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What Makes a Great Coach?

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Are you considering booking a coach but worried that you don’t know where to begin? In this blog, I’ll help you to get started and make the right decisions.

What is coaching?

Coaching is different from mentoring or advising because it is recognises that you know yourself better than anyone else. Your coach helps you identify your strengths and find the best solutions to your challenges. In career coaching for example, a coach works with the client in partnership to see what concrete steps–strategies and behaviours–they can apply to achieve career objectives.

Coaching is a partnership and collaboration between equals that creates a culture of interdependence according to Sir John Whitmore in Coaching for Performance,

Coaching involves partnering in a thought-provoking and creative process to maximize personal and professional potential.

What makes a great coach?

A great coach works with you to improve your performance and wellbeing by helping you find ways to be happier, more fulfilled, and more productive. For instance, if you want a job or career that is personally and professionally rewarding, then your coach understands that aligning your work with your values is essential. 

Whether they are a career coach, leadership coach, life coach, wellbeing coach…(the list goes on), the coaching process is confidential and focuses on building awareness of your values and beliefs in a blame free environment where you take ownership of your decisions and work with the coach in partnership to plan a way forward rather than being told what to do.

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How long does it take?

Most coaches agree that it will take you between 8 to 10 hours to internalise and begin to recognise the key benefits you are gaining from the coaching process. These benefits include growing self-confidence and compassion, honesty and insight, plus motivation and inspiration. Working with your coach becomes easier, you are more relaxed and less anxious as you better understand how to take charge of your life to get what you want and need; a happier life.

How can I screen for cowboys?

Most coaches have some form of training and accreditation, but the industry is self-regulated. This means that anyone can hang up their coaching shingle and open their doors for business.

That said, the International Coach Federation is a professional association for coaches. ICF is a respected industry regulator of coaching course accreditation and coach credentialing. For instance, the International Coach Federation (ICF) Australasia has a list of credentialed members for you to pick and choose from. Jenny Devine is ICF president and she sees the coach’s role as one of helping and supporting every client to create a vision of where they want to go in their personal and/or professional working lives and develop realistic and achievable strategies to get there.

Other associations include the Asia Pacific Alliance of Coaches (APAC), the International Association of Coaching and the Association for Coaching.

In my next blog, I’ll show you how to find the right coach for you.

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