Becoming the Best Coach Ever!

Think about the best person to whom you have ever reported. If you are like most, two things just happened:

  1. An image almost immediately came to mind.
  2. A smile found its way to your face almost just as fast.

And, if we asked you to tell us the thing(s) that distinguished this individual from everybody else for whom you have ever worked, you would likely produce a list of responses such as:

  • “They really took the time to understand my perspective.”
  • “They were just really easy to talk to. You never felt like anything you said off the top of your head was going to come back and haunt you somehow”
  • “They had the ability to make me feel appreciated. More than that, they had the ability to connect me and my work to something ‘bigger’ and far more important”

What Makes A Good Coach?

By digging deeper, you would probably categorize, recognize or describe any of these influences as “a fantastic coach.”


Because they challenged you, invigorated you and made you feel special! They figured out a way to get the very best you out of you!

There are very few skill sets that are in greater demand than the skills associated with coaching. Why? Because good coaches:

  1. Consistently figure out a way to deliver desired results. They understand “the scoreboard” and are in no way intimidated by it. They recognize that the most tangible way to measure their value in the short term is by their documented ability to orchestrate “organizational wins.”
  2. Drive engagement, positively influence retention and shape culture. They have a “personal scoreboard” that includes much more than the organizational bottom line. They deliver the what but they truly excel at the how. Their identity, their legacy and their legend are functions of the impact they have on the people they work through to deliver targeted results.

How To Build Strong Coaching Skills

Reflect Before You React

Effective coaching is the product of thoughtful consideration. It isn’t something you “wing” or “get out of the way.” Great coaches always seem to know what to say or how to respond primarily because they have proactively considered a variety of different variables before they engage.

Questions Good Coaches Ask Before Diving In

  • In specific terms, what is the task/activity?
  • What happened the last time I spoke with this individual about this task?
  • What are behaviors I have observed? Heard about?
  • How does this person prefer to communicate?
  • What would it look like if this discussion goes well?
  • Where might this discussion get “off track?”

Execute Before You Procrastinate

Good coaches gather relevant data but also act on instinct. Can you “over-prepare” to coach? Absolutely! We have always thought Colin Powell’s “70 – 40 Rule” has been a good guideline for coaches:

  • Be hesitant to initiate if you have less than 40% of the available information
  • If you have accumulated more than 70% of the information available, you have probably lost your best window of opportunity

Follow Up Before You Forget

As is the case with almost any realm of attempted influence, what you say is one thing. What you do is something altogether different. Good coaches recognize what was said during a coaching discussion wasn’t necessarily what was understood. They seek clarity on what was established and align expectations around who is going to be doing what and by when!

Become The Best Coach With The Center For Leadership Studies

Becoming someone someday that others will identify as “the best person to whom they have ever reported” involves doing simple things. But you must do them so well, so consistently and with such frequency over time that those simple things very quickly become remarkable!

Contact us to develop your leadership skills today through Situational Leadership and reap the benefits of corporate coaching.


  1. Make a list of the behaviors that distinguished the best person to whom you have ever reported.
  2. Pick one or two and commit to implementing those with each person you lead/coach/influence.