Key Coaching Skills Clients Want From A Coach


Key Coaching Skills Clients Want From A Coach

As the coaching industry grows and more people know how coaching works, client expectations have also shifted and changed which is why mastering key coaching skills is more important than ever before.

According to a Harvard Business Review survey, coaches hired by companies are no longer expected to focus on "fixing problems" or toxic behavior, as was the case 10 or 20 years ago, but rather to uplevel and improve performance.  

The coaches who participated in the survey also listed what companies should look for in a coach...

Turns out "experience coaching in a similar setting" tops the list with 65% of respondents ranking it as the most important qualification while "certification in a proven coaching method" turns up much lower on the list with only 29% ranking it as most important.

Key Coaching Skills Clients Want From A Coach

This is an interesting insight...

At least for now, it looks like a coach's ability and direct skill in a real coaching environment comes out ahead of formal certification.

There's a major possible reason for this...

Clients want one thing: Results.

A coach with a whole lot of formal training but little to no real world coaching experience is unlikely to create great results.

So what does this mean for coaches, especially those who are new to the game?

Take time to build up on your experience and your reputation by cultivating great key coaching skills from day 1.

There are 7 essential qualities the world's best coaches share...

These are the skills that will get you hired, the skills that will help you work with more clients, increase your experience...

And take you all the way to the top.

7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching
7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching

Skill #1:
2 Ears, 1 Mouth

Greek Stoic philosopher Epictectus has been credited saying,

Epictetuc quote

In coaching, we need to add that we must "listen twice as well as you speak."

The most important skill that a coach needs is the ability to listen deeply and listen well with present moment awareness.

This sounds pretty simple but it's not.

Present moment awareness is about emptying your mind of your own thoughts, your own needs and wants and giving your full attention, mind and soul, to your client.


Here's a tip:

Listen for what is said and what is not said - the emotion that fuels your client's words.

7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching

Skill #2:
Don't Be a Master of None

"Generalist" coaches - coaches who coach anyone about anything - will fail. This is a guarantee.

From the minute you begin coaching, aim to identify who you like to work with -- your ideal coaching client - and what you want to coach on - your area of expertise -- so you can start building your reputation as an expert.

Maybe you want to help millennials find a meaningful career path, or maybe you want to work with mid-lifers who are looking for new purpose.


Here's a tip:

Remember there are no wrong answers, just answers that work for you.

7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching

Skill #3:
More than 1, 2, or 3

Just like a great carpenter needs not just 1, 2 or 3 but a whole bunch of tools in his toolkit to create beautiful furniture, a great coach needs a whole bunch of coaching tools to create beautiful results for their clients.

Always look for reliable training programs or learning opportunities so you can keep adding to your coaching toolkit in your journey as a coach.


Here's a tip:

Subscribe to Evercoach's Youtube Channel for fun weekly videos on
everything you need to know to become an extraordinary coach.

7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching

Skill #4:
Become a Mirror

In Chapter 2 we talked about the HBR survey where coaches who were surveyed identified "to act as a sounding board" as one of the 3 key reasons they are engaged.

Becoming a mirror is a deeper version of this.

It's almost impossible to gain a fresh perspective or viewpoint when we are so deeply immersed in our own ideas and desires. We are unable to see if our thoughts and beliefs are serving us, if our ideas are worth pursuing or in line with our values.

A coach provides clients a way to look at their lives with new eyes.

They are the channel that lets the clients see themselves in a real way. This is a powerful method to help clients objectively see their strengths and the gaps that need to be closed so they can achieve their goals.


Here's a tip:

Listen for what is said and what is not said - the emotion that fuels your client's words.

7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching

Skill #5:
Work with the Genius Inside

You may or may not already know this but you have a genius level of Intelligence inside you right now. This Intelligence has been there from the day you were born and has continued to expand and evolve over the years.

This Intelligence is called intuition.

World-class leadership coach Michael Neill describes it as "an extraordinary intelligence that exists beyond personal intellect."

In The Book of Coaching, this Intelligence is described as innate intelligence that is far more powerful than the thinking mind and far more effective at finding solutions.


Here's a tip:

Cultivating your intuition is closely related to listening with present moment awareness.
The more you listen, the more your intuitive ability flows and grows.

7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching

Skill #6:
Decipher Human Nature

As discussed in Chapter 2, the #1 principle in the Coaching Pyramid is a coach's job is to develop individual growth. Coaches coach people. This means you need to have a deep and wide understanding of human nature.

A great way to get a head start on this is to look at how we humans make decisions. If you think about it, you'll see that success or failure happens in the moment of decision.

Helping your clients make great decisions is a powerful way to establish your reputation as a world-class coach.

You don't have to take a class in Psychology to understand how people arrive at a decision. Instead, study Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and also the Paradigm of Desires which consists of 6 categories:

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Here's a tip:

Look into the 5 categories that influence decision-making: Love, Belonging, Worthiness, Enough-ness, Validation (all of this is explored in depth in The Book of Coaching).

7 Key Coaching Skills to Extraordinary Coaching

Skill #7:
Question Like A Pro

Asking powerful questions inspire life-changing transformations in clients and the best coaches are incredibly skilled at this.

A great hack is to ask questions that no one else will ask your clients.

Be bold, be brave and go where no one else has dared to journey. This might even mean that your client will temporarily feel annoyed or unhappy with you but coaching is not a popularity contest.

Remember you are not coaching to win your client's approval, you are coaching to get your client to change and achieve a higher level of living, working and playing.


Here's a tip:

Try these powerful coaching questions with your clients:

- What are you doing that's holding you back from your goal?

- What is the inner dialogue that constantly goes through your mind?

- Why do you want what you want?

- What would it look like, feel like, sound like, smell like, taste like to achieve what you want?

take action section

Work on your key coaching skills

Take a quick scan at the 7 skills listed in this chapter. Get a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle. Write "Strengths" at the top left and "Needs Improvement" at the top right.

Now pick one skill in the Needs Improvement category and start working on it until you get to a level that feels good to you. Feel free to hire a coach to help you with this (coaches always need coaches).

Then, continue on to the next skill on the Needs Improvement list until you've shifted everything from your Needs Improvement list to your Strengths list.

Watch the video below for more in-depth training on coaching skills:

To dive deeper into key coaching skills and how to become a great coach from scratch, check out The Book of Coaching.