Authentic Coach Presence is a Sum of 6 Character Virtues

Authentic Coach Presence is a Sum of 6 Character Virtues 1 Year Ago · 5 min read

Talyaa Vardar

Talyaa Vardar, MA, FCPC, MCC
Executive Coach, Psychologist & Art Therapist

Professional coaches are educated change agents. Catalysts. World shifters.

Becoming a coach takes a lot of qualities, which starts with the character.  A character that is;

  • humane,
  • objective,
  • compassionate,
  • non-judgmental,
  • patient,
  • open minded.

All of these character qualities are related to each other. If we look from a systemic perspective, becoming a good coach is truly like becoming a Sufi master since one of the most important virtues of a coach’s character is objectivity and being non-judgmental. For a coach to practice such neutral presence takes a lot of patience and compassion.

Jumping into conclusions without listening with a neutral mental state will damage your coaching presence. Coaches who jump into conclusions when things do not develop as they expect them to- will not be able to support their clients to their maximum potential. Most of the time, people with problem orientation habits have a tendency to hurry in their conclusions. Instead start with inquiring first to understand the reality. Beware that reality has many layers and your perception of reality is based on your habitual perception filters- so it might not be right. Do not limit this practice with only  your coaching sessions, but turn it into a habit-part of your character.

Keeping an open mind with an understanding that things may not be what they are as they look like. Therefore, investing in developing a neutral/objective mindset is a smart thing to do. According to our research, it takes at least three months and 20 different coaching conversations to develop such a neutral mind.

Unlearn what you have learnt about people.

Approach situations and people with an authentic curiosity and ask yourself: Who am I hearing? My inner habitual filter or the other person’s words. Each time you notice that you hear yourself more, remind yourself to come back with a neutral, non-judgmental mindset and listen again.

It will take a while, but eventually you will get that neutral space. Remembering Rumi’s poem will help you to come back to your core (while moving away from your ego) in developing your authentic coach presence:

“Come, come, whoever you are,
wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving,
it doesn't matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times.
Come, come again, come.”

― Rumi