Coaching Learning Self awareness Strategy

How to be a good coach. Also for leaders

A good coach is never done learning and developing themselves.

I follow quite a few business coaches for a number of reasons.

My primary purpose is to learn.

Some coaches create great content.

Some are excellent at marketing themselves and their services.

Some know how to leverage data and technology to the maximum.

Some are not good, and these also provide learning.

What not to do is sometimes even more important than what to do.

Each of them provides me with insights, and I enjoy figuring out how best to use it for my purpose.

Enjoy life and what I do. Learn daily. Inspire Daily. Feel good about myself.

And, help leaders, teams, and businesses to be better every day.

Recently, I have seen more and more coaches talking about the fact that there are more and more coaches.

Today, I’m one of them.

But with a different angle.

It’s a red ocean of coaches.

This metaphor comes from the book Blue Ocean strategy, which advocates for finding your own blue ocean and staying away from the red ocean filled with aggressive sharks.

And I’m not even counting the coaches that are coaching the coaches.

With the same dynamics.

Some good. Some horrific.

But there’s a lot of money in this market, so why would you care.

Good old supply and demand, baby!

Market economics at work. Those who are good succeed, those who are not being weeded out.

I don’t care how many coaches there are. The more there are, the bigger the market.

Good for me.

But I do care about the service their clients get. Being able to sell your services does not mean you provide sound advice.

So we forget that the harm already may be done. Anybody who received bad coaching from a would-be coach is one too many.

So what makes a good coach?

A good coach is somebody with proper education and experience. With active clients. With authentic, recent, and constructive testimonials.

A good coach can get to the heart of the matter through a process of pointed questions and dialogue.

A good coach talks less and listens more.

A good coach is confident, able to be vulnerable, but never arrogant or ‘I know it all.’

A good coach helps you see your solutions yourself.

When talking to a good coach, you feel immediately you can be yourself, and you get the same authenticity in return.

Working with a good coach feels natural, even though the process may be painful and confronting.

You know a good coach when you’ve talked to one.
A good coach is more than happy to connect you with some of their clients.

Your turn: So, how do you score on the checklist above?


What are the areas you need to work on?

Because that’s another aspect of a good coach.

A good coach is never done learning and developing themselves.

Never. Ever. Good coaches know that.

That’s why a good coach is never great, by his or her own standards.

Great is the enemy of good (I know. I flipped the quote). Because great suggests perfection. Good leaves spaces for better, a continuous process of learning, but never perfection.

Good coaches enjoy working through the list above with honesty and authenticity and embrace the learning.

When you recognize yourself in my insights, you’re a good coach!

And by the way, leaders need to be able to play the coach’s role too. So check yourself!

Do more of what makes you happy!


To learn more about Blue Ocean Strategy and Red Ocean competition,
watch this short video by Harvard Business Review.

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Erikjan Lantink
Business & Leadership Coach

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