Top Ten List for Best Practices in Coaching

Everyone has heard of David Letterman’s Top Ten List, so to borrow from the late night host, this article will present the top ten list for best practices in coaching. Coaching requites skill, expertise, knowledge, experience, dedication, and plenty of passion. These best practices can be considered guidelines or principles for running an effective, ethical, and successful coaching practice. Best practices in coaching are a crucial part of training for anyone wishing to be a coach.

Top Ten List of Best Practices in Coaching

Creative and concise conversations are a key element in any coaching sessions. Instead of a long, mind-numbing conversation, wouldn’t it be better to engage in focused dialogues with your clients and get right to the meat of the matter?

Structure and success go hand in hand. Though having a rigid structure may impede progress, having a general outline to follow during sessions aids in keeping on track. This is a best practice in coaching that is often misunderstood or ignored.

There is no scoreboard, but measuring results should be an integral part of every coaching practice. If you don’t measure results, how can you determine how well you are doing or when a change in strategy is needed?

Listen your way to success. Whether you are listening because the client really needs someone to lend an ear, or to fully comprehend the client’s need, you cannot be a good coach without finely tuned listening skills. By the way, listening also includes hearing tone and inflection in the voice, and watching body language.

The power of empathy. Without empathy, a coach cannot truly put themselves in a client’s world. Without empathy, coaching is clinical and stale. Empathy is a part of the passion of coaching and one of the most important best practices in coaching.

Ask for feedback. Yes, you do want to know what your clients think. Their feedback is vital to the advancement and improvement of your coaching skill and expertise. You don’t make your clients who they are, they make you who you are as a coach. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Do not compare the performance of one client to another. Professionalism demands discretion and success depends on your ability to treat each client as a unique situation with different time parameters and measures of success.

Positive beats negative. The use of positive feedback is far more likely to produce results than the use of negative criticism. Can criticism be part of coaching – yes! However, positive feedback is more likely to generate positive results.

Follow up. Following up after a session, at the beginning of a new session, after a clients has finished their sessions – these are all great ways to keep the lines of communication open and to show clients that you remember and care.

The core of the coaching profession can be summarized in one phrase – asking not telling. The way to help a client reach specific goals and dreams is through inquiry, not instruction. Though instruction does take place, the basis of most breakthroughs is inquiry. This sits at the top of the list of best practices in coaching.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article…Thank you!

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

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