Our parents, soccer coaches, summer camp teachers—these people are just some of the first mentors we’ve had in our lives. They have walked us through life’s ups and downs.
But there has to be a time where the student becomes the teacher. As you live through your life, you’ll find yourself adept at various hobbies, skills, and habits that are worth sharing with the world.
You may even consider launching a career in coaching. It will empower you to start helping other people get themselves in better situations and achieve their endeavors. Indeed, it is a fulfilling job that allows you to influence a person’s life positively.
The personal coaching market in the US is a billion-dollar industry. On average, a life coach earns $28,000 to $48,000 annually. But it is not a job that you can just do with reckless abandon.
Perhaps you are a team leader, and you wish to become a better influence on your members. Either way, this article will help you pin down what traits will allow you to improve your coaching.
Today, we will discuss the essential skills that a person needs to coach people properly. Being aware of these traits will make you a more competent and accountable guide to your clients and the people around you.
Here is a quick overview of the five skills a coach needs to become more effective.
- Love for learning
- Choosing the right words
1 – Goal-orientedness
People may come to you unsure of how they should work towards their objectives, whether it be personal or professional. It’s your job as a coach to show them how to set these objects in an approachable way. It helps to keep SMART in mind, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic, and Timed.
Demonstrating this trait could be done with actionable tips like having them figure out what they have to accomplish and breaking down sizable tasks into more manageable ones. After this, you can give them schedule templates to plan out their days, months, or even weeks.
2 – Listening
People love being listened to. It is one of the factors that build good connections. Not to mention, it will allow you to develop personal skills as well. Listening to your clients will enable you to gain their trust, and it helps you arrive at better solutions for the problems they face.
Work on your listening skills with helpful exercises. The first trick is to be attentive to the words they are using and create a picture in your head of what their stories are. This is extremely helpful for aspiring coaches who may have a hard time focusing. This little TV in your head will keep your senses alert and less likely to think about other irrelevant matters.
It also helps to maintain eye contact to let them know that your attention is on them using body language.
3 – Empathy
In a coaching relationship, empathy stands as the bridge for both coaches and coachees. It is a skill that allows both parties to become better at taking perspective and understanding. As a result, they get a better grasp of where a person is coming from, especially those with different backgrounds.
A study also found that people who communicate their empathy see more successful results.
To work on your empathy, you can establish that you are a safe space for your mentee. This helps them see you as a person who understands the vulnerable spot that they are in.
Empathetic statements will also help you get on the right foot. They are simple sentences that foster a more understanding conversation. Here are some examples:
- What you’re saying makes a lot of sense.
- It reminds me of the time where [share a similar story that you have]
- You must be feeling so trapped by your situation.
- I can feel the pain you are feeling.
4 – Love for learning
It isn’t easy to be a coach who isn’t excited to learn continuously. Keeping a jaded approach to coaching is a no-go. Enthusiasm about learning more things in your industry will help you improve self-motivation and have a more expansive bank of knowledge to work with.
Plus, good coaches love learning. After all, it is impossible to know everything all at once. Being aware of what you don’t know and searching for answers is a massive part of becoming a knowledgeable teacher.
When faced with a roadblock that you don’t know how to conquer, it also helps to be honest. You can say that you don’t have the key, but you are willing to look for the answer alongside them.
Additionally, this doesn’t apply to your career alone. You also want to learn more about your mentee continuously. To do this, you can ask powerful questions to know them on a deeper level.
5 – Choosing the right words
Words can hurt. Even if you don’t mean to take a jab at someone’s feelings, you are still at risk of shutting them down unknowingly with your choice of words.
As a coach, you want to be as precise as you can with your word choice. Doing this will make you more aware of how you may come across the person you are talking to and avoid discouraging your client.
For example, if you see them experiencing a slump, you want to call them out using a professional manner. You don’t want to make a joke out of their vulnerable situation. It is best to use positive words such as “less than ideal” and other similar words to give feedback.
Apart from choosing the right words, you can become a more empathetic leader by picking the right time to give feedback. Make sure that you use the right words and provide your constructive criticism in private.
It is important not to feel discouraged when you don’t see these skills in you. Remember that you can always exercise your emotional intelligence, and by doing so, you can eventually develop these soft skills. And of course, through time and practice, you can become a better coach.
Nevertheless, there is no shame in knowing when to ask for help. If you’re planning to become a career or life coach yourself, don’t forget that managing your time efficiently is another skill you need to learn, especially if you’re just starting. Use an appointment or booking platform so you don’t find yourself overwhelmed with appointments.
Guest author Bio: Sumit Gupta @ Deploy Yourself
Sumit helps powerful people realize how powerful they are. He runs a leadership coaching program called “Deploy Yourself” to coach leaders and individuals to pursue their wildest dreams. He started out as a software geek but was soon thrown, unprepared, into the leadership world. After leading teams and making numerous mistakes, he now feels as comfortable talking about team building, leadership, and producing meaningful results as about machine learning and software programming.