What Makes A Great Coach? 3 Key Ingredients

March 7, 2017 Terry Watkins

According to the 2016 Global Coaching Study by the International Coach Federation and PricewaterhouseCoopers, almost all coach practitioners (99%) reported receiving some form of coach-specific training, with a large majority (89%) receiving training that was accredited or approved by a professional coaching organization.

As the availability of coach training programs has increased, so has the variety of coaching models and coaching processes that coaches are using as a framework or process. For example:

GROW Model. This model is based on performance relating to problem solving and goal setting to maximize and maintain personal achievement and productivity.  It is a framework and a process to tap into inner potential through a series of sequential coaching conversations.

Newfield Institute Way of Being Model. This is a model based on ontological coaching relating to the way of being that incorporates language, emotions, and body that influence behavior.  The Way of Being is the underlying driver of communication and behavior based on one’s perceptions and attitudes.

The Coaches Training Institute. This organization’s Co-Active Model is a methodology and framework based on the idea that individuals are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.  It suggests individuals are capable of finding their own solutions, with the support of a coach in a collaborative relationship, that result in courageous action.  The model is centered on fulfillment, balance, and process.

Every coaching model and worldwide coaching professional association has its set of required core competencies which must be achieved for one to be considered an effective coach.  But are there any common ingredients across all coaching models and coaching professional associations?  Here’s what I came up with. How do these match with your experience?

  1. Flexibility – Remaining flexible and agile to adjust your coaching model, process, and style based on your client’s needs. For example, allowing more time for a deeper connection before moving forward, or brainstorming to identify next actionable steps when a client is stuck.
  2. Coaching Presence and Active Listening – Having a target focus on the client and eliminating distractions. Listening at a deeper level that involves words, nonverbals, body language, surroundings, and silence.
  3. Coach’s Toolbox – Having available several coaching models and processes that can be incorporated into the coaching based on the client’s need. Being able to flex and adjust your coaching style.

At The Ken Blanchard Companies, we focus on a deliberate process using focused conversations to create a safe environment that results in individual growth, purposeful action, and sustained improvement.  As a coach working within that model, I intentionally incorporate flexibility, presence, and active listening to enhance my ability to serve and coach each client.

How about you?  What is your experience with the different coaching models currently available?  How do you tweak each to flexibly serve the needs of your clients?

About the Author

Terry Watkins

Terry Watkins is a Senior Coach for The Ken Blanchard Companies. She is a frequent contributor to Blanchard’s LeaderChat blog. Terry received her Certified Professional Career Coach certification from The Coaches Training Institute and her MBA with an emphasis in Leadership from Grand Canyon University.

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