What to Expect from Coaching

What you can expect from your coach

A coaching relationship is like no other, because of its combination of objective detachment and commitment to the goals of the individual.  It’s a distinct form of support; where someone creates a focus on your situations with an attention and commitment that you rarely experience anywhere else.

An effective coach will listen to you, with a genuine curiosity to understand who you are, what you think and generally how you experience the world. They will also reflect back to you, with an objective assessment and challenge that creates real clarity.



All qualified coaches have agreed to a code of ethics which protects the privacy of the people they coach, and so the contents of coaching sessions are confidential.

Where a third party has requested the coaching, e.g. as part of an assignment in the workplace, your coach will agree with you the best way to keep any interested third parties involved or updated.


What your coach will expect from you

Correspondingly, your coach will encourage you to stay committed to the coaching process. That means show up for sessions, take your own notes where appropriate, and keep the agreements you make during sessions. In addition, your coach needs you to be open to the potential of coaching. That means contributing to conversations honestly and openly. The strength and power of coaching relates directly to the level of openness and trust in this relationship.


Prepare for coaching

It helps to consider your own objectives for coaching before you meet your coach. It’s also helpful to decide how to increase the effectiveness of the engagement, by advance preparation.

The following questions will help:

1. What areas or topics might be most useful to work on with a coach? e.g. personal, professional, general learning and development?

2. What simple goals do you have right now which you’d like to make more progress with, e.g.to make something happen, or achieve something.

3. What learning and self-development goals do you have? e.g. get better at something or express certain qualities more (or less) often.

4. Of the factors under your own influence, what might stop your involvement with a coach from being successful? e.g. distractions or a tendency to procrastinate.

5. What thoughts are you having now about working with a coach?

Whilst the intention of the previous questions is simply to encourage your initial thoughts, you may also find that ideas, questions or actions arise from your thinking. That’s great, simply make a note of those and take them to your first session with your coach.



Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the opportunity of coaching. Perhaps you’ve also reflected on your own situation and goals and can imagine how coaching can support you.


(source: Julie Starr - Coaching Manual)