20 Qualities Every Great Coach Should Nurture


Coaching is a multi-billion dollar industry. Yeah, that’s billion with a “b”. And it seems everyone wants to be a coach these days. Yes, it’s lucrative, and yes, it’s fulfilling – but can anyone have the qualities it takes to be a great coach? 

The answer is yes and no.

It’s a yes if you’re willing to learn how to be a great coach and apply what you learn through hundreds of hours of sessions with clients. It’s a no if you happen to think that coaching is just about asking a bunch of questions and hoping your client comes up with the solution himself.

It’s also a no if you think that coaching is about telling your client what to do.

The truth is, becoming a great coach requires developing a range of coaching skills and qualities which, combined with a proven methodology, will create the results and impact any coach wants to create for their clients.

Can Anyone Be A Great Coach?

Some may think individuals who are “born to coach” are literally born with these qualities.

But that’s not true. 

These qualities are skills and, just like any other skill, they can be developed, honed, and nurtured, whether you believe you were “born with it” or not. 

Any aspiring coach can be a great coach if they are willing to do the work on themselves first, so they can then impact their clients. And what will ultimately differentiate a good coach from a great coach is the consistent and never-ending leveling up of these qualities and skills to keep getting better and better at mastering the art of coaching. These qualities include: trustworthiness, active listening, courage, honesty, compassion, curiosity, and many more! Let’s dive into each of these 20 qualities of a great coach.

20 Qualities of a Great Coach

Here are the top 20 qualities of a great coach you need to know about. While you read this list, rate yourself on each quality from 1 (being lowest) to 10 (being highest).

This will help you identify which qualities you need to focus on and nurture first, so you can level-up and become the great coach you can be.

1. Compassionate

Great coaches are compassionate. They truly feel for their clients and the struggles and challenges they face.

They are, first and foremost, kind, and uplifting. They can put themselves in their client’s shoes and hold a safe space for them to fully express without judgement.

A great coach never resorts to shaming, threats or scare tactics to motivate a client.

2. Supportive

Great coaches take their clients’ struggles seriously, no matter how small or insignificant these may seem. It doesn’t matter if a client is trying to complete a small project or trying to win a battle against cancer; a great coach is supportive of any and all of these challenges.

Great coaches have an incredible ability to walk a mile in their client’s shoes yet retain enough distance to see the big picture and offer guidance and direction.

3. Learning Machine

Great coaches have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and improvement. They’re learning machines. If there’s a book, course, program or training that can help them develop themselves, their business or their skills as a coach, they’re on it like white on rice.

A great coach never gets tired of learning from different sources and methodologies, and never ever says “I know enough. I can stop learning now.

4. Innovative

Great coaches are always looking for ways to level-up their coaching skills and their methodologies. They never get tired of experimenting, switching, upgrading, or changing their coaching styles and format.

In a sea of coaching experts, innovation sets the great coach apart from everyone else. They strive to learn from different methodologies and coaching models, testing different techniques to create results for their clients, and creating their own unique coaching methodology.

5. Humble

Great coaches are more than happy to learn from their clients. In fact, they’re thrilled to learn from them. They’re never “know-it- alls” who talk down to clients from the “high horse” of knowledge and power. They’re willing to admit mistakes and make things right with a client and they’re always willing to learn from other coaches. No matter how good they become, they’re the first to tell you that there’s someone better they can learn from.

6. Awesome Listener

Great coaches listen more than they talk. They’re not about trying to come across as “clever” or “fascinating” to their clients. They know that client sessions are about the client and not about them. They don’t love to hear themselves speak.

Often, a truly great coach gets completely lost in what the client has to say and holds no thought about themselves. They are present in the moment, judgement-free, at all times. 

7. Curious

Possibly one of the most important qualities of a great coach is being curious.

They want to know why the client feels a certain way. They want to know what inspires a client, what makes them tick, what puts them off and what keeps them going. They want to know everything there is to know about their clients so they can find the perfect way to help a client.

8. Grateful

Great coaches are grateful. They’re grateful for their clients, their profession and the fact that they’re able to help others. This deep gratitude helps them lean into their work and give their best no matter what else is going on in their personal lives. Great coaches do not taking their work or their clients for granted. Ever.

9. Excellent Communicator

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