Coaching Skills: Definition, Examples And How To Improve

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Effective coaching skills support, encourage and motivate people to improve their existing skills, acquire new ones and boost their performance. Many companies arrange professional coaching to improve their employees' morale, increase their productivity and help them succeed in their careers. By learning about the skills that are important for a coaching career, you can prepare well, impress the recruiters and receive a job offer. In this article, we explain what coaching skills are, review examples, discuss how to improve them, explain ways to use them in the workplace and show you how to highlight them in the job application process.

What Are Coaching Skills?

Coaching skills are the skills that focus on helping individuals to find appropriate ways to improve their performances. While the individuals may have various shortcomings that hinder them, the coaching focus is more on guiding people towards improving their work performances. As a coach, you can use these skills to enable people to get better at their work by understanding how to collaborate with their team, provide effective leadership and work on their strengths.

If you have high-level coaching skills and bring about a positive change in the lives of your clients and colleagues, you are likely to earn their respect, trust and appreciation. You can become a better leader, form strong relationships, improve the company's work culture and experience more successes in your business dealings.

Related: On-the-Job Training For Efficient Staff Development

Examples Of Coaching Skills

You can review the following fundamental coaching skills to better develop your professional competencies:

1. Empathy

The ability to be empathetic with other people in a non-judgemental way can help you to better connect with them. Empathy enables you to view things from their perspective and be more understanding towards them. You can then focus more on achieving the greater good instead of worrying about what went wrong. People are more likely to open up and trust you when they see that you are not judging them and genuinely want them to do better.

Related: Empathic Skills: Definition And Examples (With Tips)

2. Curiosity

Being curious about people and things is a necessary trait if you want to develop your coaching skills. Curiosity can push you towards learning more about your field, and you can then guide your team by example. Your curious nature can help you and other people to realise the importance of continual learning. You may discover that learning is a journey rather than an end goal.

3. Positivity

Positivity is an essential coaching skill to keep people engaged, encourage them and direct them in the direction that can benefit them. People are more likely to listen to you when you focus on their strengths than if you point out their weaknesses. By validating their work, you can help them identify their unique strengths and develop these further. By doing so, you can help them improve significantly on both the personal and professional levels.

4. Persistence

Persistence is an important trait for working towards your goals without allowing internal emotions or external events to discourage you. Instead of wavering in the face of obstacles, you can change your perspective and think of challenges as a way of improving yourself. That can enable you to stay the course and advance in your career. Your attitude of persistence can motivate other people and encourage them to continue on their path despite their difficulties.

5. Innovation

Innovation is a coaching skill that can help you form creative ideas for resolving various problems. You can brainstorm different ideas by asking a range of probing, open-ended questions about the matter you are considering. These questions can direct you to consider the problem from several perspectives and focus on finding a solution. By developing this ability to innovate and look for answers, you are in a better position to support people and guide them towards their goals.

6. Communication

Strong communication skills are essential for coaches since they interact with many different personalities every day. Knowing how to express yourself in a forthright, articulate manner can help you get your point across to other people. It can make it easier for them to understand and trust you. It is a good idea to regularly ask your team for feedback since that can enable you to identify weak areas that you need to work on to get better. Practise active listening and give people your undivided attention when they speak to you.

7. Sincerity

Your sincere desire to help other people can make you a good coach. People are more likely to respond positively to you when they see that you are genuinely interested in them. Inspired by your passion for your work and your goodwill towards everyone you meet, they may decide that you are someone reliable and worth following.

8. Guidance

To be effective as a leader, it is necessary for you to demonstrate the coaching skill to direct your team in a specific direction. If your team is unwilling to be guided in that direction or if you encounter other obstacles, it is up to you to address the issues with tact. You can clarify your reasons for wanting to proceed in the chosen direction and explain how it can benefit them. You can reform their concerns so that the problems seem less overwhelming and the solutions seem more doable.

Related: Top Qualities Of An Outstanding Leader

How To Improve Coaching Skills

The following suggestions may help you to improve your coaching skills:

  1. Define your strengths. Take the time to identify the strengths you already possess and use these as a guide to make improvements and develop new useful qualities.

  2. Identify your goals. You can make more progress in improving your coaching skills if you set specific, measurable and achievable goals for yourself. By making them time-based, you can have more incentive for achieving your target.

  3. Seek a mentor. If you know someone knowledgeable in your field that you respect and trust, you can ask them to mentor you and provide the guidance you need for getting ahead. You can learn from the traits that make them so effective.

  4. Build confidence. While helping others, it is advisable to work on developing, maintaining and growing your own self-confidence. It can help to be flexible in your learning, stay focused on improving and motivate yourself to achieve your goals by reviewing your successful coaching sessions with other people.

Related: Top Personal Development Skills To Improve Your Career

Coaching Skills In The Workplace

You can enhance your effectiveness as a professional in your field and increase your chances of getting more professional opportunities by implementing some of the following coaching skills in your workplace:

  • Improving morale: You can improve your team's morale by undertaking morale building team activities. These exercises can enable them to strengthen their mutual relationships and become more engaged in their work.

  • Being flexible: Be prepared to adjust to unexpected changes. Encourage your team to work together to support one another and overcome the obstacles they encounter.

  • Providing feedback: Your team members can benefit from receiving regular constructive feedback about their work performance. The positive reinforcement you give them can transform the work environment and motivate them to improve their work.

  • Accepting feedback: You can ask for feedback in your turn and use it to get a better idea of the areas in which you need to improve.

How To Highlight Coaching Skills

Highlighting coaching skills during the job application process can help potential employers to assess your leadership traits and see how these can benefit their business. Here is how you can turn the focus on your coaching skills:

Coaching skills for a resume and cover letter

When employers review your cover letter and resume, they want to read about what you actually did in your previous roles. You can mention your coaching skills in your cover letter and in more detail in your resume. Briefly discuss how these skills enabled you to accomplish your career goals in your previous jobs. You can impress prospective employers by providing verifiable examples of how you were able to implement a planned strategy and improve employer in a specific duration. Quantify the improved productivity. For example, you could say that you were able to raise the production level by 15%.

Coaching skills for a job interview

It is a good idea to practise talking about your coaching skills ahead of your job interview. You can video record yourself and observe how you present yourself. If possible, you can ask a family member, friend or colleague to review the video or give you a mock interview and provide honest feedback. Consider how you can improve your speaking ability and have better, more confident body language.

Learn how to speak at a consistent pace, maintain normal eye contact, nod at intervals to let the other person know you are listening to them and allow them to finish speaking before making your response. Aside from becoming more articulate, be alert about maintaining a good posture and dress professionally for the interview. Being calm and confident at the interview can make a good impression on the interviewers and improve your chances of being selected for the job.

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