How to be a good business coach – 5 top tips

We answer the question: How to be a good business coach. There are many things that need to come together to create a good business coach – experience, skills, continual learning, ability to adapt to different people’s learning styles, to name just a few. 

Firstly, what do we mean by a good business coach?

At UK Growth Coach, it comes down to three things: business results, personal growth and relationships. Fundamentally, a good business coach enables and empowers business owners to achieve great business results, which in turn positively changes their lives (from work-life balance, to confidence or financial freedoms). 

Then there are the relationships we build with our clients. Many clients feel they have found a wise-friend in their UK Growth Coach. One they know will support them, guide them, offer advice, being a useful sounding board and when necessary tell them the hard truth! 

This is what a good business coach does for you, but what are the traits to achieve this? In this blog, we will discuss the key traits that define a good business coach.

How to be a good business coach: 1. Great questioning skills

Great questioning skills form the bedrock of effective coaching, propelling coaches to navigate in-depth conversations that unravel profound insights and perspectives, without leading, directing, judgement or imposing their own view into the conversation.

Open questions

Effective business coaches are professionals when it comes to open-ended questions. These questions are designed not to elicit a mere “yes” or “no” response but to encourage expansive, detailed answers. 

By opening the door to comprehensive discussions, open questions foster an environment where clients can freely express themselves, laying the foundation for rich, meaningful dialogue.

Closed questions

While open questions invite exploration, closed queries provide a necessary counterpoint, offering clarity and precise information. 

These questions are instrumental in steering business owners with exactness, ensuring that guidance is targeted and solutions are tailored to the specific needs of the client. 

The blend of open and closed questions allows for exploration, the decision and commitment to action!

Leading questions

Guiding clients towards self-discovery is a hallmark of effective coaching. Leading questions, carefully crafted and skillfully delivered, empower individuals to unearth solutions independently. 

By nudging clients to reflect on their challenges and aspirations, leading questions catalyse personal and professional growth, fostering a sense of empowerment and ownership.

Expansion questions

The scope of a coaching conversation can often be broadened with the strategic use of expansion questions. 

A skilled coach employs expansion questions to explore uncharted possibilities, encouraging clients to think expansively and unlocking untapped reservoirs of creativity and innovation.

Challenge questions

Your coach should be pushing you to aim for excellence rather than mediocrity. A good coach does not shy away from challenging assumptions and pushing boundaries. 

Challenge questions drive innovation and critical thinking by encouraging clients to rethink established ideas and explore new perspectives. These questions spark a transformative journey, inspiring both the coach and client to venture into uncharted territories.

These types of questions are something our clients greatly value and frequently reference in their feedback, as you can see from some of our coaches testimonials.

How to be a good business coach | Man listening to a woman

How to be a good business coach: 2. Strong listening skills

Active listening 

Active listening is going into the nuances of verbal and non-verbal cues. A skilful business coach practising active listening doesn’t merely hear words; they absorb the meaning, interpret the emotions, and respond in a way that demonstrates understanding.

Active listening involves not only hearing the spoken words but also grasping the underlying emotions, motivations, and concerns. It requires the coach to be fully present, mentally engaged, and attuned to the client’s needs. 

This level of attentiveness transforms a coaching session into a dynamic exchange, where both parties actively contribute to the dialogue.

If you think about, we often listen in order to respond. Try simply listening and encouraging the other person to expand on what they are saying. It is a useful exercise and something a good business coach should be experienced in doing.

Significance in coaching

In coaching, active listening is the linchpin that holds the entire process together. It serves as the foundation upon which effective communication is built. 

Here’s why active listening is of paramount importance in what UK Growth Coach’s do:

1. Establishing rapport:

Active listening creates a space where clients feel heard and valued. This fosters a sense of connection and rapport between the coach and the client. The acknowledgement of a client’s thoughts and feelings through active listening lays the groundwork for a trusting and collaborative relationship.

2. Building trust:

Trust is a cornerstone in any coaching relationship. By actively listening, a coach demonstrates their commitment to understanding the client’s perspective. This sincerity builds trust over time, creating an environment where clients feel safe to explore challenges, share vulnerabilities, and work towards personal and professional growth.

3. Addressing concerns with precision:

Precision in coaching is crucial, and active listening is the compass that guides the coach. Through attentive listening, a coach can identify subtle cues, pinpoint specific challenges, and understand the nuances of a client’s goals. This precision allows for targeted guidance and ensures that coaching sessions are not only insightful but also directly relevant to the client’s needs.

How to be a good business coach: 3. Empathy and understanding

Emotional intelligence

Empathy plays a pivotal role in the world of business coaching, as it involves the ability to comprehend and understand the feelings of others, especially in the context of the challenges and intricacies of running a business. 

The most successful business coaches recognise that empathy is not just an innate quality but a skill that can be cultivated and refined over time.

Emotional intelligence, of which empathy is a crucial component, is essential for effective leadership and coaching in the business world. Emotional intelligence encompasses a range of skills, including self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills, and empathy. 

Great coaches, who serve as guides and mentors to business owners, understand the significance of emotional intelligence and work diligently to enhance and maintain it. They recognise that empathy is a powerful tool for fostering positive relationships, resolving conflicts, and creating a supportive and collaborative business environment.

It is something you may help coach on when handling subjects of team management performance, but it is also something a good coach will work on themselves to be able to handle, coach and develop an array of coaching clients. 

How to be a good business coach | wooden blocks of a continuous learning mindset

How to be a good business coach: 4. Continuous learning mindset

Importance of ongoing improvement

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, coaches must prioritise continuous learning. This commitment ensures not only their sustained relevance but also the efficacy of their guidance. The imperative for ongoing improvement is rooted in the dynamic nature of industries, client needs, and technological advancements.

How to be a good business coach: 5. Genuine interest and care

Aligning personal values

The alignment of a coach’s personal values with their client’s organisational purpose strengthens the commitment to client success. At UK Growth Coach, we emphasise the significance of genuine interest and care in helping business owners achieve more. 

Matching values with UK Growth Coach

Our organisational purpose revolves around making the business of business easier, providing professional support, guidance, and accountability that yields real business results. By fostering this alignment of personal values and organisational purpose, we aim to contribute to more business successes, and ultimately create happier, more fulfilled owners, and employees, as well as more resilient companies, supply chains, and supported communities.

This is why we set high standards for our franchise business coaches, so that there is a meeting of minds when it comes to the culture, ethics and values of UK Growth Coach.

If you resonate with the values and culture of UK Growth Coach, consider exploring coaching opportunities with us and we can help you develop on all of the areas discussed above to help you become an even better business coach!

Latest Articles