If you are a coach, then you are living in a fascinating era. You are basically living in an age where coaching is not only openly accepted but is highly recommended as well. It is very common for someone to have their own life-coach. However, having said that, the market has given rise to lots and lots of coaches. While now is a great time to be a coach, it is equally as important to have an edge over your competition. This article will give you that edge.
What is a coach?
Before we begin, it is important for you to know what my definition of a “coach” is. The reason for that is simple. This article is written in lines with that definition. If you do not define a coach in similar lines like mine, then you may not get much value from this article.
So, what is a coach?
The way I see it, it is very straightforward.
A coach is someone who takes you from your current state to a more desired and superior state. During this journey a coach could be your: Mentor, guide, teacher and/or your friend.
Why should you become a coach?
Maybe that is not the correct question to ask you right now. Firstly, I should ask you: “Do you think you can become a coach?”
Think about all the times when you have helped your friends out with various blockages in their lives. Are you the person that everyone turns to for help?
Do you find immense joy and satisfaction in helping people and watching them grow because of you?
If yes, then you definitely can become a coach.
Now whether you should become a coach, let’s go through some numbers:
As you can see, from 2012 to 2017 the coaching industry has grown by 4.7%.
Also, it is a $1bn industry!
So if you have what it takes to be a coach who can change lives then now is a better time than ever to enter the industry. And it is only going to get better from now on judging from its growth%.
How to become a coach?
Let’s get this out of the way. Yes, an accreditation from International Coaches Federation(ICF) can be helpful…in the beginning.
It will help you start out and can be a great tool to get clients in the first 2 months and you will definitely get to network with some coaches but that’s about it. After that, you will be on your own and will have to take care of building your business by yourself.
While getting accredited can definitely be a little helpful, it is not completely necessary. Some of the greatest coaches in the world, eg. Tony Robbins, don’t have certification.
So, what do you do to become a coach?
You get started!
Just get started, take the action and execute on your dreams.
If you want to know where to get started, then just scroll down and check out my free webinar
What coaching skills do you need?
As I promised to you, in the beginning, this article is all about giving you that extra edge that will help you stand out from the crowd. So, in this article, I am going to give you 9 skills that you will need to become successful. Now, these skills are niche independent, doesn’t matter what kind of a coach you are, you will find these skills very helpful.
So, without further ado, let’s get started:
Suppose you are a man who works a corporate job and is trying to give up smoking. You come across two anti-addiction coaches. Let’s see which one he will be able to connect with the most. Let’s call one coach Alice and the other Bob.
First, let’s read what Bob has to say:
“I am going to make you stop smoking in 3 weeks. I have a program made for you which is going to help you transition into non-smoking”.
Now let’s see what Alice has to say:
“I know that it is hard for office-goers to quit smoking. More often than not the pressure of the work is such that smoke breaks are the only escape that you get I am going to help you mitigate that help you quit smoking within 3 months.”
Who do you think is more likely to get a client?
Alice of course!
The reason is simple, she empathized with him, she realizes why most people in corporate offices smoke, she knows that for most, it is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the workspace. She made him see that and then offered a solution to it.
This is something that you must cultivate if you want to become a successful coach, learn how to empathise with your clients and their plight.
Recognizing strengths and weaknesses.
One of the most important jobs of a coach is to properly analyze:
- Who their clients are?
- What is stopping them from achieving greatness?
Recognizing their strengths will help you, as a coach, realise where they are coming from and what their current state is.
Recognizing their weaknesses will help you understand what obstacles they will have to overcome in order to reach their desired state.
Asking the right questions
One of the most organic ways of connecting with someone is by showering them with attention and by wanting to know more and more about them.
And the reason why this works extremely effectively here is because of two reasons.
Firstly, your clients usually don’t get the attention they crave for. If you, someone who has positioned themselves as their mentor and role model, showers them with attention and is genuinely curious about who they are and what they want in life, it will do wonders for your relationship.
Secondly, it will give you extremely valuable insight into their present being. Who are they? What do they want? What are their paint points? Who do they love? How do they see themselves?
These are all important insights that you must gain.
You will need to find a healthy balance between asking them questions and listening to what they have to say.
A big part of building trust and a healthy communication is just listening to what they have to say. As we have said before, most of your clients will be people who have never been truly heard in their life.
They are craving to be heard out and to have someone give them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say.
Just by this simple act, they will see that you are taking a genuine interest in who they are and what they want from their lives, and that is priceless.
Yes, you weren’t expecting this here now were you?
But this is just an indication of how valuable having an online presence has become in modern coaching.
It is so critical nowadays to have online resources where your potential clients can read more about who you are and what you can offer them.
This is the reasons why it is so critical nowadays to have articles and blog posts out there which captures the essence of who you are and what your coaching is.
I am aware of the fact that most of you may not be natural writers and as such may be tempted to invest in a copywriter, but here is what you have to say about that.
Your vision is yours and yours alone, no one can capture that as succinctly as you can.
So while hiring a copywriter is ok, be aware of the fact that they won’t be able to grasp your vision at all and whatever they write may not be congruent to who and what you are.
This is the reason why I am telling you to start learning and incorporating this skill into your repertoire.
Imagine this, one single article that you write can change hundreds of lives.
Just that should be motivation enough for you.
One of the most important tactics for building connection and likeability is rapport.
There are many tactics that you can use to build rapport and one of the best methods of doing that is by “verbal mirroring”.
How do you do verbal mirroring?
The way you do that is by one of the following tactics:
- Paraphrasing whatever they have said.
- Repeating the last line that they have said back to them.
- Repeating certain words that they tend to use a lot.
This will help establish rapport.
We are conditioned to “being nice” and saying “polite things”.
But here is the problem with that.
Your client isn’t paying you so much money so that you can be “polite” to them. They are giving you that much money because they want someone who is straight with them and gives them a healthy dose of reality.
A coach who can give it straight to their clients is truly invaluable.
Along with giving straight and brutal feedback, it is critical for a coach to keep their clients accountable.
You will be telling your clients to take a lot of action steps and it’s so important that you are firm with them if they show inactivity.
You have to understand, if you don’t hold them accountable then they will not respect you and your coaching. You must expect them to take positive action If they don’t then let them know that whatever they are doing is not acceptable.
You must hold your coaching and your clients to the highest standards possible.
Coaching, in general, is not very “by the book”.
Whatever works for one client may not work for another client.
More often than not, you will have to improvise on the fly and fine-tune your coaching accordingly.
In situations like these, don’t be afraid of trusting your intuition.
You will be surprised to see how effective it can be.
Encouraging Your Clients
One of the most fundamental skills that you will need to master is the art of encouragement.
You need to understand that for most of your clients, the very act of admitting that they need coaching is a big step in itself.
You have to encourage them every step of the way and show them why whatever action they took was the right one.
You don’t need to give false encouragement, but whenever it is warranted do not hold back.
Make them feel special, it will be so rewarding if you do that. Just this one thing can build an unbreakable bond and create a lifetime relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are key coaching skills?
Coaching skills are important for managers who want to improve their managerial skills. The management team of a company can help them to develop their skill sets. Later on, they can use these skills to become an even better manager.
What qualities make a good coach?
Education experience is important, but it’s not everything. The best coaches are experts in their field and have extensive knowledge of the subject they are coaching on. Coaches should also be good at communication, coaching, and leadership.
How to develop coaching skills?
Coaching skills are essential for managers. It improves their ability to lead, motivate, negotiate and manage different personalities.
To develop coaching skills there are three important steps that need to be taken into account – thinking about coaching as a skill that can be learned, the coach’s mindset, and the coach’s behavior.
People can learn coaching skills by following these three steps: First, they need to develop their own self-awareness by understanding both their strengths and their weaknesses. Then they must focus on developing four core skill sets which include: active listening, empathy, effective presentation of thoughts and behaviors, and clear communication of thoughts and behaviour. Coaching is also about providing feedback with respect to an individual’s work performance. A good manager should provide feedback in a way so that the employee feels valued.
How to become a good coach?
Becoming a good coach is not about what you say, but about how you are.
Everyone can be a good coach. It does not require any skill or expertise. All that is needed for this task is to have high empathy skills and the ability to read people’s body language.