A primary focus of a professional coach is to understand the client as a person; understand their preferences, needs, wants, and goal prioritization. A professional coach receives training for recognizing client personality, communication style, and focus. The International Coaches Federation (ICF) published a study that stated a top indicator of coaching effectiveness is the rapport between the coach and the client. Developing rapport begins with understanding.
When a coach understands their client, they recognize how their client thinks, processes, and prioritizes. This serves the coach to formulate effective questions. It serves the client because the client is aware that the coach understands, so their comfort level is increased. The components of effective training for coaches include:
* How to identify the client’s personality style based on the current interaction (without testing) because people are a combination of styles and present circumstances influence how they are functioning.
* How to identify whether a client is visual, auditory, or kinesthetic because then the coach adjusts language and questions to the client’s for enhanced understanding.
* How to recognize client focus for processing and making decisions so that the coach asks appropriate questions.
There is discussion among coaches and clients as to whether the coach should be of the same style as the client. A trained coach understands the client’s style and adjusts accordingly. This means that professional coaches treat their clients the way each prefers to be treated.