20 Qualities Your Business Coach Should Have

business coach
courtesy of Ambro via freedigitalphotos.net
Perhaps you have been convinced to choose a coach by the article on 13 Reasons Why You Need A Business Coach Now.  If you are looking for a coach, you may already have an idea of the qualities your ideal coach should have. That might well include several of those listed below.  You may well be surprised at some of the others in our list and they all deserve some serious thought.

Remember that the biggest cost to you in using a business coach is the time you will spend in working with your chosen coach and following up on their recommendations.  That time could have been used directly in generating profits or perhaps in following  some of your other life goals, like spending time with your family.  For this reason above all else, it is important to make a wise choice.
Each of the qualities is discussed in greater detail below this summary list.

  1. Trustworthy / Honest
  2. Good Judgement
  3. Mutual Respect
  4. Inquisitive
  5. Good Listener
  6. Clear Communicator
  7. Experienced
  8. Knowledgeable
  9. Up-to-date
  10. Full Of Ideas
  11. Motivational
  12. Challenging
  13. Problem Solver
  14. Goal Setter
  15. Organized
  16. Disciplined
  17. Analytical
  18. Supportive
  19. Good Value
  20. Within Budget
Here is a short discussion on each of these 20 qualities:

1. Trustworthy / Honest This quality hardly needs to be mentioned since it is so obvious.  Unless you can put absolute faith in the words of your coach and know they are acting in your best interests, then this is a person you should avoid and you should in no way let them influence your future.

2. Good Judgement

It is essential that your coach has good judgment and will evaluate alternative courses of action with the same intensity and seriousness that you would use.  If their track record shows serious errors in judgment in the past, then this is another reason to delete them from your list.

3. Mutual Respect

Sometimes a coach needs to give you a message that you may find difficult to accept.  If you can develop a relationship with your coach where you have mutual respect for each other, then delivering and receiving such a message is that much less difficult.

4. Inquisitive

A good coach will be naturally inquisitive and search for all the relevant factors that may influence the future success of your business.  Sometimes these may be more obvious to someone coming fresh to the situation.  You may well have overlooked these through familiarity.

5. Good Listener

Hearing what is said in informal discussions may often unearth situations which could be handled in much better ways.  Even body language when someone is asked a question can suggest topics that need to be explored. A good listener leaves the pauses that encourage others to speak their minds.

6. Clear Communicator

Needless to say a coach must be able to clearly express what they have in mind without leaving confusion or uncertainty. That communication should encourage dialogue rather than suggesting it is the only way to do things. If the coach is someone who seems to want to be in control, then this may inhibit a fruitful consideration of the ideas and promote resentment.

7. Experienced

Unless the coach has been there and done that, then their advice is likely to be based on theoretical views rather than practical experience.  The coach does not need to have worked exactly the same industry  but there should be similarities between his or her work experience and your own industry.

8. Knowledgeable

Any good business coach will have a wide ranging knowledge about all topics that may influence business operations and success.  Given the rapid speed at which technology advances now, that knowledge must include technological innovations.  Sometimes a new innovation can render a traditional way of handling information or communicating completely inappropriate.

9. Up-to-date

Full knowledge can only come with a real-time radar screen that gives the earliest possible warning of factors that may need to be tackled.  This means that the business coach must invest the time necessary to stay on top of the business and technological news.

10. Full Of Ideas

In order to get the best possible business strategy, a coach should be capable of coming up with a number of potential ways of growing the business.  Rarely will it be satisfactory to follow the only plan that comes to mind.

11. Motivational

Growing a business will usually involve significant challenges.  When upsets occur, it is natural to feel down.  A good coach will help you come through these sticky times, which may well affect both you and your competition. As the old saying goes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.

12. Challenging

It is important that a coach does not attempt to be a nice guy all the time.  Sometimes weak ideas need to be challenged.  Even OK goals may not represent what you and your business are capable of achieving. You may not need to go as far as Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals but a good coach will be pushing you in that direction

13. Problem Solver

Sometimes a business problem may seem to be without a solution.  It is almost like running into a brick wall.  It is at times like this that a good coach will be able to point out different ways the blockages can be resolved.

14. Goal Setter

The best goals will be SMART.  That stands for

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely
Your business coach should work with you to ensure that your goals are sufficiently defined according to these criteria.  If any of these dimensions are overlooked, then it may well be that sufficient effort is not put in to ensure the goals are achieved.

15. Organized

Through smart phones and laptops, it is now possible to stay on top of what is happening in the business.  This will ensure that deadlines are not missed and that’s important activities and tasks are not overlooked.  Working with a business coach can well be a natural and easy way to stay organized.

16. Disciplined

It is important to be self disciplined and be strict in maintaining deadlines and achieving results.  The business coach can play his or her part in being the monitor of how well this discipline is being maintained.

17. Analytical

One of the beauties of modern business is that it is easy to capture a large amount of data on what is happening in the business.  A good business coach will have a natural ability to separate out what is important and extract the most useful information for improved performance.

18. Supportive

Sometimes you will be aware that you have not done the best that could be done.  You hardly need a business coach to make you feel worse about your performance.  What is more important is to get support as you seek to draw out the lessons to be learned from what has happened.

19. Good Value

Assuming that your business coach scores well on the factors listed above, the important question is whether what you will receive is worth the price that you will pay.  A high fee rate does not necessarily imply better value for money.  Remember always that’s the biggest cost in using a business coach is your own time.  Although it is difficult, the best value indicator would look at a combination of what you pay the coach and what your own time involved is worth.

20. Within Budget

The final determinant in your choice will obviously be whether your cash flow can support the cost of using the coach.  With fixed-price packages you may be forced to accept something of higher cost than you really thought appropriate.  When you come down to a short list of potential coaches, then you may wish to negotiate a different payment arrangement to ensure this meets your cash flow projection.

Some other lists of business coach qualities

You may find it useful to compare the above list with what some others have said on this topic. The first is not strictly about business coaches but could well apply to them.  The Forbes article deals with  The 20 People Skills You Need To Succeed At Work

  1. The ability to relate to others.
  2. Strong communication skills.
  3. Patience with others.
  4. The ability to trust others.
  5. Knowing how and when to show empathy.
  6. Active listening skills.
  7. Genuine interest in others.
  8. Flexibility.
  9. Good judgment.
  10. The ability to persuade others.
  11. Negotiation skills.
  12. The ability to keep an open mind.
  13. A great sense of humor.
  14. Knowing your audience.
  15. Honesty.
  16. Awareness of body language.
  17. Proactive problem solving.
  18. Leadership skills.
  19. Good manners.
  20. The ability to be supportive and motivate others.
Here is what Judy Hoberman believes are the 15 Qualities You Should Look For In A Business Coach   These are set out in a series of slides.

  1. Friendship
  2. Trust
  3. Listen
  4. Inspire
  5. Experience
  6. Goals
  7. Motivation
  8. Organized
  9. Challenge
  10. Path
  11. Expectations
  12. Growth
  13. Measure
  14. Accountable
  15. Support
Here is what Kim Morgan believes are the 10 Qualities of a Coach:

  1. Listens effectively to both verbal and non verbal communication
  2. Questioning skills
  3. Motivational
  4. Rapport Building
  5. Curiosity and flexibility
  6. Display honesty and integrity
  7. Having a passion for coaching
  8. Self-Awareness
  9. Emotional intelligence
  10. Consistently seeks to improve and develop their own skill set and knowledge

Act now

As you can see, there seems to be a good deal of agreement on what you should be seeking in your business coach.  SMM provides coaching services with such qualities and you would be well served by contacting Barry Welford to see how your needs can be met.

3 thoughts on “20 Qualities Your Business Coach Should Have”

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