What Does a Coach Do?

Posted on September 24th, 2018 by John Hackett

I recently presented to a community group on “Beginning the Entrepreneurship Journey.” I emphasized the importance of reflection, planning and support, possibly using a coach. I was cleaning up after the presentation when I was asked a great question: What does a coach do anyway?

My first thought was “well, a coach coaches.” On further reflection, I responded by quoting our DSWA Co-Founder, Nicki Keohohou: “ A coach helps you move from one point to another.”

A close examination of the term “coaches” gives us an acronym to describe this process:

  • C = Committed Collaborating. The coach and client are a team committed to working together to assist the client. A coach works with a client, listening and valuing the client and the process of moving forward.
  • O = Objective Feedback. Using heart-centered listening and open-ended questioning and reflection, the coach guides the client to respectfully and realistically move forward.
  • A = Agreed upon Accountability. The coach and client co-develop plans together and agree on accountability moving forward.
  • C= Clarifying. The coach assists the client to clarify their passion, plans, and processes to provide a clear picture to move forward
  • H = Habits. The coach works with the client to take inventory of their habits and skills needed to move forward.
  • E = Establishing an Environment. The coach establishes a safe, supportive setting to assist the client to assess habits to enhance or change, as well as a safe place to practice habits moving forward.
  • S = Successful, Skill-based and Supported Progress. The coach uses the practices of principle based coaching to support the client to achieve their goals moving forward.

There are a couple of important points to consider in conclusion.
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The client is completely respected and valued. The client and coach work together. The word “coaches” is a verb, an action word. Coaching is about moving forward together in a collaborative, supported, respectful, principled way.

Like Nicki says, coaching is assisting a client in moving forward from one point to another.

About the Author

John Hackett, Ed.D is an accomplished and experienced coach, trainer, and leader in a variety of nonprofit and direct sales settings. He has 45 years of professional experience serving as professor, licensed counselor, and high school administrator, as well as a university administrator. John is a DSWA Certified Trainer and can be reached at john@dswa.org.