What does it take to become a Design Thinking Coach?

Design thinking is solely based on the user’s needs. But instead of working on assumptions, design thinkers take a great deal in observing their customers, understanding their needs, creating a prototype and finally testing it out. t. This seems to be a very simple process. Still, it requires a comprehensive approach based on many alternatives and hence finding creative and sustainable solutions to many intricate and complex problems.

Design thinking has been unanimously chosen as an integral part of all the growing companies worldwide, and it has revolutionized the way companies function. We all know that design thinking is centred around the human approach and hence help organizations to develop better products and services for their customers.  Design thinking involves a foresight of seeing at least 10-15 years down the line while approaching the solutions.

Skills Needed For Design Thinking

Anyone who wants to build up their career in design thinking needs to possess the following  five basic skills :

  • Problem Solving attitude
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration & Communication

Roles Of A Design Thinking Coach 

Design thinking is a mentor’s top soft skill that applies user- methodologies to solve problems and create solutions. The Design thinking leader acts as a catalyst for creative solutions. Today with its increasing popularity, many professionals are taking up design thinking courses in india to understand the role of a design coach and build the skills to guide teams. Here are a few roles a design coach plays based on the following qualities:

  1. Empathetic– Design Thinking coaches need to possess a quality of empathy, and they should have a strong sense of social interactions. A design thinking coach must analyze the mood of individuals and the mood that emerges from group dynamics. They also need to possess the ability to recognize individual moods, qualities and roles, and based on these, should address, highlight, promote or restrain the team members and strategically follow the team’s needs.
  2. Appreciative– A design thinking coach should possess a quality of appreciation. His approach towards his team members should be encouraging with a positive attitude. Working in a team requires dealing with people of different calibre and temperaments. A design coach should appreciate this diversity and manage to bring out the best in each of his team members, and on the whole, productive teamwork is evolved.
  3. Influential– A design thinking coach is a role model to his team, not just a coach. His work behaves as a reflection while coaching. A coach must be well aware of his influence on his team. For a designing coach to know how his action affects the others is a very crucial part.
  4. Motivational– A design thinking coach must be very motivated to share his work and experiences with his team. He has to know that his work only motivates his team and not otherwise. He should deploy his expertise very cautiously.
  5. Authenticity– The design thinking coaches must be authentic. They should embody and practice what they teach. Coaches should be well aware of their presence and position as a role models, and their appearance and performance shape the team’s learning experience. Design coaches should exemplify the basic principles of design thinking.
  6. Encouraging– The design coach must encourage their team to find all the alternatives and find new directions to explore.
  7. Decision Making– Sometimes, a design coach gets into a situation where the team is at loggerheads. Here he has a critical role to play in the decision making.

What It Takes To Be A Design Thinking Coach

A design thinking coach has many responsibilities under his hat. Coach as a teacher, Coach as a consultant, Coach as a motivator, Coach as a leader, and coach as a team member. There are many capabilities a design thinking coach must possess to fulfil his duties. Here is a list of some:

  • The essence of design thinking lies in the creative implementation of new thoughts and solutions. A design coach is never rigid about a specific method. Coaches understand the underlined goal and make their team approach it creatively and innovatively.
  • As we are aware, design thinking requires a lot of innovations, and hence it brings a lot of uncertain situations. Design thinking coaches must be very intuitive and flexible in dealing with such uncertainties. They need to be flexible in case of unexpected events and results, and Intuitiveness plays an important part as their decisions are based on it.
  • As design thinking coaches are experts in the design thinking process, they should use this knowledge to mentor the team when team members make decisions, still unaware of its implications later in the process.
  • Design thinking coach has to be smart enough to know when to intervene and when to hold back.
  • A Design Thinking Coach must possess a concurrent as well as a divergent approach. Divergent thinking here means that he should generate all the potential possibilities while exploring all the alternatives, and the concurrent approach implies how to decide after weighing the alternatives.
  • A design thinking coach must train his team to work on design thinking principles, i.e., empathize- define-ideate- prototype- test.


Today, this field is considered a vast and emerging one for a person to grow and make their career in. There are many roles a Design Thinking Coach plays. Active listener, cascading choices, design thinking, design patterns, empathy, relationship management, scenario planning and comprehending the customer’s needs. So, it is a crucial post, and a person needs to be very skillful to perform his duties as a designing coach. Many well-reputed institutes like design thinking course stanford train the design thinking coaches and make them well equipped with all these skills. Nowadays, many active working professionals opt to be design thinking coaches. It is a way to go.

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