Contrary to popular belief, successful leadership has nothing to do with overconfidence. It is, in fact, the opposite: the wisest leaders know when to seek external advice and use this ability accordingly.
This is exactly where business coaching comes in. Top talents of this rare breed of coaches can help the most successful leaders see what they can’t see and consider options they never thought were possible. A great coach is a fantastic listener who knows what questions to ask and when, helping you clearly see the path of success, advancement and personal development. In other words, a business coach should be able to paint a custom picture of excellence based on your talents, goals and values, and then provide you with tools to achieve this life.
If you are content that business coaching is what you would benefit from at the current point of your life – great! But before you go ahead and hire one, don’t let the wind of change cloud your judgment. There are certain critical factors that you need to keep in mind when picking a person to share your success with. Fortunately, great business coaches all fit a certain set of very specific criteria – and today we are going to share those with you!
Out of many essential values for a coach, integrity is of utmost importance, as it is directly linked to one’s self-esteem, self-acceptance and the ability to honestly acknowledge mistakes. After all, when it comes to business coaching, the stakes are too high to simply count on someone who appears confident and charismatic. They also need to be credible and effective, which undoubtedly involves strong morals and honesty. As Warren Buffett once said, in a leader, “you’re looking for three things […]: intelligence, energy and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.”
A coach’s job is to learn constantly – and not just about new coaching techniques, but about pretty much anything new happening in the world that is remotely relevant to the client’s interests and aspirations. Otherwise, how can you let someone lead you if they don’t know the directions? Of course, the experience is important – but in today’s rapidly changing environment, it only gets you so far
Speaking of learning, most quality coaches strive to hold a relevant qualification – even though it’s not necessarily compulsory. Not only certification helps a coach stand out from the crowd of non-certified folk, it also gives excellent opportunities to network, upskill and learn about the latest trends in coaching, which is extremely beneficial for career development. Bottom line: although certification alone doesn’t provide a 100% guarantee that the coach you’re about to hire is the best in the world, it does provide some confidence in their knowledge and abilities, and is essential in combination with other factors.
An empathetic coach is someone who is able to understand their clients with their diverse aspirations, questions and concerns. It is critical for a coach to be able to put themselves in their mentee’s shoes to better understand their perspective and offer the most organic, achievable strategies and goals. Business coaches with high empathy skills can easily distinguish between emotions such as frustration and irritability, or excitement and happiness, and quickly respond to psychological needs of their clients, which is basically a shortcut to success.
A humble business coach knows what you hired them for, and it’s not to take up the stage! A truly humble coach gets immense pleasure from making their clients happy, whatever it takes, even if it requires tremendous amounts of research, sleepless nights, endless trial and error, and constantly thinking outside the box. Now, that’s the kind of person you want to have by your side to take over the world!
Aside from personal qualities, there are also some essential skills all great business coaches possess. The most important ones include:
A great business coach won’t leave you in the darkness when it comes to planning your sessions and further steps. It’s quite the opposite – these gurus will put a thought-through personalised program together for you, pretty much mapping out your success.
Is a coach you picked a good listener? Who does most of the talking? Is your coach attentive to your needs? Good listeners pay attention to other person’s speaking, show interest and make sure they understand what you were trying to say by asking additional questions. If your coach is not a great listener, it might be time to find a new one – otherwise, you might as well be talking to a wall!
A good coach will ask a lot of stimulating questions – but a great coach is talented enough to ask truly mind-blowing and inspiring ones, those that make thousands of light bulbs turn on in your brain, getting the idea generating party started! If your coach just lectures you and provides generic information, they are probably not the one for you, as questioning is an integral part of quality coaching.
As mentioned above, you don’t want a business coach who is just charismatic and not much else. However, since we are talking about picking the best of the best, presence definitely does make a huge difference! This is going to be slightly subjective for everyone but look for the WOW factor when you initially meet up with your potential business coach. As social creatures, we tend to subconsciously pick up little habits from those we talk to often – the manner of speech, the gestures and, well, the overall presentation. If you’re going to let someone guide you to success, you might as well take advantage of those visual cues and become more charismatic and convincing yourself!
There you have it – a list of qualities and skills essential for a great business coach! Use this list to your advantage, listen to your intuition – and you will soon find the right coach for you.