5 Habits of a Highly Effective Coach Being a great coach is about more than just mastering technical skills. It's also about developing the right habits.

By John Kitchens

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Whether you're a business owner, CEO, manager or team leader, coaching is essential to your success. It's how you develop the people around you. With an effective skill in coaching, you can create a high-performing team that can rapidly increase your growth. It is a leadership skill that is needed in order to achieve greater things in a shorter amount of time.

However, this is only true when coaching is done right. How can you become not just a coach but a highly effective one? Below are five ways to do just that:

1. Be a great listener

The number one habit of an effective coach is to become a great listener. In order to coach someone, you need to understand them first. This requires being present and fully engaged when they are speaking. And to truly excel at being a great listener, you should pay attention to your question-to-statement ratio. Are you asking more questions? Or are you making more statements? Your question-to-statement ratio should be heavy on questions and less on statements. There is a reason we have two ears and one mouth. Try to get them to talk and open up about what's going on. The more information you have, the better you can help them.

Related: The 5 Essentials to Effective Coaching

2. Don't make excuses

Effective coaches are people who can be accountable for their every action. They take full responsibility for their life and their business. This means that you have to be 100% accountable with zero excuses. We can never escape from mistakes, because it's a part of being human. We will always have lapses, but it's how we own up to it that counts. It's not about covering it up with an excuse. It's about taking full responsibility, admitting that you're not perfect and choosing to move forward with a plan. It's all about choosing to be accountable, not just in success, but also in failure.

3. Practice authenticity

Being an effective coach means that people can trust you and your words. For that trust to grow, it requires you to be authentic. This means that you have to be yourself. You can't put up a persona and try to be someone you're not. People can see through that, and it will only create more problems in the long run. In this age, where everything is easily accessible online, it's only a matter of time before you are revealed for who you really are. It's important to build relationships with your team members based on trust and respect. This can only be done when you're being authentic with them. I believe that the formula to building trust is authenticity x time. So, always be authentic and show up as your real self.

4. Don't forget to be the guide

A lot of coaches forget the reason why they are called a coach. They make everything about themselves and stray too far from their main purpose. They make action plans based on themselves and forget to take into account the people they are supposed to be coaching. An effective coach always puts their team's growth above everything else. They understand that their success is dependent on the success of their team. This is why they make it a habit to guide people and help them grow. It's your job as a coach to make sure that they are always moving forward and progressing. If you're not doing that, then you're not just ineffective, you are not doing your job as a coach.

Related: How to Become a Coach That Makes a Real Difference

5. Always lead yourself first

Oftentimes, people try to lead others without leading themselves first. This is a recipe for disaster. How can you lead others when you can't even lead yourself? You can't expect others to follow you if you're not even leading yourself in the right direction. You have to be willing to put in the work and invest time in yourself, because if people don't see the growth you are talking about, then they won't believe you. You have to walk the talk and show that you're willing to do what it takes to grow. Always prioritize your personal growth, and make sure that you're moving forward. Only then can you start leading others and helping them grow.

To become a highly effective coach, you have to understand that being a coach is more than just a job, it's a lifestyle. Anything that we want to impart to others should be ingrained in ourselves first. We should know that our habits are a big factor that drives our results, and we should make sure that we embody the qualities we preach about. We have to live it. This is how we can become not just a coach, but a highly effective one.

John Kitchens

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO of John Kitchens Coach

John Kitchens is the most sought-after systems and processes coach for real-estate agents that want to turn their real-estate practice into a business. He is an expert in identifying constraints and honing strategies that lead to clarity and success. www.johnkitchens.coach

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