Successful Coaches: Defined by These 5 Qualities

5 Qualities of  Successful Coaches

When it comes to coaching people, there are many qualities that  successful coaches exhibit. In fact, every coach has some good qualities that you could list, but if you talk to enough coaches and you get to know the people at the top of the industry, you will notice a pattern starting to emerge.

There are some qualities that are self-evident in a good coach, for example, they should have a passion to help people succeed, they should be honest and motivated themselves to motivate their clients. You will see that the most successful coaches actually share some of the same attributes. Here are five qualities that the greatest coaches have. See if you can develop the same strengths so that you will be in that you will be able to sustain a successful coaching practice in the long term.

1. Self-Awareness

successful coaches should be self-awareSelf-awareness is a big one. You want to know yourself intimately because if you are still struggling with finding out who you are, you are going to have a major problem coaching other people.

Coaches who are self-aware know their strengths and weaknesses, make better decisions, and are able to help their clients become more self-aware. Successful coaches continually develop themselves. They help create a coaching culture where their clients are fully supported

2. Great Communication

successful coaches are good listeners
Be a good listener

Successful coaches are great communicators. They say the right things at the right times, and even more importantly, they listen.

Listening is a skill that you want to develop and you want to understand and empathize with the people that you’re listening to so that you can communicate not only what you want to say, but also exactly what they need.

A great coach is non-judgemental and without prejudice and is able to see different perspectives.

3. Perception

succesful coaches are perceptive

Successful coaches are perceptive. They notice things. Coaches can tell when someone is not as motivated by being aware of even a slight drop in energy levels.

They can read between the lines and know what their client is not saying. This perceptiveness comes in useful when getting to the root of a client’s problem, and digging down into the beliefs and thoughts that drive a specific behavior. A great coach will enable their clients to find their own solutions.

A good coach can trust and use their intuition from time to time.

4. Organised and Professional

One of the challenges in the field of coaching is upholding levels of professionalism, standards and ethics. Good coaches are organised and consistent. Great coaches are not only professional, they always have

successful coaches look and act the part
Organised & Professional

the right attitude, they are also well organised. Even if you aren’t naturally an organised person, you should develop the skills necessary – this may mean taking some advice or teaching, perhaps coaching! Being well organised is vital to running a good coaching business. You’ll be collecting information about several different clients and helping them each with  different goals, and unless you are well organised you will not be able to offer the best service for your clients.

5. Flexibility

The best coaches are also very flexible and adjustable. Resilience and perseverance are very important. They can easily bounce back when someone throws them a curve ball. Great coaches know when the coaching is working and when it is NOT working.

If a particular style of coaching or method isn’t working with a certain client, they are happy to change things and allow them to learn from a completely different place, even if it isn’t one with which they are not at their most comfortable. Or, they are willing to let go. Great coaches know when to quit. They know when to move on. They know that it is better to work on those who want to change.

Other Key Coaching Skills and Attributes

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success.

for more on emotional intelligence


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of your client. In a sense it is to be able to walk in their shoes.

Rapport building

Rapport is a close and harmonious relationship in which the coach and the client understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well. Building rapport is essential to developing trust in the coach/client relationship.

Questioning skills

Most of us can ask questions. Successful coaches use powerful questions. These are questions that:
Are short, typically 7 words or less
Are open rather than closed
Deepen the learning of the person being coached
Move the person forward towards a goal
Examples include:
What do you want?, What’s important?, What’s the first step?


Reflection in coaching is a communication skill. It is like holding up a mirror and repeating the client’s words back to them exactly as they said them. You might reflect back the whole sentence, or you might select a few words – or even one single word – from what the client has just said.

Reflecting is the process of paraphrasing and restating both the feelings and words of the speaker.  The purposes of reflecting are:

  • To allow the speaker to ‘hear’ their own thoughts and to focus on what they say and feel.
  • To show the speaker that you are trying to perceive the world as they see it and that you are doing your best to understand their messages.
  • To encourage them to continue talking.

Tact & diplomacy

Tact is the skill and sensitivity in dealing with others or with difficult issues and diplomacy is the skill and tact in dealing with people. This is essential in dealing with difficult clients

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.