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What is a Coach?

The first thing we should do to determine what makes a great coach is to define the term coaching.  Our definition is

A coach works with clients to provide high quality, inspirational processes followed by support, encouragement, and accountability.”

If you google definitions for coach, you’ll get a lot of different definitions, of course, sports coach is the type of coach that historically came to mind.  Those coaches are inspirational leaders, motivators, trainers, educators, and communicators.  They say that the best coaches lead by example.

A great coach can guide their clients to good decision making skills.  A coach will encourage goals and action, and then follow up with constructive assessment of what they’ve done well and what they can do next to reach their goals. With feedback, encouragement, and accountability the client can then set and reach more goals.  The coach empowers the client with positive reinforcement.

Coaching Skills

developing and practice


We talk to many coaches who are out of school and aren’t very confident in their ability to coach.  It may be that you haven’t learned the important coaching skills necessary to inspire change.  It may be that you just haven’t had enough practice to feel confident in your coaching sessions.

The funny thing is, with coaching, the results are out of our control.  While we can do everything right, we are NOT in control of the outcome.  A good coach puts the control squarely on the shoulders of the person who is making the change. A good coach can influence the outcome, but not ensure it.

Coaching is a leadership position.  We listen very carefully to our clients, whether it’s said in words or actions, we have resources so our client can make an informed decision, then guide them to take the actions that provides change. 

The most important coaching skills to learn:

  1. listening
  2. understanding and conveying capacity for human potential
  3. empathy
  4. building trust and bonding
  5. asking questions
  6. intuition
  7. reflection and response
  8. dealing with objection
  9. motivation and change
  10. clarity and decision
  11. goals and action steps
  12. providing assertive accountability
  13. praise and rewards

“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.”  Florence Nightingale


Practice and Supervision


practice with feedback makes perfect


Practice, practice, practice.  The more you coach, the more confident you will feel.  Your confidence is felt by your client and inspires and motivates. 

It is helpful to form a council of coaches to provide supervision, it allows you to go over your cases and get feedback from others.  This allows you to help other coaches, and it helps to broaden the scope of experience and expertise for your client.  This should be part of the client agreement and discretion should be used.  If you’re in a clinical setting, the supervision can be a meeting of people with different specialties to add to the feedback.

We have a coaching course that will be released in 2020.  The beta begins in September.  Click here if you’d be interested in strengthening your coaching skills.  

Lessons in Leadership

for Health Coaches


“As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”  Bill Gates

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