What Makes a Good Coach?

A good coach, rather like a good director or good sales person, tends to emerge rather than be ‘trained’.

Good coaches come from a variety of backgrounds, and they all work in different ways. They are passionate to stay at the top of their profession, and to do this they continually update their skills. What sets them apart from mediocre coaches is that they learn new models and approaches from their clients. In some ways, current clients are the best measure of a coach.

What is an ideal coach?

We can make sure you find the right coach for you. Every coach is different and works in different ways according to your needs. However, they are all likely to have the following attributes:

  • What makes a good coach?

    What makes a good coach?

    Curiosity and passion about helping people to solve their problems and achieve their goals.

  • They will also be able to ‘shut up’ and let the client think.
  • A proactive approach that is about outcomes not methods. They’ll be flexible and happy to explore different approaches.
  • They’ll be empathetic while not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with you. They will challenge when appropriate.
  • Although you may not be aware of it, they’ll be paying close attention to your unconscious signals.
  • The ideal coach will have experience of modelling high performance within the field that he or she is coaching.
  • They’ll understand the best coaching approaches and have an in-depth understanding of disciplines such as Cognitive Psychology and NLP.
  • He or she will be able to set up an effective feedback system so you can measure your progress accurately.
  • Within corporate coaching, they’ll understand the direction and current culture of the organisation.

What  coaches can do to improve the return they offer corporate clients:

  • Understanding the company vision, objectives, and culture.
  • Understanding and following the company’s coaching process and diagnostics.
  • Being easy to work with.
  • Knowing what’s confidential, and what isn’t.
  • Knowing who to (and who not to) coach.  Being prepared to walk away.
  • Challenging clients when it is appropriate.
  • Being a learning role model.
  • Modelling top performers in the chosen field, and continually developing their skills.
  • Controlling costs.

Also we recommend to anyone considering a career in coaching that they need to:

  1. be able to attract good clients;
  2. act as a role model to the benefits of coaching; and
  3. commit to lifelong learning.


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All our coaches have significant business and organisational knowledge, over 100 hours coaching experience, EBCN and external accreditation, continual professional development, coaching supervision, professional indemnity insurance and contribute to our expanding library of coaching case studies.

What makes a good coach?

What makes a good coach?