Coaching changes processes and outcomes, and positively enables defined goals. Truly exceptional coaching changes lives for the better, enabling goals to be refined and repeatedly met. What is that je ne sais quoi, that X-factor, that makes a truly great coach? What makes a great coach is the bedrock of all we should aim for as coaches. It’s the key to adding value.

“Everyone needs a coach.”

  • Bill Gates

Such powerful simplicity from one of the world’s most successful individuals is testimony to the coaching profession. He went on to say, in the TED talk he was delivering: “We all need people to give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” Coaching is about improvement. But it doesn’t just happen. Feedback is valuable, but it’s how we understand, interpret, and learn from that feedback which makes it truly powerful. Great coaching can enable that.

What Makes a Great Coach – The Basics to the Experts

A run of the mill coach, whether operating in a life coaching capacity or performance or development capacity, identifies goals and works with the client in the achievement of these. This type of coaching can prove immensely beneficial, to both the client and potentially their workplace. A goal is likely to be achieved more efficiently, and with greater assurance, than you would otherwise expect.

However, what makes a great coach is when the act of coaching is not simply about one goal, and getting someone from A to B. It takes something more potent and insightful to elevate the coaching experience from a simple goal-orientated approach to one which is transformative and opens up change so that future goals can be achieved more easily, but also identified more accurately and astutely in line with an individual’s core beliefs, talents, and values. This difference is what makes a great coach.

How to Be a Great Coach

This type of coaching rarely happens by accident. It requires confidence, and indeed courage, on behalf of both the coach and the client. It requires moving away from a narrowly defined goal, and instead of working on a deeper transformation. At its heart is a transformative approach to coaching. We believe the answer to ‘how to be a great coach’ comes in the form of a specific form of coaching: transformational coaching.

Why a Transformational Approach Makes for a Great Coach

Transformational coaching doesn’t just enable goal success, it enables fulfilment in goal-achievement. That’s a distinct but crucial difference. Success requires sustained effort. Sustained effort can only happen when someone is operating within their core values, beliefs, and aims.

What makes a great coach is the ability to not just work with the practicalities of meeting a need. Instead, they will explore the origins of the need and facilitate and guide someone on their own unique journey. There cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to coaching. People are unique. The solution to the problems on life’s journey must be unique.

What a Great Coach Looks Like in Practice

In practice, this means that what makes a great coach is someone with the right mix of training and aptitude to use talk and observational processes to identify and determine aspirations, and how to use the individual’s own resources to achieve them. Through facilitating fulfilment, goals are more naturally achieved.

This means a good coach won’t shy away from the uncomfortable because it is in the uncomfortable that transformation can really occur. For example, examining bad attitudes, or negative thought-processes isn’t easy, but it is essential for change. Transformative coaching, and the very best coaching experiences are about bringing zest, calm, verve, and creativity into everyday life and processes. It’s about realising potential.

This takes an inside-out approach, rather than an old-school outside-in strategy. By identifying the core of someone’s drive and aspirations, and working on removing any barriers, the outside goals ‘just happen’.

Coaching in this way looks different. The relationship between the coach and the client is vital: Within it comes respectful and attentive listening, with guided questions, in order to cultivate change. Careful reflection is indispensable.

Become a Great Coach

If you want to become a great coach then transformative coaching is the way to go. However, we know it’s still early days for this new approach. That’s why we’re offering free introductory days for transformation coaching around the country so that you can find out what makes a great coach for yourself.