How Many Coaches does it take to Change a Light Bulb?

The answer to that rather depends on what you mean by “change”.  If you mean completely re-design, then it could take a team of hundreds, but in theory at least, the team should only ever need one coach.  Although business coaching is a relatively new industry, coaching in business is not really that new.  At all levels of leadership and management an element of coaching has always existed.  In the UK today many industries rely more heavily on their staff being competent and confident in their roles.  This is, perhaps, more necessary than ever before and especially when it comes to the performance of workers.  Many individuals are finding that their jobs also require a broad level of skills across a number of disciplines and getting the best out of each member of your team can require particularly good coaching skills.  So what makes a good coach?

Coaching Essentials

While there are a number of professional organisations offering coach training today, some basic personality traits are essential.  Many managers or team leaders have these skills already and training can help to maximise your own natural coaching abilities.  Key skills that make a great coach are:

  • Great communication skills; listening and speaking are crucial to being a good coach. Building a trusting relationship with individuals is essential and listening well is one way in which to build trust.
  • Being a people person; having a passion for helping others is a very important trait which will go a long way towards achieving the great coaching abilities.  The best coaches are genuinely, and strongly, passionate about helping people to bring out their best skills.
  • Identifying skills and weaknesses.  This is essential for coaches, who need to be able to establish a rounded understanding of an individual’s skills and issues that can affect them negatively.  Being able to clearly identify these and to offer advice in a balanced way to maximise skills and limit negative behaviours in a productive and constructive way is essential.
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  • The ability to work with clients with different needs and skill levels is also crucial.  This can be the most challenging aspect to learn as there is rarely a one size fits all approach to coaching.  Coaching is about people and everybody has different needs and abilities.
  • A sense of humour, the ability to laugh at yourself and with others should perhaps be skill number one!  Again, this is about communication and building a real trust.  Openness, honesty and a healthy sense of humour will always be skills that great coaches find are a natural part of their own personality.

Making the most of what you’ve got

The chances are that most managers and leaders will already posses all of the essential skills for coaching and encouraging their teams.  However, coaching training can help to bring out the best of your coaching skills and develop all round coaching capabilities.  Coaching training is particularly useful for new managers or leaders to help understand the concepts and importance of coaching and how it can be used to develop the skills and abilities that exist with your team.

Many managers will already have great coaching skills, but coach training can help to bring out the best of those skills and also learn to how to identify coaching needs and solutions.

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