will help determine what actions need to be taken to accomplish this. A great system to use to achieve and track progress would be to set SMART goals. Using this, top coaches can then be more specific and measure what exactly needs to be done for them to effectively reach their goals.
8. Encourages Commitment
Encouraging and building commitment for your employees is another big quality of a coach. A good coach will be able to pick out each member’s talents and strengths and align roles and responsibilities to fit their interests. A good coach will also give their team permission to fail! Employees are less likely to try new ideas if they are afraid to fail, therefore great coaches will give them room to think on their feet and encourage them to commit to what they think will work best. Teams that are fully committed to their role are far more productive, plan for failure and leave sessions with clear tasks, objections, and goals.
9. Doesn’t Tell
Great leaders and coaches don’t tell you what to do, instead, they give teams capability, inspiration and show you how things are done. Being a coach, you have to remember the importance of guiding your employee through their role in order to help them discover the solutions for themselves. Helping someone decide what actions to take in order to meet their goals as well as providing tools and guidance along the way will help engage with them and turn your problem into a solution. Some good steps to take would be to create awareness of the issue, ask questions and come up with a great action plan on how to overcome the problem.
Leading with integrity enables you to lead your team with full honesty, great values, and principles. Integrity is a great skill to set you apart from other coaches and help you build stronger relationships, and your team is more likely to admire and follow in your footsteps with this trait. Having integrity means people are more likely to trust and rely on your actions and words as it is easier to trust someone who stays loyal to their own morals and values rather than go against them to ‘fit in’ somewhere else.