What makes a good coach and what makes a great coach?

What can you expect from a good coach? You will find that there are many different kinds of coaches with different levels of qualifications and experience, so how do you know what to look for?


A good coach will...

  • have a certified qualification - as do all the coaches on this network
  • sign up to and consistently demonstrate coaching ethics
  • have a curious, open and client centred mindset
  • know how to find out what you want to accomplish and how you will know if you have achieved it
  • cultivate trust and safety in the relationship
  • actively listen
  • be fully present 
  • evoke awareness in you about and beyond your current thinking and feeling so that you can find new ways of moving forward
  • facilitate your growth and learning

And a great coach? A great coach...

  • will keep developing their skills and be aware of the most up to date research for example in neurobiology, adult development
  • be able to work transformationally with their clients to create deep and lasting positive change
  • will take you out of your comfort zone - safely
  • have a lot of experience as a coach (5+ years) and experience in other fields
  • will practice what they preach and be developing themselves
  • have compassion for themselves and others
  • is committed to learning about themselves and others and to be kind in the face of that truth
  • will have their own coach so that they can do the deep work to overcome their blind spots
  • will be committed to something bigger than themselves, to have a purpose which brings them joy and has a positive impact in the world
  • have a string of testimonials from people who can show how their clients have achieved their goals
  • knows how to uncover old behaviours and adaptive strategies which block your potential 
  • focus on your values, needs, strengths and beliefs
  • are aware of cultural differences and start from finding out about you as a person

How will you know?

Pay attention to the words which resonate with you when reading their profiles.
Look for testimonials - a good place to start is on LinkedIn or their website. 
Set up chemistry conversations with a few coaches and see who brings out the best in you. Your initial conversation should give you the experience of being coached rather than talking about it. 

Your coach should enable you to believe in yourself and discover ways to live a more fulfilled life. You come away from the conversation having worked out your own answers.

What do I do towards being a great coach?

I am constantly upgrading my coaching skills and business skills. I love honing my skillset so that I can produce extraordinary results. 

I bring my creativity into my coaching.

I am committed to serving, not pleasing my clients.

I offer a free 90 minute initial coaching session so that you can find out if we are the right fit for each other.

I have my own coach with a different training from me so that I can broaden my understanding of coaching.

I share my skills through articles and training other coaches.

I work to build a sense of safety, connection, dignity and purpose with all I touch.

I do the work which has the most positive impact, making a contribution locally and globally.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Stafford, ST15
Written by Caroline Quaife, ICF Coach, MA, Certified Somatic Coach & Growth Edge Coach
Stafford, ST15

With over 25 years' experience as a coach, Caroline works as a somatic coach connecting mind, body and spirit so you have more impact. Moving from overthinking and feeling stuck to having a sense of confidence and ease, connecting with what you care about and taking your next steps.

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