Before delving into the characteristics of a great coach, it’s necessary to note that coaching efficacy is often difficult to measure.  How do you know if you are doing a good job as a coach? And how does the client know if coaching is actually working?

The difficulty in answering these questions is that coaching is generally a subtle and gradual process, which works almost subconsciously over a period of time. Sometimes which the coaching process is doing its job, the client is almost unaware of the impact, until the results present themselves.

These three elements are generally present in excellent coaches:

  1. They care deeply about people
  2. They have incredibly high personal standards and ambitions
  3. They have a high level of self-knowledge

Research shows that the below are also common characteristics of exceptional coaches:

  1. Exquisite self-awareness
  2. High emotional intelligence
  3. Broad vision, with focus on important details
  4. Nuanced, crisp, superb communication
  5. Highest regard, caring and respect for clients
  6. Creative, innovative learner and developer of custom coaching methodologies
  7. Perceptive, intuitive, curious and inquiring
  8. Quick study with capacity for deep and wide learning
  9. Student of coaching and other disciplines that support helping others
  10. Sincere interest in clients and desire to help
  11. Continuous learner, personally and from others’ experiences
  12. See coaching as a two-way interchange of energies and learning
  13. Humble, open, nurturing and grateful to the world
  14. View coaching as a calling, an art and a discipline
  15. Walk the talk and model a good life for their clients

Here’s the bottom line:

If the client feels that coaching is working for them, if they feel that they ‘click’ with their coach, and that they are gaining benefits, the coaching process is working and their coach is a great coach!


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