What makes an effective coach? According to Inc., the most effective coach holds you accountable and has a vast experience, among other characteristics. You will also read that best coaches use proven interventions, models and techniques.
True, but interestingly, research suggests there is no major difference in the effectiveness of various coaching techniques. What is important is the coach's ability to employ many of them well and at the right time.
What predicts the helpfulness of coaching is not the technique your coach uses. It is the quality of the coach-coachee relationship, the support system of the coachee, the personality of the coach, and coachee’s expectations that will determine a positive result in coaching .
A systematic review of coaching psychology has identified 5 characteristics of a coach that can enhance the coaching process :
1) ability to build trust
By being respectful, open, and non-judgmental, a coach can build a trustworthy relationship.
2) understanding and managing coachee’s emotional difficulties
Is your coach empathetic?
3) two-way communication
Think about excellent listening skills, providing appropriate feedback, asking the right questions.
4) facilitating coachee’s learning and development
Again, think: listening skills, but also assigning homework and holding the coachee accountable. Prior to that, understanding coachee’s needs, goals, and values are of importance.
5) a clear contract and transparent process
A coach should explain the process and theories supporting the interventions and ensure confidentiality as well as an ethical coaching process.
So if you are looking for a coach for yourself or your organisation, it might be worth keeping the above checklist at hand. A “chemistry”/intake coaching session is a good starting point to explore these characteristics. Think about who will support you in the coaching process (your boyfriend, best friend, family, manager etc.) and what you expect from your coaching trajectory.
 de Haan, E., Culpin V., & Curd, J. (2011). Executive coaching in practice: what determines helpfulness for clients of coaching? Personnel Review(1), 24.
 Yi-Ling, L., & McDowall, A. (2014). A systematic review (SR) of coaching psychology: Focusing on the attributes of effective coaching psychologists. International Coaching Psychology Review, 9(2), 118-134.