Exploring career mentoring and coaching
Exploring career mentoring and coaching

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

5.1 Building your skills

If you’re interested in becoming a coach, you will probably already have many relevant skills and attributes, such as empathy and the ability to establish rapport. But you may need to work on developing some of the others, for example listening and summarising.

Watch coaching expert Dr Julia Yates explain how to build relevant coaching skills in the following video.

Download this video clip.Video player: mentoring_and_coaching_week7_4a.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

To build your coaching skills, you might look for opportunities to listen to and support your colleagues. Practice asking them challenging questions and ask them for feedback regarding whether they were helpful.

You can practise building rapport by talking to strangers (in an appropriate setting!) and trying to find some common ground.

Benefits to your own career

Becoming a coach can bring advantages to an individual in many areas of life.

Van Nieuwerburgh (2017, p. 182) describes six things that you can start to do every day:

  • Listen to others
  • Allow for choices
  • Show an interest in others
  • Provide helpful feedback
  • Believe in others
  • Encourage others to identify meaningful goals.

Apply these rules to every day conversations with your family, at work etc. and you’ll see a difference in the quality of your interactions with other people.

If you currently lead a team, adopting a coaching approach can enhance team relationships and allow you to communicate more effectively with them.

Julia Yates shares what she has gained personally from becoming a coach in the next video.

Download this video clip.Video player: mentoring_and_coaching_week7_4b.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

One other reason why many people consider coaching as a potential career is the opportunity to set up your own business. If you crave autonomy and flexibility alongside all the other elements listed – coaching could be the career for you!

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371