What's the Main Purpose of a Coach?

The main purpose of a coach is to work with individuals to improve their performance in a specific area or skill.


Key tasks and responsibilities:

  -Identifies development needs.
  -Explains the coaching process to coachees, line managers and other stakeholders.
  -Assists with the setting of learning goals and action planning.
  -Uses a range of learning experiences to improve performance.
  -Provides feedback for the coachee, based upon observed behaviour.
  -Challenges the coachee’s perception of his or her abilities.
  -Helps the coachee to identify problems and possible routes to a solution.
  -Supports the evaluation process by encouraging the coachee to assess progress against his or her learning goals.
  -Helps the coachee to motivate self to achieve his or her learning goals.


Required skills/abilities

  -Planning and time management;
  -Analytical interpretation;
  -Interpersonal skills;
  -Building rapport
  -Giving Feedback
  -Active listening
  -Asking questions/gaining information
  -Standard and goal setting
  -Helping others learn
  -Evaluation and review


Required qualities/attitudes

  -Supportive, empathetic; patient;
  -Positive attitude; respectful; trustworthy;
  -Belief in people’s potential; confident;
  -Objective and non-judgmental; sensitive;


Required knowledge:

Coaches require some knowledge of the subject that they will be coaching and specifically need to understand the expectations of performance; they do not need to be subject and/or technical experts. They also need knowledge of how adults learn and the theories of learning, along with the process of coaching.See also: Different types of coaches


Source: The Coaching Handbook: An Action Kit for Trainers & Managers by Sara Thorpe and Jackie Clifford  


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