Outcome 2
2.1 - Critically explore the knowledge, skills, and behaviour of an effective coach or mentor

Qualities of effective coaches 

Zeus and Skiffington (2000) Pemberton (2006), Hunt and Weintraub (2002), Mackintosh (2003), Starr (2004), Sambrock and Stewart (2000) provide an extensive list of requirements for managers who want to become effective coaches, namely:

a helpful attitude,

less need for control,

enthusiasm for coaching,

empathic dealing with others,

openness to personal learning and receiving feedback,

high personal standards,

a desire to help others to develop and

an understanding that most people do want to learn.

According to Hunt and Weintraub (2002), coaching managers who hold contrary beliefs and attitudes will perform poorly, for example, they will attempt to demonstrate their “toughness”, will not search for more alternatives which in turn will then limit their subordinates’ development; they will focus only on immediate results and in some cases may become cynical or hostile.


According to Zeus and Skiffington (2008) the following are the Personal Qualities of a successful coach:


  • A capacity of self awareness

  • A capacity to inspire others

  • A capacity to build relationships

  • A capacity to be flexible

  • A capacity to communicate

  • A capacity to be forward looking

  • A capacity to manage professional boundaries


Questioning is an important skill for coaches, because it can help you to discover others ideas, thoughts, needs and problems. 

With effective questioning you can show care, interest, sympathy, empathy and your wish to help them to develop.

Martin C - The Life Coaching Handbook (Crown House Publishing Ltd, 2012) ISBN 9781899836710

Questions are at the heart of the coaches toolkit. Anyone can follow a model with a client. A good coach recognises what question to use to open thoughts and remove barriers. 

Remember - You are not giving advice as a coach. Your questions should not lead another person into your way of thinking and should not manipulate them into having and taking your ideas. 


Useful questions to ask in the initiation stage of coaching:

What do you want to get from having me as your coach?

What is it you think I can provide that you don't have yourself?

What is it that you want to accomplish?

What will it provide you with?

What else?

What steps do you think you can do to fulfil this?

When you say [X], what does that mean?

So is that like [Y]?

What else specifically?

How specifically?


What are you willing to do to make this happen?

How is [X situation] now?

Tell me more about that, please.

What would that look like?

Is there clarity needed around this?

Where are you not doing [A]?

What concerns do you have about that?

How was that process for you?

So what you want coaching on is [B].

How committed are you to this?

What makes this an issue for you?



This is the nature of coaching questions. They do not lead a person or give advice. One of the hardest things for most people is to change from 'directional' statements or questions to 'non directional' questions.

"Have you considered .....?" is not a coaching question.


Double loop learning





Coaching is aiming to achieve Double loop learning for the individual.

Single loop learning is about working out how to bring about a particular change based on a particular situation. Double loop learning is not only to solve particular issues but also to help the person to develop a shift in thinking that involves being able to approach a whole range of situations.

‘If I can deal with this issue, then I can deal with other situations, both similar to and dissimilar from this one’.

‘By double loop learning we mean learning that results in a change in values and theories-in-use, as well as in strategies and assumptions’ (Argyris and Schon, 1996).

Argyris suggests that learning involves the detection and correction of error. Upon the detection of an error, most people look for another operational strategy that will work within the same goal-structure and rule-boundaries. This is "single-loop learning."

It is a simple feedback loop, where outcomes cause adjustment of behaviours, like a thermostat. It is generally in operation when goals, beliefs, values, conceptual frameworks, and strategies are taken for granted without critical reflection.

A higher order of learning is when the individual questions the goal-structures and rules upon detecting an error. This is more like "coloring outside the lines" to solve the problem or error. This is referred to as "double loop learning."

This is more creative and may lead to alterations in the rules, plans, strategies, or consequences initially related to the problem at hand.

Double-loop learning involves critical reflection upon goals, beliefs, values, conceptual frameworks, and strategies.


Argyris believes that this way of learning is critical in organizations and individuals that find themselves in rapidly changing and uncertain contexts.


1.1 - Context, definition and difference 

1.2 - Barriers to using coaching 

1.3 - The case for coaching 

2.1  - Knowledge, skills and behaviour

2.2 - Effective communication 

2.3 - Responsibilities to manage relationships

3.1 - Review a model or process 

3.2 - Rationale for contracting 

3.3 - Exploring expectations and boundaries 

3.4 - Rationale for supervision 

4.1 - Review elements required for integrated coaching


4.2 - Analyse how benefits evaluated