Characteristics of a Coaching Relationship
- Co-Partnership Exists Between the Coach and the Client.
- Client is equal with the coach.
- Coach comes alongside the client with an attitude of serving the client’s needs and agenda.
- Coach sees the client as the expert for his or her own life.
- Coach and client are involved in making the coaching relationship successful.
- The coaching relationship “exists to serve the client.”3
- Focus is on meeting the client’s needs.
Personal Growth and Change Is Affirmed
- Warm, safe, and supportive environment created.
- Coach expresses natural affirmation, support, and encouragement.
- Coach has genuine and sincere concern for the client’s well-being.
- Coach gives respect, shows interest, and expresses belief in and for the client’s goals and future dreams.
- Coach uses direct communication and feedback for the greatest positive impact on the client.
- Truth and honesty are expected.
Responsibility and Stewardship Belong to the Client
- Coach trusts the client to be responsible.
- Client owns the goals and action steps created.
- Client takes responsibility to follow through for his own decisions or action steps.
Coach Believes the Best About the Client
- Coach expresses genuine belief in the client.
- Coach demonstrates acceptance and non-judgmental stance toward the client.
- Coach gives room to fail.
Intentional Focus Is on the Client’s Distinct Design
- Client’s strengths are championed.
- Client’s uniqueness is respected.
- Client’s self-awareness is encouraged.
Exploration and Discovery are Encouraged Through Active Listening and Power Questions
- Coaching relationship provides a safe environment for exploration and discovery of new possibilities and avenues.
- Coach supports and affirms new goals and behaviors.
- Coach helps the client design actions.
Integrity, Authenticity, and Sincerity Are Marks of the Coaching Relationship
- Coach demonstrates integrity, authenticity, and sincerity.
- Coach keeps commitments.
- Trust is a central standard of the relationship.
Laura Whitworth, Karen Kimsey-House, Henry Kimsey-House, and Phillip Sandahl, Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life 2nd Ed. (Mountain View, CA: Davies-Black, 2007), 16.