For coaching to be effective, the individuals involved should possess certain skills and attitudes. It’s not enough to have a perfectly suited coach if the person being coached is not interested in what the coach has to say.
Let’s first take a look at the characteristics one would expect to see in a coach. In addition to being knowledgeable in their area of expertise, coaches should also be:
- Strength-based – When guiding others, coaches must focus on identifying strengths and building on the strengths of others.
- Respectful – Coaches understand that people bring unique experiences and perspectives to their work. Coaches find ways to blend experience and best practice in a way that respects the coachee.
- Goal-oriented – Coaches need to be able to identify and prioritize the skills that need to be enhanced, and then remain focused on providing support and accountability until goals are met.
- Observant – Coaches must be able to notice details that may not be apparent to others. They should strive to see the bigger picture in order to guide coaches to create appropriate goals.
- Reflective – Coaches must be able to guide their coachees to reflect on current practices while also reflecting on their own approach to the coaching relationship.
- Realistic– Coaches know that making change takes time and that change can make people uncomfortable and resistant.
- Supportive – Coaches need to be able to keep coachees engaged in the process of reaching their goals. They need to provide the right level and type of support based on the needs of individual coachees.
- Clear – Coaches must be able to communicate clearly about the skills being worked on as well as the responsibilities of the coachee. They must understand their role as the guide, not the person responsible for making the changes happen.
- Organized – Coaches must be able to manage the pace of each coaching session as well as the overall experience. This requires planning, time management, and being able to prioritize needs and responses.
- Resourceful – Coaches may need to try a few approaches to tackle tough challenges their coachees face. This requires a creative and resourceful attitude.
- Open to learning – It is common for issues to arise in a coaching relationship that require research and growth on the part of both the coach and the coachee.
The individual receiving coaching must also be prepared to bring their best skills and efforts to the coaching relationship. First and foremost, coachees should recognize that everyone benefits from coaching from time to time. Professional athletes operate at high levels of performance, but they still have coaches. Sports coaches help high performers work within a successful team just as much as they help players build skills. When coachees are able to set aside ego and remain open to new ideas, coaching sessions can be extremely productive.
Here are a few other characteristics that coachees should have:
- Honesty – Coachees should strive to be honest with their coaches about their beliefs, skills, and practices. They should be honest about their understanding of concepts and about their attempts to try new approaches in the learning environment.
- Curiosity – Coachees should build their capacity to be curious when faced with challenges in the classroom. They should ask themselves questions like, “I wonder what would happen if I tried something different?”
- Responsibility – Coachees will be held accountable for setting goals with coach support, and they are the person responsible for making the changes that will lead to the achievement of their goals.
- Persistent – Positive results can sometimes take multiple attempts and coachees must be willing to try strategies multiple times before expecting success.
- Commitment – Coachees should work with coaches to adjust goals and deadlines to be realistic and achievable. This will ensure that they are able to maintain their commitment to completing the process.
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For the article What is Coaching?, CLICK HERE
For the article Structure of Coaching Sessions, CLICK HERE
For the article Director’s Corner: Coaching for Success, CLICK HERE