What Makes For A Good Coach?

Michael Cymbrowsky / Consultative Sales Enablement

 Virtually every organization today is being evaluated on its ability to generate significant and sustained revenue growth. To create a powerful growth engine, a CEO must identify and cultivate executives who can inspire frontline employees. Effective coaches, therefore, are critical. This begs the question: What are the characteristics of a good coach? Below are my top 8.

1. Every employee is recognized as having potential.
By being patient and empathetic, a good coach can identify an employee’s latent talents. This is the first step to helping associates achieve top performance.

2. Listening is second nature.
A good coach knows that the best way to understand an employee, bond with an employee, and gain the respect of an employee is to hear the employee. With two ears and one mouth, we should listen twice as much as we speak.

3. Expectations are ambitious and conversation is focused.
By setting stretch goals, both weak and strong performers have room to grow. Michelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us isn’t that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” And to ensure efforts are optimized, communication is transparent.

4. Encouragement is fueled by collaboration and empowerment.
Not only do employees want to be heard, but they also want to partake. A good coach recognizes that engagement boosts confidence and self-esteem. Enterprise Rental Car is the #1 rental car company in the USA. It got there by training and empowering associates to do whatever is necessary to make the customer happy.

5. Feedback is provided in a timely, clear, and objective manner.
Goals that reinforce organizational objectives are created, S.M.A.R.T, and frequently reviewed.


6. Individual efforts are appreciated and results are celebrated.
Persistence and stamina increase the probability of success because sometimes just being smart is not enough to cross the finish line. A good coach energizes teams, welcomes tenacity, and acknowledges accomplishments.

7. Bad habits are quickly addressed in a constructive way.
A good coach recognizes the difference between momentary lapses versus behavior that foretells of re-occurring problems. They are on the alert for fear, uncertainty, hubris, chattiness, disrespect, procrastination, tardiness, and indifference, and will move expeditiously to optimize behavior.

8. Sincerity, optimism, commitment, and consistency are expressed and practiced.
A good coach builds rapport with associates by being authentic, positive, engaged, and dependable. And once trust is established, straightforward and meaningful dialogue can occur that will yield positive change.

Effective coaches will greatly improve an organization’s morale and results. Their understanding of human nature is the spark that ignites the potential within an employee. And their actions are respected and inspiring. Find and promote them ASAP so they can build highly productive teams within your organization.