Much is said today about coaching, a discipline that is applied both in the personal field and in the world of business and sport. This methodology, which facilitates learning and promotes cognitive, emotional and behavioural changes, helps individuals and groups of individuals to enhance their development and to transform themselves, generating changes in perspective, generating commitment and responsibility and increasing motivation.

Skills needed to be a good coach

Although there are many people who are involved in coaching, there are differences in the quality of the service they offer. The difference between being a good coach and a bad coach is found in a series of competencies that you can find summarized in the following lines. These competencies can be knowledge, personality traits, motives, attitudes or skills .

What skills must a good coach possess?

1. Empathy

The coach is a professional who, in order to do his job well, must understand the client’s needs. For this reason, it is necessary to be empathetic with him/her and understand his/her situation in order to lead the work sessions. The coachee (the coach’s client) is the one who reflects on his situation in order to empower himself in the face of change. The coach is a facilitator and a gentle discomfort maker who accompanies the client in a coach-coachee relationship of generating understanding and trust.

2. Continuous training

It is essential that coaching professionals have a thorough training, which starts with a self-knowledge, and that has no end, not only to know how to treat the coachee, but also to know the methodologies available to do their job well. In Spain there are excellent qualifications related to this discipline that provide both theoretical and practical knowledge.

One of the most outstanding training courses is the Executive Coaching Certification Programme of the Escuela Europea de Coaching, which allows you to obtain the title of Executive Coach from the same academic institution and the accreditation as Accredited Coach Training Program by the International Coach Federation.

Participants acquire skills and tools that are fundamental to the work of a professional coach, and this program emphasizes everything related to individual accompaniment, leadership training and team management. It is suitable for all types of leaders and team managers , as well as people in general who wish to acquire the skills and abilities needed to work as professional coaches.

For more information, you can contact the EEC via the details available on this link.

3. Active listening

There is a difference between hearing and listening, because listening refers to being attentive to what the speaker is transmitting. The coach must not only listen to the verbal language of the coachee, but must also be able to interpret his or her non-verbal language so as not only to keep the words but also to know what emotions his or her client transmits. To listen is to be open so that the words of the other person change you , to listen is to generate that space of transformation.

4. Communication skills

Trust between coach and coachee and good results are achieved through efficient communication between the two. Powerful questions, paraphrasing, summarising the words of the coachee , collating and ensuring that what is understood is what is meant is an essential task of the coach.

5. Motivating the client’s reflection

When a coach makes the client reflect, when he inquires about his motivation, the client can broaden his view of himself, his actions, his beliefs and his possibilities of action. Distinguishing between commitment and obligation is crucial to know where the motivation is .

5. Ethical responsibility

A coach must understand the ethics and professional standards of coaching, as well as put into practice the profession’s code of ethics. In this sense, it is not only valid to know these rules, but they must also be applied in the day-to-day practice of the profession.

6. Coherence

To build trust, the coach must be consistent in everything he says and communicates to the client . In Escuela Europea de Coaching (EEC), they talk about living the distinctions of coaching, for example, how the coach must not only know what they are (responsibility, love or learning) but in fact “be” those distinctions and live them.

7. Patience

One of the keys to conducting coaching sessions is patience, as there may be deep questions from the coachee and he may come into contact with his deepest emotions that require time. The patience of the coach is in respecting the silences and also the depth of the work that the client wants to do and how far he wants to take what he is seeing. The coaching process is alive and co-created between coach-coachee but the absolute protagonist is the client.

8. Derive when necessary

Coaches are personal development professionals and not psychologists who provide psychological therapy (except for some who are also clinical psychologists). Therefore, their aim is not to treat their clients when they suffer from any emotional or relational problems or disorders, and their responsibility is to refer them to other experts if necessary.

9. Establish trust and intimacy with the client

Generating trust with the coachee is a necessary first step for the coaching process to be successful, and in reality is almost an art, which starts with vulnerability and balance in the relationship . “The coach is not a mentor, he is not above it in any way, the coach is an equal who cannot know what the right decisions are for each person. The coach only accompanies the discovery of new views, new options and new actions to achieve the challenge declared by the client”, they say in EEC.