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During this video, we will analyse the skills and qualities required for a specific coaching role. Coaching is a unique skill and if often takes years to perfect. Having said that, it is a natural part of human nature to want to support and develop individuals, this training session simply looks to identify that these skills and qualities are and look to improve and enhance them.

Coaching is the most powerful personal and professional development tool there has ever been, this is because each coaching session is uniquely designed to meet the client's needs. By this I mean that no two coaching sessions are alike, a good coach knows how to change their skills and qualities to meet the individual needs of the client.

Before a coaching relationship is agreed, it is important to have an introductory session. During this session both the coach and the client will have an informal conversation about how the coaching could work, the primary goal of this meeting is to establish if the qualities and personalities of both parties match.
Coaching will not work if both parties are unable to relax and establish a good rapport and communication channel. It is important to appreciate that we all are individuals and that you will not be able to coach everyone. If rapport is not established then it makes sense not to take on the client, by doing this you will allow that individual to find another coach with whom they will have a better rapport and will ultimately get more from their coaching sessions.

The most important area to identify is if the client is able to relax with the coach. This will enable the client to be honest during the session and for true thoughts and feelings to be expressed and for a good rapport to be built.

In addition to this the coach must:

1. Listen effectively and allow questions to be fully explored and answered during the session - Coaching is about asking questions and waiting for the client to answer them, don’t be afraid of silence this is often just a chance for the client to consider their response.

2. Have good questioning skills, aiming to challenge the client, test perceptions and stretch them to reach desired goals - The questions asked should be open and leading, focus on questions such as how, what, where and when. The question types should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound). A good example would be how are you going to achieve your goal of receiving a promotion? What makes you stand out from the rest?

3. Be motivational and inspire clients to push themselves to achieve goals.  Again this focuses on question skills such as when will you be able to achieve your goals and what support do you need from whom to achieve this?

4. Build rapport with the client and put them at ease during the session.  It is critical that the client is honest with the coach during the sessions, this is established through building rapport.

5. Be curious and flexible and allow the client to express feelings and emotions surrounding situations.  Ask questions, never assume that you know how the client is feeling be curious about their feelings and emotions. Don’t be scared of making them upset, coaching as we know is about change and this cannot be achieved without dealing with emotions.

6. Be honest and confidential, what happens during this session should remain between the client and the coach. At no time should this be discussed with others
Often when coaching in a business setting clients are concerned that information they disclose may be given to another party. Their concern is that this will hinder the chances of promotion. It is very important that trust and confidentiality are established immediately and at no time compromised. The only exception to this rule is if the information disclosed by the client is related to criminal activity or likely to endanger the life of the client or another person.

7. Have a passion for coaching and show an interest in the client and in developing them.  By being passionate about coaching and by believing in the coaching benefits this comes across in a positive way during your sessions. The client must believe that you are confident in your abilities and that you will be able to help them in their ultimate goal of change.

8. Be self-aware and know how to change their style to filter responses and focus on the client’s needs.  A good coach knows how to adapt to a situation where it becomes tricky. There is a fine line between probing for information and interrogation. Simple techniques like changing your tone to become softer where a difficult situation is being discussed will make a huge difference to the success of a coaching session.

9. Emotional intelligence and be aware of the impact you have on others and not use a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Emotional intelligence is a huge subject. Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it is an inborn characteristic.   The role of a coach is to be aware of the emotional intelligence of others.

10. Challenge yourself to constantly improve your own skills.  Recognise that you are new to coaching and that you need to focus on improving your own skills and your ability to assist others on the coaching journey.

To summarise, there are many skills and qualities required to become a successful coach but overall a coach needs to be confident, adhere to confidentiality, friendly and approachable in order to establish and maintain a good rapport.