What makes a great coach?

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Executive Coaching Day applauds organizational executives for improving leadership capacity

Athletes have strength coaches, actors have speech coaches, singles have dating coaches and politicians have media coaches. Even business executives need coaches, says Deborah Roebuck, professor of management in the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.

“A great coach can create awareness of strengths and weaknesses, identify ways individuals can leverage their strengths and develop (and/or compensate for) their weaknesses, and even hold individuals accountable for achieving their professional goals,” she says.

Here’s Roebuck’s savvy advice on the five things that great executive coaches do:

  1. Listen. Really listen. Resist the urge to interrupt or express your opinion.
  2. Take time to build trust. Build a safe and confidential environment that allows for personal growth.
  3. Ask questions rather than provide answers. It’s your role to encourage reflection.
  4. Provide the tools to help them build awareness for personal growth and be on a path to self-discovery.
  5. Keep them on track with their action steps. Hold them accountable.

Executive Coaching Day is May 1, a day to applaud organizational executives who strive to improve their own leadership capacity through coaching. 

- Tiffany Capuano