Designing the Coaching Relationship

So you’ve connected with a buddy and want to start your first 1:1 session? Great – here you find best practices how to start your coaching. Before your first session you should have read through the basic coaching course and the goal setting course.


If you are meeting within virtual space, make sure you are in a silent, undisturbed space with a good internet connection.
If you are meeting in person, choose inspiring locations such as park benches, lounges of hotels, or make a walk.


The coach should encourage the coachee to take notes – best in a coaching journal.
He can take notes as well, but many coaches don’t because they want to stay as present as possible and not be distracted by the story. BUT the coach should take notes about the action plan that results from the session to keep accountability possible.

Designing the Relationship – First session

Each coaching session can have a different length. Most coaches prefer 30-40 min.
The reason for these short sessions is, that the coachee has to focus on the essential points and shorten the story – this helps to touch the true learning and insights much faster. It is also quite difficult for the coach to stay present for longer then 45 minutes.

At the first session, you should clarify in depth how your coaching relationship should look like. Take enough time to clarify all expectations from both sides. This can save a lot of time later. After around 3 months of a coaching relationship, you should re-define your coaching relationship, to check what works and what not.

  • Assure confidentially: I will maintain the strictest levels of confidentiality with all information around the coaching.
  • How can we work together effectively in order to achieve extraordinary results?
  • What should happen during the session that at the end you can say it was successful and rewarding?
  • How would you (or other people) know that the coaching in general is successfully finished?
  • What do you expect me in my role as your coach?
  • What qualities do you want to have me in my role as a coach?
  • How do I need to be to get the best out of you?
  • What do you expect me in my role as a coachee?
  • What would make you more comfortable in the coaching?
  • What are potential obstacles?
  • How would you like me to respond if you are: 1) angry 2) don’t do what you say you’ll do 3) close up 4) appear to be under pressure or overwhelmed 5) are not performing as well as I believe you can?
  • As the coaching continues: Can we change something in order to make the coaching relationship more effective?
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