I love watching the top sports individuals and teams; especially, the ones who consistently year in and year out maintain the highest level of excellence. What is the common factor of these successful individuals and teams? Great coaching! Great coaches analyze the talent they presently have and work to maximize the athlete’s strengths, while minimizing or eliminating the athlete’s weaknesses. This makes the individual and team better at what they do; while, at the same time, it identifies obstacles or challenges and helps the athlete and team overcome these challenges.

What do top business professionals such as Donald Trump and Bill Gates (especially in their early days) have in common with these top notch athletes? They realize that to accomplish their goals faster, they enlist the help of coaches. Whether it is presentation coaching, success coaching, or executive coaching, the coach assists the professionals realize their full potential, maximize their assets, minimize and eliminate their weaknesses, and helps them realize their opportunities in career, business, and life.

What are the qualities of a great coach? It’s the same qualities you see in the great coaches in the athletic arena everyday. The following are some of the qualities to seek when enlisting the services of an effective coach:

1. Positive Communication
When communicating with you, the coach will use communication that shows ownership and empowerment. Instead of saying, “I think…,” “I hope…,” “we kinda…,” “maybe we could…,” “I like to…,” the coach will use words and phrases such as “we can…,” “we will…,” and “we need to….” These words and phrases convey a sense of ownership, empowerment, and expectancy of positive change.

2. Clear Goal-Setting
Your coach will ask variations of these questions, “Where are you now?” and “Where do you want to be in one year, five years, 10 years, etc.?” The coach will work with you to develop a personalized plan or proven system that is flexible and fits your special needs. The coach will hold you accountable for achieving the plan and help you find ways to accomplish the plan.

3. Motivational Ability
Your coach will find the motivating factors that are important to you and keep you focused on your goals based on these factors. Having established a close relationship with you, your coach will know when and how much to motivate you.

4. Honest Feedback
Your coach will give you constructive, honest feedback so that you can take the steps to go to the next level in your career, business, and life. Many times when I coach individuals in organizations, the number one concern employees have is one or more of the following: “I never receive feedback on my performance,” “I only receive negative feedback,” or “I only receive feedback during my once-a-year performance review.” Feedback is important for improvement.

Could you imagine a basketball coach never giving his team any feedback during the basketball game or season? Or even worse…only negative feedback? How would the individuals on the team know what areas to improve upon to succeed? Your coach’s feedback will keep you on track to be more successful.

Another important benefit of coaching is that it is confidential in nature. Just you and your coach will know what your goals are for success. Often the reason individuals don’t ask for help or guidance is because they don’t want others to know their weaknesses. Your coaching sessions are confidential and all feedback is kept between the participants.

5. Making the Future Now
Your coach will help you see your future opportunities today and jumpstart you to take action immediately. Many times we will see our future opportunities but don’t know how to get there. The coach provides a “bridge” to help you move toward your opportunities and goals. Like the old saying goes, “If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it.” The coach helps you achieve it by seeing the future now and having you act on it.

Enjoy the benefits of successful individuals and organizations if you are serious about creating success in your business, career, and life. Do what successful people do and find a coach that meets your unique needs and helps you accomplish your goals quickly. You will be amazed at the results.

Author's Bio: 

Ed Sykes is a highly sought after expert, author, professional speaker, and success coach in the areas of leadership, motivation, stress management, customer service, and team building. You can e-mail him at
mailto:esykes@thesykesgrp.com
, or call him at (757) 427-7032. Go to his web site,
http://www.thesykesgrp.com
, and signup for the newsletter, OnPoint, and receive either free ebook, "Empowerment and Stress Secrets for the Busy Professional," or "Secrets of Outstanding Customer Service."