Whilst many coaches are sincere in wanting to support their client towards achieving goals and aspiration, some are not as effective as others.  In Part 1 of this article, we explore 4 qualities of a good coach, at least, in my humble opinion.  


The path towards development is normally full of challenges and obstacles.  At times, the progress is slow because of the self limiting beliefs which have existed for a long time.  It may turn out to be a situation of 3 steps forward and 2 steps backwards.  Under such times, the coach must continue to provide support and encouragement.   This requires an immense amount of patience.


The bedrock for any kind of coaching relationship is trust.  Trust will take time to develop.  It is a process which cannot be rushed.  The coach must provide a safe space for the coachee to feel at ease in order to explore his thoughts and feelings.  

There must not be judgement at any point in time.   Judgement is not necessarily in the form of words.  Body language and facial expressions can reveal judgement which is unsaid.   


For someone to share freely and be vulnerable, there must be assurance of confidentiality at all times.  The coach has the responsibility to safeguard the experiences and information which had been shared in confidence.

If there is betrayal, it will cause feelings of utmost disappointment coupled with anger.   Such violation leads to anxiety and the coachee will immediately withdraw.  The coaching relationship is irrevocably harmed.   

Clear communication 

A great coach asks sharp questions to help the coachee explore and find answers from within himself.  The language used must be simple to understand.  Questions are kept short and direct.  For a start, it is crucial for the coach to help the coachee set up clear goals. Active listening throughout the conversation involves tuning in to listen at a deep level which is beyond spoken words.  The pause in the conversation is used for maximum effect.  

The coach also adjusts the style and speed of the conversation.  For example, if the coachee takes time to form his thoughts, the coach must match the speed and not rush or show signs of impatience.

by IAC Masteries Practitioner, Coach Lim Poh Chin, MACC Writer

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