Four skills for effective coaching

The four skills every coach should have

There’s no “one ­size ­fits ­all” model for coaching. Every individual is different and has unique needs. But to be a good coach, you do need to have a few key skills, which are outlined here.

Sure, they could be managers. They often are. But just as often they’re someone a bit more experienced, who can help others unlock their potential.

Key skills and attributes

Everything you need to build a basic understanding of what coaching is and how it can be conducted.

SKILL Nr.1 - LISTENING

ATTRIBUTES -

  • Use active listening techniques, such as paraphrasing and repeating, to indicate understanding.

  • Be aware of the other person’s body language

  • Keep your own ideas to yourself until the person has finished speaking.

SKILL Nr. 2 - SETTING GOALS

ATTRIBUTES -

  • Agree on goals with the coachee

  • Explain why goals are important

  • Elicit clearly defined goals from your coachee

SKILL Nr. 3 - QUESTIONING

ATTRIBUTES -

  • Ask open questions to elicit ideas from the coachee about how to approach a problem instead of imposing your own ideas.

  • Ask open questions to focus the coachee’s attention on a certain area

  • Ask open questions to give ownership of a problem to the coachee

  • Ask open questions to foster commitment

SKILL Nr.4 - PROVIDING SUPPORT AND FEEDBACK

ATTRIBUTES -

  • Encourage coachees by reassuring them of their ability to accomplish a goal, by showing them you have confidence in them and by not letting them give up.

  • Give feedback that’s descriptive rather than subjective or judgmental

  • Make sure feedback is specific rather than vague

  • Comment on the behavior and not the individual

  • Focus on what the coachee can do in the future rather than on past mistakes

  • Avoid blaming the coachee if something goes wrong ­ this only leads to defensiveness

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