“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle had it correct, especially when it comes to the field of business coaching. It’s those things that coaches do every day, the ways they naturally behave, that make them so well suited to their profession.

I’ve worked with a lot of coaches over the years, and I’ve noticed quite a few habits that seem to be universal among the most successful of them. These 13 habits are the foundation of every highly effective coach.

1. Interested in growth

Coaches spend a lot of time on personal development. They’re dedicated to continuing their education, including reading books, taking classes, and joining professional associations.

2. Uses a coach

The best coaches believe in what they do. So much so, in fact, they employ the services of a coach themselves in an effort to stay on track and continuously improve.

3. Lives in the moment

You won’t see a great coach staring at their phone when other people are around. They remain focused on the present moment, taking in everything and everyone around them.

4. Asks questions

A great coach is as curious as a cat, asking questions of everyone for no other reason than a sincere interest in getting to know people better on a deeper level.

5. Genuinely cares

Empathy is a common characteristic of great coaches. They understand and feel what others are thinking and feeling in a deep and profound way.

6. Develops trust

You know the person who you’d trust with your deepest, darkest secrets? The one who’d listen without judgement and who’d never betray you? That person would probably be a great coach.

7. Listens well

Hearing others out, without interjecting a personal opinion, is another habit common amongst great coaches. They’re not thinking of what they’ll say next or trying to “win” the conversation, they listen because they want to truly hear what the person is saying and feeling.

8. Communicates clearly

Being able to communicate clearly and respectfully with people of varying personalities is a habit all successful coaches must develop. Likewise, they expect the same in return.

9. Is confident

When someone has confidence in their skills and abilities, others are more inclined to follow them. Great coaches know this, and that’s why they make it a habit to be self-assured.

10. Lacks ego

Successful coaches are confident, but never arrogant. They’re uninterested in giving advice or providing solutions, but get very excited by helping others arrive at their own conclusions and solve their own problems.

11. Is unafraid

There’s always that one person in a group who asks the tough questions and is the first to call someone out when they need it. That’s the type of person who makes an excellent coach.

12. Inspires action

Can you motivate and others simply by having a conversation with them? Do people feel empowered to tackle their problems after spending time with you? Then you’ve developed one of the most important habits of a successful coach.

13. Remains positive

Negative self-talk, constant complaining, belittling, and berating? No way. Effective coaches are people who always look on the bright side and offer up encouraging words.

What do you think? Did I leave an important habit off the list? I’d love to hear any additions you’d make in the comments.

Originally published at medium.com