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The Ultimate Coaching Skills Checklist – Build your TOOLKIT

How good are your coaching skills? I guess before you answer the question it would be good to know what good coaching skills are. In this blog I will share with you a great TOOLKIT that you will need in order to be The Ultimate Coach.


How much more effective would you be if you could simplify what is perceived as a complex art – coaching – and use it effectively with some simple tools? Well, that’s what I’m going to share here. We often talk about leaders and managers having a toolkit that they can dip in and out of to be effective. In this Coaching TOOLKIT we’ll focus on the coaching relationship, questions technique, getting the coachee to open up and gaining commitment. Here’s how:

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TRUST – Trust is far more than the word itself. Here trust is about rapport and authenticity. In order to be able to have a great coaching conversation with someone they need to relax, to be in rapport and feel safe. You need to be the real you and between the two of you, you will know if trust is there. This will be different for everyone, some coachees will want to get to know you, they might want to know that you care or they may just want to know that you will help them make the changes or get the results they need.

OUTCOME – What’s the vision? You must work to identify the desired outcome and be able to describe fully what this will look and feel like once achieved. Once you’ve done this, work to break it down into goals and discover what the main objective will be. This will anchor any conversations and help ensure alignment to the main outcome.

OPEN-UP – This is important in ensuring buy-in and commitment to the main goal. Using well formed and powerful questions you should go deeper behind the desired outcome. Why is it important to the coachee? What is the challenge for them? Measure how important it is (0-10) and their commitment to it (0-10). If not a 10, discuss how you can raise it to a 10.

LOOSEN UP – Ok, this will be a challenge for all of us coaches. The coachee will almost certainly have limiting beliefs about achievability and overcoming challenges. They may think that they’re at their limit and have lots of negative automatic thoughts. Our job is to break these down, loosen up their thinking and open up their minds to new possibilities. Be prepared to challenge, to push and ask the question, “Why?”

KNOW HOW – So a goal has been set. They are committed to it and know why. They’re open to new ideas and have had some of their limiting beliefs slayed. Now what do they need to achieve this? What resources do they need? What have they got? Who’s involvement, buy-in and support is required? This might be about helping the coachee realise that they need to allocate time to their goal, or canvass the support of a friend or colleague.

IDENTIFY OPTIONS – There’s more than one way to cook an egg, as there is very often more than one way to solve a problem. Now is the time to explore the options for making your vision happen. What are the options? How might someone else achieve this? What is most important right now? But most importantly to me during this part, is to always ask, “What else can you do?”

TASKS – Get specific about what the coachee needs to do in order to move forward. What’s the first step? Gain commitment from them as to what they’re going to do first, as a result of the conversation, to get the ball rolling. When will they do this? Finally, ask this question, “What might stop them from taking action and how can you prevent that from happening?”

Now that you have your TOOLKIT, put it to practice. Give it a go and let me know how you get on? You don’t need to go through this all at once, this may take many discussions or sessions.

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If you want to know more or to learn about how we can help you build your toolkit further, get in touch: martin.peterson@thesuccessfactory.co.uk

About the author

Martin Peterson

Martin Peterson

I'm a passionate trainer who loves to explore new techniques and methodologies ensuring that everything I teach is up to date and relevant. I love helping teams and individuals to understand their strengths and exploring new ways for experienced teams and organisations to drive change and ensure sustainability.