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Could you coach?


If you are thinking about training to become a coach - it is first worth exploring whether coaching would be a good fit for you. You may be drawn to coaching because you have always wanted to help people, or have experience of supporting others either in your personal life or at work. You may even be trained in a helping or therapeutic profession and see coaching as a natural extension of your existing skills set and knowledge base. Or, you may be drawn to coaching as you see it as offering a useful set of tools to work with others in your existing work or leadership role. You may feel that coaching is for you because many of your acquaintances, colleagues, family or friends approach you for advice.

However, coaching is about assisting clients to find their own solutions rather than giving advice and information - and you need to be willing and able to let go of giving advice and use other techniques in order to apply coaching skills. Coaching uses an advanced set of communication skills to facilitate client self-awareness and growth - so you must also be willing to develop your own communication skills in order to help others.

So, do you have what it takes to be a coach?

People from all walks of life enter the coaching profession but effective coaches:

  • actively enjoy working with other people
  • respect others and other ways of thinking
  • are open to learning and supporting others in their learning
  • can handle complexity
  • recognise and work on their own limitations and areas for growth
  • value empowering others and assisting them in achieving their goals

If you feel you have these characteristics - coaching may be a great fit for you - if you are open to new challenges and are willing to develop your skills to meet the needs of others.

You will also find it useful to identify the skills you feel you would like to develop through coach training in order to feel confident and skilled in your role as a coach. Start with a list of what you feel are your strengths and then ask for others to feedback on your areas for development. This should give you a clear sense of what you personally need from training before you start investigating possible training programes, and a much stronger foundation from which to choose a training course that meets your needs.

Sonia Thomas is a professional coach, based in London, in the UK. She also delivers coach training internationally and co-ordinates an International Peer Coaching programme. Visit to find out more about coaching and coach training and sign up for a free guide "Thinking about Becoming a Coach?"

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