Great Coaching is About Attitude – Not Aptitude

Do you have what it takes to be a successful coach?

What do successful managers, supervisors, and coaches all have in common? The answer; they all have the ability to teach someone else what they know. Just because people are good at what they do – doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be good at doing something else. History reminds us that the best athletes don’t always make the best coaches. And the same holds true for everyone else.

What does it take to be a successful coach?

If you had to compile a list of the top ten key characteristics or traits you believe a coach needs to be successful, what would you put on that list? Think about it for a moment before you compile that list. Then, once you have that list, rank them one through ten in importance – one being the most important down to ten being the least important. (I know they are all important or you wouldn’t have put them on your list. But, if you really think about it, some are going to carry more weight than others.)

Organizations believe that soft-skills are now more important than technical ability

After you have ranked your list, determine how many of those key characteristics or traits were technically based – such as knowledge, experience, or common sense – And how many had more to do with interpersonal skills – such as communication, listening, or the ability to motivate people. Results of a recent study conducted by the HayGroup, a leading authority on emotional intelligence (EQ), shows that for most jobs that involve working with people, EQ is twice as important as IQ plus technical skills. Sixty-Seven percent of the competencies needed to manage or lead people effectively are emotionally based. If you ranked EQ skills (commonly known as soft-skills) higher than technical skills on your list you are in step with the realities of managing in the 21st. Century.

Successful coaches are not born – they are made

Now, take one more look at your list. Go down your list and place a “B” beside the traits that you believe you must be born with or an “L” beside the ones that you believe can be learned. Did you have more “B’s” then “L’s” or more “L’s” then “B’s”? If you ended up with more “L’s” then “B’s” congratulations. Contrary to popular belief, successful coaches are not born; they’re made. And they are made via their willingness to learn.

With a can-do attitude you can learn to do almost anything

Which skills will you need to learn to become a better coach? Do you need to learn to be more patient, more open-minded or empathetic? Adults can learn new things. All you need to do is stop doing one thing and start doing another. And the more that you do them, the more they will become you. You can learn to be more patient. You can learn to be a better listener. You can learn to be more open-minded and empathetic. You can learn to become a better coach. (Good habits = good results)

Successful coaching – like successful managing – has more to do with your willingness to change your style of coaching to be more “in-tune” with the person you are working with. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to be the most successful coach in the room. Great coaching is about attitude – not aptitude