10 characteristics of a great coaching relationship

A coaching conversation

A great coaching relationship is one where your coach helps you to gain clarity and insight about the topics you are discussing — and identify actions that will move you forward towards achieving your personal and professional goals.

Here are 10 characteristics of an effective coaching conversation:

  1. Presence – your coach will enable you to fully arrive and step out of your working day so far to be ‘present’ for the coaching session.
  2. Clear expectations – your coach will discuss roles and responsibilities and aspects such as confidentiality to ensure you feel comfortable about being open and honest about what is really happening for you.
  3. Trust and rapport – your coach will establish and continually develop trust and rapport with you to create a supportive environment for your reflection and the coaching conversation.
  4. Clear outcomes – your coach will help you establish clear and specific goals for both the coaching conversation and the overall coaching programme.
  5. Empathic reflection – your coach will listen to you attentively and demonstrate their understanding of your perspective. By doing this, they will help you understand the deeper meaning of the conversation for you. At the same time, they will help you explore the situation you are discussing from different points of view.
  6. Exploration – your coach will facilitate your thinking through asking questions, listening, and sharing models and approaches to enable you to have deeper levels of insight and awareness about the topic you are discussing.
  7. Development stretch – your coach will offer you supportive challenge to enable you to gain the most from the session and to maximise your awareness and insight.
  8. Self-awareness and learning – your coach will help you learn about yourself from the topics discussed and the process of coaching. They will deepen your self awareness and at times supportively hold up a mirror to enable you to become aware of any potential blind spots.
  9. Action planning – your coach will help you identify actions and create a plan to achieve your goals.
  10. Accountability – your coach will support and hold you accountable for your actions and at the next session will follow up on your progress to maximise your learning and growth.

Overall, a great coaching relationship is a collaborative process where your coach and you work together to achieve your goals. The coach will facilitate the conversation and the process to help you gain new insights and perspectives that will enable you to take action and achieve your desired change.

If you are interested in developing your coaching skills with Catalyst 14, you can learn more about our coach training services here.

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