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What Skills does a Coach Need?

28 Jun 2023 3:22 PM | Kathy Harman (Administrator)

You have heard of professional coaching and may be curious about it.  You might be considering becoming a coach.  You might be driven by a need to help people, or want a way to make a positive impact in the world.


There are thousands of coaches advertising their practice.  Many people who call themselves a coach have never been trained to be a coach.  They assume they are coaching and add the title to their name.  This does a disservice to the profession and more importantly to the client.  So how do you decide if you could become a coach? 

Besides the desire to help people and make a positive impact on the world, a certified/credentialed professional coach will demonstrate:

  • The ability to let go of the need to solve the client's problem.  How could you possibly know what the client's best solution is?  Only the client can know that.  Instead, the trained coach partners with the client in an exploration of what makes them great, overcoming what blocks them to resolve their issues and move to a higher state of well-being.  The coach demonstrates unconditional acceptance of and care for the client, which inspires trust and sharing.
  • The ability to come to complete presence.  When the coach is with their client, they are in a space of comfortable, accepting and respectful presence.  They are attentive to what the client says, reflecting back what they heard in a way that enables the client to see themselves and what they said from a different perspective.  The coach uses silence as a platform from which to fully understand the client and to enable the client to grow and learn.
  • Powerful listening skills.  The coach hears beyond the words used by the client.  They are trained to notice subtleties of verbal language, nuances, body language and even energy shifts.  This noticing enables the coach to explore with the client what is really going on behind the words.
  • A strong attention to learning.  A coaching conversation is just words unless the client learns something that will help them move to a higher level and/or better place.  And the learning doesn't stop at the first insight.  A trained coach knows to deepen exploration to get to the heart of the matter, and to encourage the client to capture their learning so that it is sustainable in the long run.  A trained coach will also partner with the client to determine how to put their learning into practice.

There are other skills, but these are the most important.  They are not easily learned, and the best coaches spend years honing their craft after attending rigorous Coach Certification training.

If you are considering becoming a coach, do your homework to select a powerful coach training organization that fits your style and needs.  How do you find one?  Check out our website for tips:


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