What to look for in a great coach…



Good and bad coaching abounds.  How do we sift through the plethora of offerings to find that most valuable of performance enhancing relationships?

There are many coaches in the world offering a huge variety of frameworks, 12 step plans, methodologies and ideologies.  As in any population there are exceptional coaches out there (I’ve met many) and charlatans (I’ve met many more).  So if you’re looking for a transformational coaching relationship what is the difference that makes the difference?  What qualities are you looking for before you invest your hard earned cash in a coaching relationship?

1.  It’s all about you.

There is a special quality that great coaches are able to develop with their clients.  It’s a quality I can only describe as totally present but almost invisible.  It’s a quality of listening that allows you to fully explore what’s happening for you with nothing in the way.  If you’ve experienced this you will understand just how powerful it is to enter and work in this space.  It’s completely about you and for you.

2.  It’s a creative process.

Great coaches don’t stick to models and styles.  Great coaches have the wisdom, skill and flexibility to adapt to your needs.  Great coaching is more like free form jazz is to music; riffing with the client using a wealth of technical skill, in sync and in harmony.  It’s an art and not a science and it is about developing movement forward with options.  I would suggest, steer clear of coaches that espouse one particular style or form of coaching, vanilla is not the right flavour.  Great musicians aren’t born, they work hard to hone their skills.  It’s the same with the vocation of coaching.  Great coaches improvise because they’ve mastered their art.

3.  It’s about your WHOLE story.

Great coaches help you to “land” your story, to become the author of your life based on your values and the way you interact with your experience.  Through generous listening, appreciative enquiry and the right questions, a great coach grounds and centres you in a fulfilling way that holds a mirror up to your story.  Your behaviours are a result of your beliefs, values, skills, capability, environment and goals.  The trouble is, often all of these things operate subliminally for you.  A great coach will enable you to bring these to life as you tell your story.  It’s a bit like stepping out of the dance for a while, heading up to the balcony and seeing what’s happening on the floor below.

4.  It’s about accountability.

A great coach will help you develop accountability by clarifying and honing your goals to a point where they become compelling.  They will take comprehensive notes and present them in a form that makes your story easy to follow and intuitive.  When they check in with you they will already be prepared; up to speed with your story and walking beside you with GENUINE interest.  Great coaches pursue their vocation because they are absolutely committed to delivering for their client.

If you’d like to learn more about the way we have developed our coaching practice to the benefit of our clients please message or call.  We are passionate about what we do and we offer a completely free and confidential initial consultation so you can establish whether what we offer is right for you.

Chris Spray

Founder of Spring Coaching


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