5 time NCAA champion Mike Krzyzewski - possibly the most famous college basketball coach ever has a quote I love:
“Communication does not always occur naturally, even among a tight-knit group of individuals. Communication must be taught and practiced in order to bring everyone together as one.”
With over 1,000 wins and over 100 future NBA players coached, Coach K knows his stuff.
He’s a great examples of what a coach can help his athletes achieve.
A communication coach is called a "coach" for a reason...
A coach is someone who directs training and habits to help someone become the best they can be. And you just heard it from the best - communication skills can be taught and improved!
So let’s take a look at what makes a good communication coach and how they can help you achieve your communication goals!
What is a Communication Coach?
A communication coach works with clients to help them communicate better in their career, and in their personal life, and helps them develop more social confidence.
A good communication coach does this by giving their clients perspective, accountability, asking good questions and breaking down the building blocks of being a more effective communicator.
I've helped awesome clients from Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Stanford and more improve their communication skills with private coaching.
If you're thinking about hiring a communication coach, here are a few key things that a good coach will help you with...
1. A Communication Coach Helps You Decide What’s Important
One of the number one questions I receive as a communication coach is “How can I be more socially confident?”
While there’s no one right answer to this question, there are certain steps that I take all of my clients through to help them achieve better communication skills. The first step is answering:
“What’s important to you?”
While all of my clients want to improve their communication and social skills, their motivations are all a little different.
Some people want to advance their careers at work, some need help with first date small talk, and some of my clients just want to be better at parties and have more engaging conversations.
Once we know why you’re looking to improve your communication skills, we can structure a gameplan that’s tailored to your specific goals and needs!
The clearer we get on what you want (better water cooler conversation, telling captivating stories, better relationships with your in-laws, etc.) the more helpful my instructions and exercises will be.
Here’s a peek at the recipe for my “secret sauce” when it comes to communications coaching:
I’ll break down your larger goals into smaller chunks - baby steps, if you will - and give you simple exercises that will help you train your “communication muscles” to react the way you want them to.
Because the big secret to confidence? It’s just practice and commitment to putting yourself out there.
2. A Communication Coach Keeps You Accountable
If you’re like most people, you’ve had a least one episode of New Year’s Resolution-esque motivation to “Get. In. Shape.”
You bought running shoes.
You downloaded “Eye of the Tiger” to your new workout playlist.
You signed up for a gym membership or classes. You stepped foot inside the gym at one point!
You were PUMPED!
But then what happened? If you’re like 99% of people, you lost motivation. You stopped going.
The short answer is because it’s freakin’ HARD to change habits.
And it’s even harder to do it alone.
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study that found you are 95% more likely to achieve your goals if you have an accountability partner with whom you meet regularly.
Ninety-five percent! That’s HUGE. That’s the difference between abject failure and absolute success, people.
So after we know your why and lay out your solid gameplan, one of the most important benefits a communication coach can offer you is accountability.
And on a human level, it just makes sense, doesn’t it? When someone is counting on us, it’s so much easier to do things that are difficult or scare us.
When my clients agree to start ten conversations or try a new story out at happy hour before our next meeting, and they know I’ll be asking about it...magic happens!
I hear from my clients all the time that knowing I’ll be checking in makes it much easier to follow through. It’s that extra little push to do what you need to do to achieve your goals.
And eventually, just like in physical training, you’ll condition your communication muscle memory until it’s second nature.
The more you practice, the easier it will become.
3. A Communication Coach Helps Find and Eliminate Blind Spots
Blind spots - everyone has them, but (by definition) no one can see their own. It’s a catch-22!
Maybe you use a lot of filler words like “um” or “like.” Maybe you ramble, go off on tangents or talk too fast when you’re nervous.
Whatever your tick or tell, it’s going to be 100 times easier for someone else to point it out.
One of the benefits a communications coach can provide is help in identifying, and then eliminating, your communication blind spots.
My number one priority is to help you keep those communication blind spots from holding you back. I will always be honest with you about what we need to work on.
But remember this - a good communications coach will NEVER make you feel self-conscious or shame about your communication skills!
It can be uncomfortable to examine your social performance, but a good coach will approach it with compassion and tact.
Check out these cases studies with my clients, Trudy & Faiz:
4. A Communication Coach Helps You Improve Quickly
There are no magic words that will make you a hilarious and dapper socialite overnight. The only thing that can improve your confidence is commitment and practice.
We start small so you can build confidence over time and start to trust yourself more in social situations. (Cough...systems over goals...cough)
As you gain confidence, the whole thing snowballs, and suddenly you almost forget what it was like to be petrified of normal social situations!
Because your communication coach is working with you closely and understands your unique goals and situation, you learn much faster than you can by reading general books or watching random YouTube videos on small talk.
A tailored approach means faster results, and the faster you see results the more confidence you’ll have… Do you see how this is a self-fulfilling prophecy?!
Add to that the benefits of accountability, a customized game plan, and achievable, actionable goals and You. Are. Ready.
5. A Communication Coach Helps You Reframe Limiting Beliefs
Many of my private coaching clients start with limiting beliefs that they’ve had for years:
This is negative self-talk. It’s the story you tell yourself about who you are. And when you tell yourself a story enough times, it can start to feel like the truth.
But the real truth is you can hold a conversation. You don’t suck at small talk. You do know what to say at meetings.
Through our work together, you’ll notice that these old beliefs get challenged and then replaced by new scripts that serve you better.
One way that we’ll do this is by recording your social wins.
As you improve your communication skills, it’s crucial to track your wins over time.
That way you can look back and say, “Oh yeah! I had a great conversation last week!” or “I crushed my last presentation!”
Keeping a record and reading back over it is a way to teach your brain a new story - a story about the new and socially confident you!
What Makes a Good Communication Coach?
It's completely normal to ask "What makes a good communication coach".
After working with clients all over the world, I'd say it boils down to two things:
1. A good communication coach will focus on behavior over throwing 1,001 tactics at you.
2. A good communication coach will tell you how to be a good client.
Understanding human behavior is key as a coach.
Improving your communication skills isn't as simple as dumping a pile of information on you and saying "Go get 'em!" or telling you to start 100 conversations in a day.
A big part of my work with clients is focusing on small, consistent actions you can take to become a better communicator.
This might mean looking at your daily or weekly routine and finding new opportunities to socialize or communicate more effectively. In coaching, we try to get hyper-specific with how and when you can practice, not just what you can practice.
How to be a good client.
Most coaches tend to try to sell you on them and their expertise. (Makes sense, right?)
But I hardly ever see any coaches talk about what it takes to be a good client.
With coaching, the most important factor is...you.
The three biggest factors in determining if a potential client will have a good outcome with coaching are:
The clients that consistently do this have the best chance for a great outcome with coaching.
How To Find A Good Communication Coach?
So, you’re leaning towards taking the plunge and investing in improving your people skills with the help of a communication coach.
But wait, how do you find a coach who’s not just good, but perfect for you?
Here are three things to keep in mind.
1. Do Your Research:
Start by doing your homework.
Pay attention to the coaches who specialize in the areas you want to improve. Each coach has a unique style and method, so take the time to find someone whose approach resonates with you.
One of my clients recently told me that I remind them of a "backyard barbecue" type of person. I love that, because I like to help my clients approach situations in a stress free, low pressure way.
2. Case Studies are Key:
A good coach will have success stories and communication coaching case studies to share. An...ahem...less good coach won't.
Real-life examples give you insight into their coaching style and the results you can expect.
Case studies also provide a glimpse of the coach’s expertise and their approach to solving communication challenges.
So, don’t shy away from asking for these stories during your initial interactions.
3. Personality Fit Matters:
Communication coaching is a personal journey, and for it to be successful, you need to connect with your coach.
Hop on a call with potential coaches to get a feel for their personality and communication style. This call is also a fantastic opportunity to discuss your goals and expectations.
Remember, you’ll be working closely with this person, so it’s crucial that your personalities mesh well.
Next Step: Apply For A No-Cost Strategy Session!
If you've been thinking about leveling up your communication and social skills, and you'd like to learn more about my private coaching services click here.
Communication Coaching FAQ
What does a communication coach do?
A communication coach helps people get better at conversations, social mindsets, telling stories, explaining concepts clearly, and listening so they can do well in their career, handle relationships, feel more social confidence, and grow as a person.
Why do I need a communication coach?
You might need a communication coach if you want to improve your speaking, listening, and overall communication skills. A coach can provide personalized guidance, tips, and exercises to help you become a more effective and confident communicator, which can benefit you in your personal and professional life.
Why is communication important in the workplace?
Workplace communication matters because it helps people work well together, avoid misunderstandings, and get things done. It's like the glue that holds a team together and makes everything run smoothly.
Why is communication important outside of the workplace?
Communication outside of work is crucial because it helps people connect, understand each other, share information, solve problems, build relationships, and enjoy social and personal experiences. It's the way we express ourselves and connect with others in our everyday lives.
How will a Communication Coach help me?
A Communication Coach will work closely with you to understand your communication strengths and weaknesses. They'll give you personalized tips and exercises to make you a better communicator. This can boost your confidence, improve your relationships, and help you reach your career and personal goals by speaking and listening more effectively.
How can I improve my communication skills?
To improve your communication skills, practice listening carefully, be clear and concise when you speak, and pay attention to how you use your body and face. Seek feedback from others, take communication classes, or work with a coach who can give you helpful tips.
What is effective communication?
Effective communication is saying what you mean in a simple way that others can understand. It's about being clear, listening actively, and showing empathy. When you communicate effectively, you have more successful and meaningful conversations.
What is the role of a Communication Coach?
A Communication Coach helps people identify their communication strengths and weaknesses. A Communication Coach provides guidance, feedback, and strategies to improve communication skills, helping clients level up in their careers, relationships, and personal development.
WHAT IS YOUR COACHING PROCESS LIKE?
We'll communicate via Zoom video calls, and chat in between calls via a private coaching Slack channel. You'll also have access to on-demand video lessons.
WHAT KIND OF RESULTS HAVE YOUR PAST CLIENTS HAD?
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Over the last 15 years, I’ve learned... (Read More)
• 5 Ways a Communication Coach Can Help You Become a Better Communicator
• The Ultimate Guide To Joining & Enjoying Group Conversations
• How to Never Run Out of Things to Say