Coaches bring value to any organisation. They can hone in on specific issues and help people at every level work towards concrete solutions.

They can help clients achieve both their short- and long-term goals, and set objectives they might not otherwise have considered.

Business coaches can improve employee morale and engagement, and completely change a company’s culture.

Business coaching is becoming increasingly commonplace within organizations, and is also a great career opportunity. But do you have what it takes to be a great business coach?

What You Need to Become a Business Coach

1. High EQ

EQ is sometimes called the emotional quotient or the emotional IQ.

It isn’t the same thing as empathy, though that is a factor. Instead, it is an ability to read people’s body language, tone of voice and behavior to truly understand how they feel.

People with high EQs can spot these non-verbal cues and see if what some people say is actually at odds with what they actually feel or believe.

A business coach needs to be able to read the emotional state of the clients so that he can work with them effectively.

You have to be able to recognize when your analytical approach isn’t working and you need to shift to more metaphors and narration. That is why EQ is important to effective communication.

2. Clear Communication

Clear communication in every interaction is essential to being a successful business coach.

In a business, time is money. You have to maximise the time you have to coach people, since they only have a limited time to be with you.

You have to be perceptive and intuitive enough to get to the real matter, which is also an aspect of emotional intelligence.

On top of that, you have to be able to communicate clearly and concisely with clients.

As a great business coach, you have to be able to ask the right questions to get the information you need and help clients understand the root issues.

This is important, because your clients may not know exactly what they need to do to improve, but they must walk out of the session knowing exactly what has to be done and have the motivation to do it.

You also have to know how to adapt your communication style based on your audience.

Some might be more pragmatic and work well with a clear and concise plan of action. Others might respond better to personal experiences or case studies.

Knowing your audience and how to speak to them will be essential if you want to be able to connect and get them to actually follow your instructions.

Read also: How Dafina Went from 6 Figures in Debt to Being a Financially Free Personal Finance Coach

3. Creativity

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Coming up with viable solutions or resolving client problems requires creativity to come to a solution quickly.

Trying to apply cookie cutter approaches won’t cut it, and organisations don’t have the time or luxury to try multiple solutions. 

This means that you need to be a broad learner as well.

You need to learn about the people you work with, the type of work they do, and the industries they work in.

You have to keep abreast of the regulatory environment, the technology that helps you do your job, and best practices in your own field.

All of this needs to be synthesized into unique solutions for each client that you meet. And you’ll need to use all of this knowledge to help them come up with a solution themselves.

Curiosity so that you can keep learning is almost as important in being able to keep this up.

4. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is important in business coaching for several reasons.

Being aware of your own emotional reactions and preconceived ideas makes it easier to keep both of these in check.

Maintaining a healthy emotional distance as a business coach while still being engaged with clients allows you to be genuinely interested in them. They will also be more inclined to believe when you say you’re trying to help them.

Checking your judgements allows you to hold back your own opinions and assumptions. You’ll be better able to ask questions to learn what you need to know, and it gives clients the ability to speak honestly.

Being aware of your own confusion or uncertainty allows you to pinpoint where you need more information, whether you need to research it yourself or ask the client direct questions.

Self-awareness also helps people avoid projecting onto their clients, giving people solutions that really aren’t right for them.

Great business coaches are honest about failures. This is also a sign of self-awareness. And they can teach what they learned from personal failures as well.

They also take the time to analyse clients they weren’t able to help so that they can adjust their approach if they encounter a similar situation.

5. Education

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A few of the skills that we’ve listed are innate, such as creativity, emotional intelligence and self-awareness, though they can be dampened or heightened by life experience and training. Other skills such as clear communication can be taught. 

Business coaching itself can certainly be taught through business coaching courses. You can learn how to adopt different approaches, whether you’re working with executives, self-starters or star performers.

You need to know how to teach soft skills that modern society requires in an increasingly automated world that ironically fails to teach.

You’ll be able to learn how to teach people to identify creative solutions and implement them. 

You’ll also be able to understand how to assess a client so that you can identify the key areas for growth.

You’ll develop a knowledge base that will allow you to connect with clients and help them learn to collaborate with each other.

The BCF Group is well known for teaching coaches how to educate their clients in these high-demand soft skills. That is why their business coaching qualifications are so widely recognized.

At the end of the day, great business coaches need to be problem solvers, and you’ll have to be faced with people looking for solutions to their issues every day.

They’ll need you to guide them through their difficulties, and not everyone is cut out to do this.

If you have several of the skills on this list and are willing to work on the rest, you may have what it takes to be a great business coach.