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Copyright (c) 2006 The National Learning InstituteI recently conducted a coaching session on “How to be an effective coach” for a group of very senior financial service advisors responsible for the management and leadership of project teams that have clients of the mega rich variety. When I asked them what they thought an ideal coach should be, I expected to get terms that describe what I would call a traditional view of a coach – i.e. someone who advises and shows others how to improve in a particular field.

The image of the traditional coach is that of a sports coach who is intent on imparting his or her knowledge to help athletes and teams improve their performance. Now, I know that there is a wide variety of types and styles of coaches (see “Are you positive or negative?” http://leadership.bestmanagementarticles.com/Article.aspx?Are_You_Positive_or_Negative___Does_Your_Behaviour_Impact_Those_Around_You_And_Can_You_Change_It_&id=517). However, my belief is that the commonly accepted view of a coach is more of the traditional view such as:

• Someone in charge of training an athlete or a sports team

• A person who gives private instruction Personal coach dubai (as in singing or acting)To my amazement, my group of senior financial advisors came up with quite a different list from what I expected, i.e they suggested an ideal coach is someone who:

• Does not give advice, rather helps the person find out what they should do

• Is a good listener

• Has a calming affect on the person being coached (the “coachee”)

• “Lives” with the coachee’s issues, i.e. suspends judgment and really gets involved

• Displays a positive attitude toward the coachee

• Is always positive about finding a solution or helping the person develop

• Is proud of the coachee’s achievements

• Rarely shows emotions such as anger and annoyance

• Helps the coachee talk things through, particularly when the coachee is depressed

• Has a caring attitude toward the coachee

• Provides the coachee with a “comfort zone” where the person is free to say what he/she thinks and feelsCould I come up with a better list? Probably not. They then proceeded to develop a mission for a coach which they suggested should be:

“Asks questions to help the person find answers”By this stage as the facilitator of the session, I was feeling quite redundant, but tremendously elated about the views this group had on what can sometimes be seen as a mundane chore of coaching. Their enlightened view of a coach made it very easy for me to introduce them to the GROW model of coaching (first developed by John Whitmore).

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