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How to Become a Better Coach

How can you become a better coach?

You might be just starting out as a coach, or you might have been in the business for years. The more important question is; how are you becoming a better coach?

Improving your knowledge

There are two ways of answering this question. Many people answer it the first way. They say they become a better coach by improving their knowledge, their technique, and their skills. They attend classes, enrol in training programs, go to seminars and conferences, and read books.

Nothing wrong with that. But there is another way of answering this question.

Improving your outcomes

You become a better coach by getting better outcomes.

But hang on, aren’t these two related? Surely, better outcomes are dependent on gaining more knowledge and improving coaching skills?

Well, yes and no. Let’s explore this a bit further.

Two propositions

Here are two propositions I believe are true. First, great coaching doesn’t always produce great outcomes. Sometimes, coaches work very hard with clients who make little or no improvement. Second, coaching is really about the client, not the coach. Clients are the ones who need to change. The real goal of coaching is achieved only when clients make positive change.

Two sides of the equation

These propositions alert us to two realities about what is brought to the coaching equation. What the coach brings is one side of the coaching equation. They bring their experience, knowledge, tools, and skills. But what the client brings is the other side of the equation.

What clients bring

What do they bring? They bring their experience, knowledge, and skills, but most importantly, they bring their psychological capacity to succeed at the change process. They bring their capacity to face the uncertainties, disappointments, failures, and challenges that are a normal part of difficult change.

Great outcomes have as much to do with the capacity of the client to be successful at change as they do with the professional capacity of the coach.

What coaches lack

Most coaches know how to improve their professional competency – there are levels of coach training, and many helpful resources out there. But far fewer understand how to improve the capacity of the client to succeed at the change process.

Change fitness is the issue here.

If you would like to explore change fitness more deeply, or if you’d like to become a change fitness coach, reach out to me or speak to the change fitness coach who directed you here. There is always more room at the top.

Written by Dr Steve Barlow