I’ve been coaching people since 2018 and, with last year’s certification process, I’ve become even more interested in coaching and the qualities of a good coach.
If you’re looking for a coach, this article should help you have a better understanding of what to look for in your new coach.
On the other hand, if you already are a coach, this article should help you review your skills and see if there are any qualities of a good coach that you may also want to have or improve.
What is coaching?
Coaching is a form of development where the coach helps you (the coachee) to improve yourself and become more performant.
Coaching is normally a conversation or a series of conversations where the coach’s intention is to assist the coachee in their learning and development process.
Here are 10 examples of topics that can be addressed in a coaching conversation:
- My team has difficulties advancing toward the business goals and I don’t understand why.
- I’m changing my job from the role of a specialist to the role of a leader and I want to better understand the transition.
- We have to decide between two business partners and the mentor we had is not available anymore.
- The ways we do business have changed and we need to make the right decision when it comes to getting new talent.
- We have the vision but we find it hard to put our ideas into practice. It feels like we got stuck in doing the things we’re good at.
- We need to identify our strengths and values before we make the decision we’re about to make.
- We’re not sure that our goals match the vision of the business. We need to properly identify our vision before we set our final goals.
- I lost the meaning of my job and business and I have no energy left for my tasks and responsibilities.
- I need to better communicate with those around me to make sure we’re on the same path toward building this business.
- Whatever we do, it feels like we don’t advance at all and we’re getting tired of trying again and again. We need results and we need them as soon as possible.
By the end of the session, depending on the complexity behind the situation, the coachee should have a solution to their problem or a number of insights to help them advance toward the solution.
If you’re currently looking for a business or career coach, having examples of topics for the sessions can help you better understand what you can expect from coaching.
But coaching is more than just a simple conversation.
Coaching is a collaborative process, where the coach and coachee work together to generate insights, ideas, and solutions. The coach is there for whatever the coachee needs and assists the coachee in their journey.
To be able to do that, the coach needs to be prepared. And that’s where the qualities of a good coach come into play.
30 qualities of a good coach (with examples)
There are ways to identify a good coach.
Ideally, you’d want your coach to have all the qualities listed below but that’s hard to find and that will be somehow of a perfect coach. But we don’t live in a perfect world.
Therefore, use the list to look for the qualities that are important to you when you look for a coach.
Have a good look at the list and think of 5 to 10 qualities that describe a good coach and try to find a coach that has them.
01. A good coach is a good listener
You know you’re working with a good coach when you feel listened to. A good coach listens actively and gives you their full attention. Being a good listener is one of the qualities of a good coach that you want to prioritize.
A coach who is a good listener may say:
- “I want to make sure I understand your perspective. Please tell me more about it.”
- “When you talked about your job, it sounded like you were feeling nervous. Is that correct?”
- “Thank you for sharing that with me. I’m here for you. What is something you need from me right now?”
02. A good coach is empathetic
When your coach can understand your perspective and feelings, and connect with them at an emotional level, your coach is a good coach.
A coach who is empathetic may say:
- “I understand how difficult this must be for you.”
- “It sounds like you’re going through a lot right now. How can I support you?”
- “I want you to know that I’m here for you and I care about how you’re feeling.”
03. A good coach is supportive
If you feel encouraged and you see your coach supporting you in building confidence and self-belief, you’re working with a good coach.
A coach who is supportive may say:
- “You’re not alone in this. We’ll work together to find solutions.”
- “I want to acknowledge the effort you’re putting in. Keep up the good work!”
- “I believe in you and your ability to achieve your goals.”
04. A good coach is insightful
When it comes to achieving your goals, an insightful coach will use their knowledge to provide insights based on your conversations.
A coach who is insightful may say:
- “What underlying beliefs or values might be driving your actions in this situation?”
- “It seems like there might be a deeper issue at play here. Let’s dig a little deeper.”
- “Based on what you’ve told me, it sounds like [insert observation]. How does that resonate with you?”
05. A good coach is passionate
Working with a coach that’s passionate means working with someone who truly cares about your success.
A coach who is passionate may say:
- “I’m excited to see the progress we can make together.”
- “I feel honored to be part of your journey and to help you reach your full potential.”
- “I’m invested in your success and will do everything I can to support you.”
06. A good coach is patient
A good coach will understand and accept your pace, no matter how slow you want to advance toward your goals.
A coach who is patient may say:
- “We’ll work at your pace and focus on what’s important to you.”
- “It’s okay to take small steps. Progress is progress, no matter how small.”
- “Remember, this is a journey and it’s okay to stumble along the way. We’ll get there together.”
07. A good coach is non-judgmental
Do you feel like your coach accepts you for who you are without criticizing or condemning you? Then you’re working with a good coach.
A coach who is non-judgmental may say:
- “I see potential in you and your abilities.”
- “Your feelings and experiences are valid.”
- “I’m here to listen without judgment.”
08. A good coach is resourceful
Having access to a wide range of tools and techniques to help their clients is how you know you are working with a resourceful coach.
A coach who is resourceful may say:
- “There are a variety of tools and techniques we can use to address this challenge.”
- “Let’s explore some different options and find what works best for you.”
- “Let’s tap into your network and see if there are any connections that can help.”
Coaching for Performance
Coaching For Performance is a coaching program consisting of 17 one-hour sessions designed to help you gain a better understanding of what it means to be performant and to perform better.
This program is tailored to individuals like you who want to improve their focus, understand what holds them back, become more motivated, and who also struggle with stress and stressful relationships.
09. A good coach is honest
Even when it’s difficult, a good coach will be honest with you in order to help you grow and improve.
A coach who is honest may say:
- “I’m seeing some patterns in your behavior that we need to address.”
- “You may not like hearing this, but I believe it’s important for your growth.”
- “I’m concerned about the impact of your actions on yourself and others.”
10. A good coach is positive
A good coach will help you focus on your strengths and potential, rather than your weaknesses, while keeping a positive attitude. This is one of the qualities of a good coach that is definitely a must!
A coach who is positive may say:
- “I believe in your potential to achieve your goals.”
- “Let’s focus on what you have accomplished so far.”
- “Let’s celebrate the small wins and progress you’ve made.”
11. A good coach is flexible
Flexible in their coaching style and methods, a good coach makes sure they are effective in helping you achieve your goal.
A coach who is flexible may say:
- “Let’s adjust our plan to fit your changing needs and circumstances.”
- “I’m open to trying different approaches until we find what works best for you.”
- “Let’s pivot our strategy if it’s not getting the desired results.”
12. A good coach is respectful
If you feel treated with dignity and consideration, and your opinions are valued and respected, you’re working with a good coach.
A coach who is respectful may say:
- “I will be honest with you, but also mindful of your feelings.”
- “I value your input and perspective, and I want to make sure you feel respected throughout our coaching relationship.”
- “I will provide a safe and inclusive space for you to express yourself.”
13. A good coach is goal-oriented
When you get to work with a coach who helps you achieve specific, measurable goals, that is a good coach.
A coach who is goal-oriented may say:
- “Let’s break down your long-term goals into smaller, achievable milestones.”
- “What actions can we take today to move closer to your goals?”
- “Let’s create a plan of action that aligns with your values and priorities.”
14. A good coach is creative
Innovative and out-of-the-box thinking is part of the identity of a good coach and it’s visible when they’re helping you achieve your desired outcome.
A coach who is creative may say:
- “I’m open to experimenting with different approaches until we find what works.”
- “Let’s use creative exercises and activities to spark new ideas and insights.”
- “What if we approach this problem from a different perspective?”
15. A good coach is trustworthy
When you get to feel safe around your coach, both emotionally and physically, you know you work with a good coach.
A coach who is trustworthy may say:
- “I will hold your information in confidence and never use it against you.”
- “I will maintain professional boundaries and not cross any lines.”
- “I will provide a safe and supportive environment for you to share your thoughts and feelings.”
Did you know that optimistic patients recover 14% faster from surgeries?
How optimistic are you?
Did you know that optimism is connected to motivation, coping, and well-being? It is. And it is also connected to depression and doubt and many other things.
Click the button below and grade each of the 10 statements on the screen. It takes less than 3 minutes and you get your results right away.
16. A good coach is reliable
A good coach agrees to provide you with regular check-ins and helps you stay on track to achieve your desired outcome.
A coach who is reliable may say:
- “I will show up on time and be fully present for our sessions.”
- “I will be available and responsive to your needs and concerns.”
- “I will be consistent and reliable in my communication with you.”
17. A good coach is communicative
Using concise language to express their ideas, a good coach knows how to communicate using words you can understand.
A coach who is communicative may say:
- “I’m open to receiving feedback from you to improve my coaching skills.”
- “Can you explain it in a different way so that I can fully understand where you’re coming from?”
- “What are your communication preferences, and how can I accommodate them?”
18. A good coach is humble
Authentically sharing personal experiences to help you feel less alone and more hopeful is what a humble coach does.
A coach who is humble may say:
- “I don’t presume to know what’s best for you, but I’m here to help you discover it.”
- “I’m not the expert; you are the expert on your own life.”
- “I will approach our coaching relationship as a collaborative partnership.”
19. A good coach is accountable
A good coach will keep their promises, always be on time with their promises and take ownership of their actions and decisions. And because this is one of the qualities of a good coach that influence how much you trust a coach, for sure it should be prioritized.
A coach who is accountable may say:
- “I will hold myself accountable for following through on our agreed-upon actions and goals.”
- “I will be consistent and reliable in my communication and scheduling.”
- “I will be mindful of any power dynamics in our coaching relationship and use my authority appropriately.”
20. A good coach is empowering
Whenever your coach encourages you to take ownership of your life and make your own decisions, it’s a sign you’re working with a good coach.
A coach who is empowering may say:
- “You have the power and ability to make positive changes in your life.”
- “I will help you discover and leverage your strengths and resources.”
- “I will encourage you to take ownership of your decisions and actions.”
21. A good coach is curious
With a focus on open-ended questions, a curious coach will always try to help you gain deeper insights about your behavior.
A coach who is curious may say:
- “What are your strengths and areas for improvement, and how can we leverage them?”
- “What have you learned from past experiences that you can apply to your current situation?”
- “What is important to you, and how can we incorporate that into your coaching plan?”
22. A good coach is sincere
Being authentic and building trust and rapport with you is what a sincere coach does, with the purpose of creating a safe space to help you explore your thoughts and feelings.
A coach who is sincere may say:
- “I will celebrate your accomplishments and support you through challenges.”
- “I will be authentic and vulnerable with you.”
- “I will always have your best interests at heart.”
23. A good coach is intuitive
This is one of the qualities of a good coach that’s the most underappreciated. An intuitive coach can sense when something is off and needs to be addressed and knows how to gently prompt it.
A coach who is intuitive may say:
- “I have a hunch that this particular issue may be connected to something else. Let’s see if we can make that connection.”
- “I’m noticing some patterns in your behavior. Can we explore those and see if there’s an underlying cause?”
- “I have a sense that there may be some hidden strengths or resources that we can leverage. Let’s explore that possibility.”
24. A good coach is non-directive
After taking a step back, a non-directive coach allows you to actively lead the way and make your own choices.
A coach who is non-directive may say:
- “What do you think would be the best way to approach this situation?”
- “How would you like to proceed with this goal?”
- “What would you like to explore in our coaching session today?”
25. A good coach is systematic
A good coach uses a systemic approach to break down larger goals into manageable steps so you can healthily achieve them.
A coach who is systematic may say:
- “Let’s create a timeline or action plan to keep you on track.”
- “What resources or tools do you need to accomplish your goal?”
- “How can we build accountability into the process to ensure progress?”
26. A good coach is collaborative
A collaborative coach works together with you to set objectives and develop a plan of action to achieve the objectives.
A coach who is collaborative may say:
- “Let’s work together to identify your goals and create a plan to achieve them.”
- “How can we brainstorm together to generate creative solutions?”
- “What role do you see me playing in supporting you in achieving your goals?”
27. A good coach is adaptable to diverse cultures
A good coach is adaptable to diverse cultures and can work effectively with clients from different backgrounds.
A coach who is adaptable to diverse cultures may say:
- “How can I adapt my coaching style to better suit your cultural expectations and communication preferences?”
- “What cultural traditions or practices would you like to incorporate into our coaching sessions to make them more meaningful for you?”
- “What are your expectations of a coach, and how do they align with cultural norms or expectations?”
28. A good coach is a continuous learner
Always seeking new knowledge and skills to enhance their coaching practice, a continuous learner coach is always focused on growing themselves so they can provide greater and greater value to their clients.
A coach who is a continuous learner may say:
- “I’ve been reading up on some new coaching techniques and I think they may be beneficial for you. Would you be interested in trying them out?”
- “Let’s collaborate to identify new resources or support that could enhance your coaching experience.”
- “What challenges have you faced in achieving your goals, and how can I continue learning to better support you?”
29. A good coach is strategic
A good coach helps you develop a clear plan of action to achieve your goals, setting specific objectives and identifying steps to achieve them.
A coach who is strategic may say:
- “Based on our previous sessions, I suggest we focus on X, Y, and Z to help you achieve your overall goal.”
- “Let’s consider the bigger picture and how your goals fit into your overall life and career plan.”
- “Let’s explore different options and approaches to achieve your goals and determine the most effective strategy for you.”
30. A good coach is self-aware
Being open to feedback and different views, a coach who is self-aware is actively seeking to improve their coaching practice.
A coach who is self-aware may say:
- “I recognize when my own biases or assumptions may be impacting our coaching relationship.”
- “I am open to feedback from you on how I can improve as a coach.”
- “I am transparent about my coaching approach and am open to adapting it to meet your needs.”
Have you found the list valuable?
My name is David and I created this list to help you better understand the qualities of a good coach.
While being a coach myself, I also need coaching and I understand the need for a good coach. Whenever I get to work with a new coach, I analyze what is it specifically that I expect from my coach and make sure I communicate my expectations further.
If you found this list valuable:
- Share it with your network
- Tell your coach about it
- Show it to your friends
Are you looking for a coach?
As mentioned previously, I’ve been coaching people since 2018.
My coaching expertise can bring the most value to managers, entrepreneurs, and C-level executives.
Click the below button to explore my coaching programs and discover what others are saying about their experience with me as a coach.
With love and optimism,
What did you learn?
What are some valuable things you learned about the qualities of a good coach?
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