How to Become a Business Coach

What the World’s Greatest Coaches Know about Getting the Most Out of People

By on February 1, 2020

Think of the world’s greatest coaches.

Mike Kryzewski. Gregg Popovich. Pat Summitt.

What’d they do? How did they get the very best from their players?

And what can you, as a business coach, learn from them?

Here’s what the world’s greatest coaches know:

You have to blend two behaviors that might seem diametrically opposite, but that, in fact, work together in perfect harmony when you deploy them correctly.

Those two behaviors are criticality and nurturing.

This difficult but important blend of behaviors is best summed up by this quote from one of Gregg Popovich’s players: “He’ll tell you the truth, with no BS, and then he’ll love you to death.”

So how does this translate to business coaching?

First, set high expectations.

But make those expectations aspirational, not punitive.

That is to say, tie those expectations back to your belief in your clients’ abilities, not to your ego.

"He'll tell you the truth, with no BS, and then he'll love you to death."

When they struggle and fail (we all do!), frame your feedback for them like this, “I’m giving you these comments because I have high expectations, and I know you can reach them.”

This creates a sense of belonging, connection, and perspective in your clients.

Next, bring your criticality up.

Require your clients to set goals, report KPIs, and be accountable.

If you need to, implement a fine system–yes, literally fine them!–when a client misses meetings or deadlines and needs more accountability.

You might think, I’ll lose them if I’m this hard-nosed!

The reality is, you’ll lose them if you’re not.

Finally, bring your nurturing up.

Send gifts to celebrate wins.

Send greeting cards for birthdays and holidays.

Share affirmations and celebrate clients during and at the end of coaching sessions.

If you’re a local coach, you could even take your clients on special celebratory trips!

Let them know at every turn you’re rooting for them, working for their benefit, and supporting their success.

These two behaviors, discovered and perfected by the world’s greatest coaches, will transform you into a more effective coach–and your clients into the success stories that make coaching so rewarding.

For more great insights into coaching clients, download our FREE ebook, Secrets of a Business Coaching Rock Star.

Eric Dombach

About Eric Dombach

Eric Dombach is the Founder of Coaches’ Coach. In 2001, he founded a business coaching firm that, by 2005, was generating more than $1 million USD in revenue, 23% operating profit, and average annual growth rate of 140% per year. In 2005, he sold the firm to 4 of his employees for $1 million U.S. dollars, generating a return on capital of more than 800%. Since then he has trained more than 1,300 independent and franchise business coaches in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Australasian markets.

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