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Action Research - Coaching

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2. Characteristics of Masterful Coaches

These characteristics are indications of masterful coaches.  They are not listed in any particular order.  They are not necessary for coaching a study group, but are desirable and traits to be emulated.

1. The ability to inspire

2. Setting higher standards

3. Honesty an Integrity

4. Disciplined intensity

5. Forwarding action

6.  A passion to help others learn, grow and perform

1. The Ability to Inspire

Where does the ability to inspire come from?  It comes when we dare to dream about the possibility of a larger life where ordinary people like you and I can make a difference.  Think about a time in your life when you were really inspired (or really inspirational).  What was the source of the inspiration?  Was it your own desire to make a difference?  Were you willing to suffer the consequences in seeing the idea realized and still keep going?

2. Setting Higher Standards

Whether we are scientists, musicians, or business people, most of us strive for excellence.  The same thing applies to people who are masterful coaches.  The distinguishing factor is that they seek excellence by setting higher standards not only for themselves, but also for others.  Masterful coaches are not only stern taskmasters with others but also with themselves.  This is often reflected in their willingness to take responsibility for mistakes, for lack of results, and for downright failure.  Has there ever been a time when your coach pushed you beyond what you felt were your limits, and you found that you could do more than you thought you could do?   Are you able to balance toughness and holding people to a higher standard with compassion for what they have to go through to achieve it?

3. Honesty & Integrity

Masterful coaches hold themselves to the highest standards of honesty and integrity, not just because of expediency, but because these qualities really matter to them.  Integrity is the consistency between what the coach says and does-" doing what you say you will do."  Keeps track of the paperwork.

          Consistency is key.  Honesty means not lying and having the highest ethical standards.  These words mean having a genuine commitment to the success of the people you are coaching and then being completely honest and forthright in all your communications with them.

4. Disciplined Intensity

Masterful coaches elicit disciplined intensity using people's inner motivation rather than relying on outside pressure.  When people work with a masterful coach, they are swept up by the "buzz" of purposeful activity that he or she creates. One of the characteristics of discipline intensity is full participation - you are giving one hundred percent, totally focused on the task, and strangely unaware of yourself.

5. Forwarding Action


Masterful coaches love action.  Forwarding action means acting even when you are uncertain of the outcome.  It means building prototypes to see what you can learn, then refining them and trying again.  Like putting together a puzzle on a rainy day, you're never sure where the pieces go; you just start making connections.  Some pieces fit together and some don't but eventually the picture is complete.

6.  A Passion to Help Others Learn, Grow, and Perform

            Masterful coaches have a burning desire to help others learn, grow, and perform.  They are highly perceptive in discerning the gap between who people are today and their potential.  They see leaders where others see followers.