A coach sets ethical coaching agreements with clarity and cultural awareness. The central aspects of this competency are establishing clear expectations between the coach, client, and sponsor (if present); maintaining confidentiality; designing an alliance; and addressing accountability.
A coach actively listens empathetically, using imagination and intuition while staying curious and attuned with a client to pick up on even subtle shifts in a client's emotion. An effective life coach asks questions designed to provoke insight rather than gather information for the coach’s sake.
A coach sees the client as the expert on their own life, inviting the client to be proactive in crafting both the coaching session agenda and eventual action steps. In this sense, a coach is a guide who empowers the client’s own leadership. A coach offers expert knowledge with curiosity to empower the client, and adapts coaching tools to fit the client's unique situation.
An effective coach remains curious, even when clients experience strong emotion or realize epiphanies. A skilled coach keeps an open mind and asks questions that lead to new insights, exploring a deeper agenda when looking at the session topic. A coach uses Powerful Questions that are short and open-ended (usually starting with What, Why, or How), and the coach invites the client do most of the work of uncovering insights in a coaching session.
A coach creates a safe space and demonstrates connection and vulnerability, while also at times being fierce, and sometimes asking uncomfortable, but priceless, questions. Effective coaches model courage during coaching sessions to set the stage for their clients to do the same.
A coach is confident in the client, inviting the client to do much of the work of exploring ideas and emotion in a coaching session. A coach trusts the coaching process and embraces pausing and silence while holding space for the client to arrive at useful action steps. Strong coaches show confidence that their client can build appropriate accountability.
An effective coach helps clients discover inspiration within themselves and use it to power their journey of self-development. A coach inspires clients to take bold actions between coaching sessions while balancing learning with action steps by designing ways to help clients stay accountable and follow through on action steps.
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