The Keys to Successful Coaching

Coaching - whether it’s as an intrinsic part of a coaching culture or as a more informal interaction between individuals - has to follow certain paths. I won’t call them rules, as the very idea of rules when applied to coaching makes no sense to me. Coaching is too personal and too individual to be bound by ‘rules’.

The paths that give a coaching conversation its structure are something that the coach has to keep in mind, particularly when the coach is new to the role, or doesn’t have as much opportunity to practice.

The first of these is to establish the desired outcome; to gain a clear understanding of what will make a success out of the intervention. In corporate terms we are generally looking at improved performance.

Secondly, we should seek to establish a plan; a schedule for the changes or a timeline that will culminate in the desired outcome. However, all the planning in the world won’t achieve much if there isn’t a clear and well-defined goal, as established in the first part of the coaching.

Once an outcome has been defined, and a timeline has been decided, it’s important to allow the client to practice or play out the skills that will move them towards the desired outcome. You don’t generally learn new skills by talking about them, but role-play or other methods of simulating the skills will help embed them, greatly enhancing the chances of a positive result in the shortest time possible.

The coach’s role is to ask…not to tell.

A final path…the coach should always seek to recognise and reward progress towards the chosen goal, and to acknowledge the efforts being made in the right direction.

As you can see, these are directives that allow a huge amount of latitude in how they are applied. Every transaction between a coach and client is different, and will be coloured by influences both external and within both parties. Taking this into consideration should always be a part of the coaching process; something that is not always easy to achieve, but should always be worked towards.


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 Caitlin has made a real difference to my confidence and to the way I approach my business on a day to day basis.
John Baker, Regional Director, The Jockey Club
 It (coaching) unearthed a depth of confidence that I was beginning to question and enabled me to make a significant change within myself and my work.
Luke Joy-Smith, Managing Director - Somerset Social Enterprise
 I connected with my coach on our very first call and I believe that made the whole difference for me. I wish I could dig deeper on some of my remaining issues but unfortunately all good things have to end. I will definitely recommend coaching and have been already doing it for while. It definitely changed my life.
Stephanie Malka, Director NOC Service Engineering – EMEA
 Great to see that there has been a positive outcome from this.
Simon Gosney, Head of Learning and Development
 Tim has provided some high quality coaching support to me through a time of transition both in terms of job, career and organisational changes. He is a skilled and experienced executive coach who facilitated just the right mix of reflection, future visioning, challenge, compassion and stretch. I’d strongly recommend working with him if you are going through a career or organisation transition. Fun to work with, I always left my sessions with him feeling significantly clearer and more content with my overall direction of travel and next steps.
Neil Savage, Director of Organisational Development 2gether NHS Foundation Trust
 “I selected my coach on the basis that she had a completely different approach to my structured way of thinking. Katherine challenged me and took me way out of my comfort zone – scary and uncomfortable at times but eye-opening. These coaching sessions enabled me to see things from a very different perspective, gave me the time and space to reflect on my practice and provided practical tips and approaches as to how I can develop my performance.”
Zenobia Daar, Head of People, Governance & Performance
 Please continue with the programme. For a guy, like Paul, who does not use the word 'fantastic', who then uses must be really good!
Marissa Bartlett, Head of Organisational Development - Mid Sussex District Council
 Everyone learnt a lot about themselves and others. It was the first training in English that one of my mentors had done and it was really successful for him. We have all come away feeling more confident. I have been on many development programmes and I have to say it has been one of the best I have ever attended.
Radka Lankasova, HR Manager, DENSO MANUFACTURING CZECH s. r. o.
 Steve Delivered a professional, relaxed and engaging session. Relevance, interest and clarity of delivering allowed for a very productive outcome.
Andy Castle, VP of Network Operations and Engineering, EMEA
 I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Steve. He encouraged me to look at how I view myself and my actions, to actively seek positive outcomes to every day situations. My perception of myself has certainly changed due to my conversations with Steve and I would highly recommend coaching sessions with Unlimited Potential.
Rik Roberts, Team Leader