What can you do to develop the qualities of a professional Coach and how do you convey to others that you now possess or are developing those traits? It’s #InternationalCoachingWeek and I’d like to celebrate the qualities that make coaches a success. International Coaching Week (ICW) is a week-long celebration that educates the public about the value of working with a professional coach
The answer is simple, although not always easy.
The first step is knowledge: becoming aware of the qualities of a professional coach.
The second step is action – making a commitment to apply this knowledge and follow through with your commitment.
No matter how nice a person we are, some of us still need to work on one or more traits, which will help us be more a more professional coach. Let’s consider the key traits, which will make your contact with a coaching client more conducive to a long-term relationship.
It has been said that you never get a second chance to overcome a bad first impression. The first few minutes of a relationship are often the most important. People like to be right about how they “size up” others so it takes a lot more work to change a negative first impression to a positive impression in the first place. You will probably agree that those first few moments can often make or break a sales call. Creating a positive impression increases the probability that you and your property will be accepted.
Dress and grooming are only one aspect that forms first impressions (image). Equally important are voice inflection, posture, personality style and attitude.
During one of my seminars a participant said, “People have to accept me for what I am. I’m not going to change just to make the other person happy.” If being unique and not compromising is more important than gaining a new coaching client, fine. But that attitude may not be a very profitable one.
I’m not suggesting you change who you are. I’m assuming, because you’re a coach, that you want to be accepted and are willing to work for it (this includes compromise).
YOUR ATTITUDE IS SHOWING
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “People don’t seem to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.”
In other words, if we think this is a miserable world to live in, then we live in a miserable world…and probably make it miserable for others to live in too.
Our attitudes are reflected in everything we do, including relationships with our clients. Our attitudes elicit different responses from others, so if we see them as jerks that can be manipulated, their responses will be entirely different than if we see them as fellow business people with whom we have a lot in common.
We can never be a truly professional coach unless we develop a sincere respect for — and healthy attitude toward — our clients and colleagues. Try thinking of them as valves through which your energy flows rather than as dams (obstacles) that will stop your progress. Only your positive attitude toward them will ensure the mutual trust, which is so vital to doing business successfully.
The Top 4 Qualities to Be Successful In Coaching
DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE
I strongly recommend that you set aside time on a regular basis during which you can deepen your knowledge (and hopefully your enthusiasm/love) of your field – the coaching industry.
If someone were to say to you, “Tell me about the field you are working in,” could you give them an interesting, in-depth explanation of how it started and where it is today? Perhaps you think that knowing the history or theory of the coaching industry is not necessary for your day-to-day interactions with others. The fact is that with an increase in knowledge comes an increase in confidence and authority. The result: longer lasting client relationships.
What is your BREADTH OF KNOWLEDGE?
It’s also important to develop your ability to discuss a broad spectrum of subjects. Having depth of knowledge in the coaching industry without knowledge in a wide variety of topics puts an automatic limit on the number of people you can relate to and who in turn can relate to you. This is a serious handicap for a coach.
Anything worthwhile takes effort and this includes expanding your conversational horizons. A fast, concise and convenient way to know what’s going on in the world is to subscribe to a weekly news magazine which will expose you to science, politics, the arts, international affairs, etc. It is not necessary for you to have an opinion on all the issues, but being informed on them and keeping up to date by scanning a good daily newspaper will give you confidence and expand your conversational effectiveness.
Do you have ENTHUSIASM?
It is literally impossible to be a top coach without a contagious sense of enthusiasm. To prove this to yourself, try to think of one top coach you know or have heard about who does not have a genuine enthusiasm for themselves and their profession.
Enthusiasm shows the client that you are sold on your coaching profession. Your enthusiasm, good eye contact and your overall sincerity will also tell your client that you’re an honest person. This will motivate them to establish or continue a business relationship with you. They will become interested in you as a person.
What level is your MATURITY?
Maturity is a rather nebulous quality. It combines all the positive character traits I have already mentioned.
One of the things that distinguish a mature person is the ability to recognize the need to do things whether liking them or not. In addition, mature people accept responsibility for their actions. The result is they are willing to admit mistakes and suffer consequences as well as reap rewards.
Maturity means handling disappointments and setbacks without becoming self-destructive. These people know there are times when things won’t go right and they know that those times won’t last forever. Whenever I find myself in a setback situation, I use my mantra, “This too shall pass.” It always does.
Can you display PROFESSIONALISM?
Professionalism is a state of mind and conduct. It is not what you do; it is how you do it. There are many highly paid corporate incompetents as well as many very professional non-paid volunteers in every field.
Pride is the sense of satisfaction you have from knowing that you are important, worthwhile, in control of your destiny, and aware of, and acting on, your potential. Pride will make you stand tall even when surrounded by giants. Professionalism recognizes potential and is, therefore, not stung by small disappointments or undermined by larger ones.
Taking pride in yourself and what you do is the seed from which professionalism grows. It’s the natural consequence of developing the previous traits that I mentioned.
By better understanding ourselves, we gain a better understanding of how to serve others. The DISC model will help you gain understanding of the differences in personalities and attitude. Access a DISC assessment and better understand your own personality so you can learn how to be more effective with your time.
Dr. Tony Alessandra
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More About Dr. Tony Alessandra:
He earned his PhD in marketing (1976) & has authored 30+ books & 100+ audio/video programs. He was inducted into the NSA Speakers Hall of Fame (1985) & Top Sales World’s Hall of Fame (2010). As a faculty member here XTRAcredits Dr. Alessandra offers approved courses for continuing education professional development credits at the International Coach Federation, SHRM and HRCI. He is also the Founder & CEO of Assessments24x7, a company that equips companies, coaches and trainers with dozens of assessments (DISC, Motivators, HVP, etc.) from one, easy-to-use online account.