20+ Coaching Skills (2019)

Coaching Skills

Coaching Skills

Coaching is very essential for Client Successes and improves Strengths to boost productivity and skills. This blog explores 20+ new coaching skills with examples.


Coaching with a Well-Being Assessment

The first coaching sessions with a client are an opportunity for establishing trust and rapport, confirming a coach’s sense of the client’s circumstances based on any assessments that may have been completed ahead of time and determining the readiness/energy level of the client for a change.


It should never be assumed that assessments completed ahead of time reveal the whole story or reflect how the client will be feeling when the coaching session takes place. Also, mistakes or misinterpretation of questions can sometimes occur when filling out forms.


It is wise to confirm in a coaching session important items that might be significant in working toward a client’s vision or checking in on items that don’t seem to add up based on other comments. That’s why it’s so important for coaches to practice mindfulness and to be in the moment with clients rather than fixated on the results of an assessment.


Assessments are helpful as guides; they become unhelpful when they introduce an agenda that triggers a client to become resistant.


Establish Trust and Rapport

It is crucial to establish trust and rapport with clients at the outset of every coaching session; that is especially true at the outset of the first coaching session.


Coach and client may be unknown to each other apart from information exchanged ahead of time, so it is essential for coaches to put clients at ease and to bring them into their confidence through:

  • Holding clients in positive regard
  • Expressing empathy
  • Slowing down
  • Listening with full attention


Uncover Motivation


The coach begins by thanking the client for completing the assessment(s), and get a sense of their experience and learning from assessments. Ask the client to share any feelings, issues, or questions they may have in the wake of the assessment(s).


Pay attention to the emotional charge as well to the underlying needs so that you can offer an empathetic reflection in reply. It is important that the client feels heard and respected on an emotional level before moving on.


  • “What’s most important for you right now?”
  • “What are you most excited to talk about?”
  • “What are you yearning for in your life?”
  • “What areas of life make you feel most alive?”


These are the operative inquiries. Regardless of how they may have rated and prioritized things at the time of the assessment(s), coaches work with clients at the moment. Things may have shifted between then and now for any number of reasons (including the taking of the assessment[s] themselves).


It’s the job of the coach to remain open to the presenting energy and issues of the client rather than showing up with an agenda for the coaching session (however grounded that may be in the assessments). The aim is to flow and co-construct things with the client rather than to wear the expert hat of teacher or advisor.


Use Appreciative Inquiry to Discover Client Successes and Strengths

The best way to discuss an assessment is to use the information gleaned from it to make powerful, client-specific, strength-based inquiries in a way that will assist clients in knowing themselves and moving forward in the direction of their desired futures.


By asking clients open-ended questions about their successes, strengths, frameworks, and hopes, the coach will not only learn more about their priorities and the issues they want to focus on at this time, but it will also elevate the client’s readiness and energy for change.


Clients are used to taking assessments that have the intention of revealing flaws that need to be fixed; it is refreshing when assessments are used to reveal strengths that need to be reinforced. Conversations about assessments are a time for learning rather than telling what clients should know or do.

Other inquiries are:

  • “What questions do you have after completing the assessment?”
  • “What insights do you have by completing the assessment?”
  • “I’m curious about the way you responded to . . . Tell me more.”
  • “About what do you feel most proud?”
  • “What surprised you?”
  • “What concerns you? ”


Masterful Coaching skills is about paying attention to and building on the energy clients show up with for coaching. When their energy is low (whether physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually), appreciative empathy can bring new energy. When their energy is high, the appreciative inquiry can assist them with getting or staying inspired.


Either way, discovering client successes, strengths, frameworks, and hopes that are grounded in reality as revealed by the assessment(s) and by what they have to say now, at the moment, will enable clients to develop a vision and to design appropriate actions.


Discover Preferred Client Learning Modes and Styles

People learn best in different ways. More than 80 learning style models have been developed and another book would be needed to do them justice. The Myers Briggs and DISC assessments, to mention only two of the more popular ones, reveal learning styles and are among the models to consider.


Although there is considerable criticism of the validity of learning style models and assessments by psychologists and psychometricians, there is no dispute that individual preferences in learning styles play a role in change and learning. Take weight loss, for example.


Some prefer to learn from books, some want a close personal mentor such as a personal trainer, some enjoy online self-help programs or online social networks, some value a local live group discussion or class format, some seek out competitions, whereas others do best when they go away for an intensive learning week with experts.


One of the International Coach Federation’s core coaching competencies relates to learning style: “[The coach] demonstrates respect for the client’s perceptions, learning style, and personal being.” Apart from such respect, it’s important for clients to connect with coaches in ways that promote their learning and growth.


Noticing the language and approaches they use, the coach can then better come alongside clients in the process of enabling them to more rapidly and successfully acquire new knowledge and skills.


Discuss Components of the Assessment


Next, the coach will inform the client that they have reviewed their assessments ahead of time, getting a sense of where they are at right now and on what they want to work.


Explain, however, that assessments never tell the whole story and that it would be helpful if they would be willing to share what surfaced for them during the assessment and where they want to go with what emerged.


Ask specific questions to clarify missing information and to bolster the self-confidence of the client. Seek out successes to notice the client’s emotional charge, identify the client’s readiness to change, and note concerns that may relate to physical or mental health risks.


When clients talk about “failures” or things that have not worked for them in the past, a coach can support them in reframing those experiences as learning opportunities and life lessons. Clients grow through “trial and correction,” not “trial and error.”


By taking this non-judgmental, growth-oriented framework, coaches create a safe place in which clients can open up and say anything. Whenever possible, the coach can champion a client’s capacity to change and assisting him or her in finding compelling reasons to try again.


Curiosity on the part of a coach empowers clients to find their own answers, to be more resourceful, and to discover new possibilities for moving forward. Curiosity is not an interrogation; it is rather open, inviting, judgment-free, leisurely, and even playful exploration of opportunities for learning and growth.


As the coach demonstrates curiosity with the clients, the clients will be more curious about their own capacities and more willing to try new things.


To use curiosity well, a coach uses deep, open-ended inquiries that require thought to answer and connect clients to their heartfelt dreams and desires. Such questions often reveal information that would not otherwise come to the surface. It is important to:


Notice the energy shifts in client responses. Be curious when there is a change in effect, whether that’s increased energy for change or resistance to it.


Avoid responding to clients with analytical questions. For example, if a client says, “I want to lose weight” or “I need to get in shape” say “Tell me about what makes that important to you” or “Tell me about what that would make possible for you.”


Such curiosity is likely to elicit more information than “Why do you want to do that?” because analytical “why” questions can sound challenging or judgmental.


Related to an assessment such as the Well coaches well-being assessment, questions such as the following are useful in generating deeper insights:



  • You mentioned that you have children/ grandchildren. Tell me about them.
  • What brought you to a coach?
  • What would be different in your life if you felt healthier and fit?


Physical activity

  • What fitness activities did you like in the past? What fitness activities can you see yourself doing?
  • I noticed from your assessment that you haven’t exercised recently. Tell me about that.



  • What healthy eating habits do you have now? What changes would you like to make in your eating?
  • How do you feel about your eating right now? What eating habits would you like to improve?


Weight management

  • When have you been the most successful at managing your weight? Describe your experience and the circumstances.
  • You said you weigh “X” now, and you’d like to weigh “Y.” What would that change make possible?
  • Tell me about your best past experiences with weight management.
  • What has worked in the past?
  • What have you learned from your past efforts in managing weight that would be helpful in the future?




  • When is your stress at its lowest?
  • What works best for you when it comes to managing stress?
  • What do you do when you’re under stress? What have you tried in the past to reduce the stress that would be helpful in the future?



  • How would you describe your daily energy level?
  • What fills your cup and gives you energy? What empties your cup and drains your energy?



  • When was the last time you had a physical exam with a physician?
  • How are you feeling today?
  • Tell me about your relationship with your physician.
  • I see from your questionnaire that you have [name of condition]. What is the treatment plan you have been following?
  • What is your greatest hope related to your health?


Life satisfaction

  • What are you most satisfied with your life? For what are you most grateful?
  • What brings you the most pleasure?


Other possible inquiries include the following:

  1. What are you doing presently in this area of health, fitness, and wellness?
  2. Describe your best experience with this area. What have you done in the past that worked? How would you rate your mastery of this area on a scale of 0–10?
  3. By what values are you striving to live by? How are your environment, work, and relationships impacting you? 


The Nature of Design Thinking

Design Thinking

Design thinking, a concept born of the world of architects and artists, provides some important principles for co-creating plans with coaching clients. Like architects, coaches support clients in creating a clear vision of what they want to build and help make plans to create strong foundations and frameworks on which to build.


In the design process, the coach as “architect” takes a solution-focused approach, incorporating both analysis and imagination. According to Nelson and Stolterman (2012), “Design is the action of bringing something new and desired into existence—a proactive stance that resolves or dissolves problematic situations by design.”


This collaborative state requires open-ended inquiry, mindful listening, and empathy above all. The coach as “designer” doesn’t come to the design stage with a predetermined idea of what the client’s vision and goals should be. Instead, coaches honor the principles of design that rely on the following strategies:


Empathy. Seeing the world through the eyes of the client by encouraging the client to tell his or her own story and listening for the perspectives the client has to share. The coach listens for the spoken and unspoken, checking out intuitions and tapping into the creativity of the client.


Optimism. The coach assumes that no matter how challenging the constraints of the client’s situation, there is always a solution, and the client is capable of success. Much like the anticipatory principle of appreciative inquiry, a coach who uses design thinking holds a positive image of the future on behalf of the client.


Collaboration. The design thinking approach acknowledges the value of the collaborative nature of inspiration and design. Similar to the constructionist principle of appreciative inquiry and lessons learned from social cognitive theory, there is recognition of the power of two or more brains working toward a grand design which, in the case of coaching, is the grand design for one’s life!


Experimentalism. “Significant innovations don’t come from incremental tweaks. Design thinkers pose questions and explore constraints in creative ways that proceed in entirely new directions,” In the process of creating a great vision and subsequent goals, this means that both coach and client must let go of the idea that the first idea is the best idea.

This opens up the opportunity for prototype testing, evaluation, and redesign along the way.


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Designing the Coaching skills Program

Coaching skills Program

The startup of a Coaching skills program sets the tone for the entire coaching relationship both by establishing trust and rapport and by creating an inspiring and engaging vision and goals on which a client will work for weeks and months to come.


The design of the relationship—including the principles of empathy, positivity, creative collaboration, and a learning and growth mindset through experimentation—is ideally conveyed to the client at the outset.


Designing the Coaching skills Agreement

The first session is an opportunity to ask a few “get to know you” questions related to the client’s occupation, family, hobbies, physical activities, or daily routine and to find areas of commonality between coach and client.


The coach can briefly share his or her own biography but should avoid talking too long or too much about him or herself so as not to take the focus off of the client and the client’s agenda for coaching.


It is also an opportunity to convey the coach’s heartfelt passion about the work as well as to describe relevant education and experience. Clients can tell when the coach is reciting lines, and it does not sound genuine. Before beginning the Coaching skills session, ask “What more do you want to know about me before we begin?”


Of course, the underlying reason for these “warm-up” conversations is to establish a sense of connection between coach and client. Humans have a need to belong, which includes a perception that the other feels a genuine concern and has a long-term interest in being connected.


For clients to become self-determining beings, they need to feel connected to others and experience a sense of belonging “with” another. The coaching relationship is above all a collaborative partnership with a deep respect for the talents, strengths, and skills that each person brings to it.


Describe the Role of the Coach

Role of the Coach

The first session is a critical time to explain or remind the client of the difference between education and coaching. Whereas educators have information, expertise, and wisdom that they want to share with their students, coaches enable clients to discover a lot of that for themselves.


On occasion and when appropriate, coaches may provide expert advice or knowledge during a Coaching skills session.


Most of the time, however, coaches will listen, ask questions, and reflect what they are hearing in ways that promote client learning, growth, and movement. That is the coach approach—it’s a personalized learning system which enables clients to find their own answers and achieve exceptional results even in the face of challenges.


The coach can share his or her confidence that this approach often assists clients in reaching higher than they would otherwise. It is even better when this confidence is based on a coach’s track record of client success.


There Is No One “Right” Way


It is crucial that clients realize they are not getting a cookie-cutter approach. With regard to supporting a client’s autonomy and competence, the kind of connection that grows out of coaching relationship is the kind that is organically shaped based on the present needs of the client.


A masterful coach does not apply a “one-size-fits-all” template to the client moving through the change process.


Highlight the Promise to Build and Maintain Trust

One of the most crucial ways to build trust is through responsible and respectful record keeping. Being clear about policies of confidentiality and record keeping assures that coaches respect the client’s right to privacy and are fundamentally prudent in the protection of those rights (within the limits of institutional regulations and/or laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).


This extends to those records created, stored, accessed, transferred, and disposed of by coaches during the course of working with clients. Clients base their trust in a coach on the assessment of the coach’s benevolence, honesty, openness, reliability, and competence. The coach’s commitment to maintaining confidentiality is key to maintaining this trust.


Agree on Coaching skills Principles

It is important for coaches and clients to agree and commit to some key principles for Coaching skills programs before or during the first coaching session. For example, the coach and client may consider agreeing on the following principles at the onset of the coaching relationship:




  • I will help my client identify and fully engage his or her strengths on the path to a better future.
  • I will ask provocative questions and encourage my client to arrive at his or her own answers whenever possible and co-create answers otherwise.
  • I will encourage realistic expectations and goals.
  • I will be direct and firm with constructive reflections when needed.
  • I will support my client in brainstorming creative possibilities for moving forward and navigating roadblocks.
  • When appropriate, with permission, and within my scope of practice, I will offer advice, instruction, and resources for improving health, well-being, and performance.
  • I will be punctual and responsive.
  • I will recognize early whether chemistry with a client is good or not optimal. If not optimal, I will refer the client to another coach.
  • I will acknowledge when my client has an issue that is outside my scope of knowledge and skills and recommend other resources.
  • I will send a summary of each Coaching skills session, including vision and plan for client editing (or ask the client to do so).



  • I want to improve my level of health, well-being, or performance in life or work.
  • I am ready to take responsibility to make and sustain changes in at least one area.
  • I am ready to invest at least three months to make improvements.
  • I will be open and honest, and I will share personal information that is relevant to my health, well-being, and performance.
  • I am ready to become more self-aware.
  • I am curious and open to suggestions and trying new things.
  • I understand that setbacks are normal on the path of change and necessary in order to establish new mindsets and behaviors.
  • I will be punctual and responsive.


Whatever the language, it is recommended that the agreement established between the coach and client is in written form and revisited periodically to ensure that both parties are honoring the established boundaries and expectations.


It is much easier to address concerns about the relationship based on principles which have already been agreed.


Startup Coaching skills Session

Startup Coaching Session

An initial Coaching skills session is typically focused on gaining a good understanding of the client’s history, strengths, and goals as well as to start building a vision and plan.


It is important to explain that the objectives for the first Coaching skills session include discussing assessment results (if an assessment was part of the startup phase);


learning more about the client’s priorities, strengths, goals, motivators, challenges, and resources; and supporting the client in developing a plan (including a vision, three-month behavioral goals, and several first week goals).


Because the initial Coaching skills session is particularly impactful and can cover a lot of ground, it may require more time than subsequent coaching sessions, either designed as a longer initial session or divided over the course of several sessions.


Protocol for Designing the Coaching Relationship Set Expectations

  • What is coaching and what is not coaching?
  • Introduce the coach’s biography.
  • Confidentiality and record keeping
  • Discuss the coaching agreement principles.
  • Clarify expectations regarding logistics (e.g., payments, scheduling, rescheduling, and length of sessions).
  • Share assessment for the client to complete.


Prepare for Startup Session

Startup Session

  • Review the well-being assessment: Seek out success, notice aliveness, consider stages of readiness, question gaps, and note concerns.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Remember the key coaching skills: mindful listening, open inquiry, and perceptive reflection.
  • Formulate curious, strengths-based inquiries.


Session Opening

  • Welcome and thank you
  • Thank the client for completing assessments.
  • Review the session agenda: Confirm the client’s expectations and priorities, review an assessment, gather additional information, create a vision, and design goals.


Explore the Well-Being Assessment

  • Ask the client what questions s/he has after completing the well-being assessment.
  • Ask the client what insights s/he may have had had by completing the well-being assessment.
  • Gather missing information, and clarify the coach’s questions.
  • Discuss client’s medical history and need for physician release, if applicable.
  • 90 minutes, whereas subsequent sessions can range from 20 to 60 minutes


Designing Visions

Designing Visions

After coaches and clients have a good sense of each other and have developed trust and rapport, the next stage in the coaching relationship is to support the client in articulating and developing a compelling vision of his or her desired future self.


Having clear goals is correlated with happiness and life satisfaction, whereas having a vision of one’s best self-enhances well-being and increases hope. A magnetic and beckoning vision contributes to the motivational energy that moves clients forward in the stages of change.


By connecting clients with a vision that considers their best experiences, core values, and generative conditions, it becomes easier for clients to imagine the way forward to a target, hence confidence grows too.


At their best, health, wellness, and life visions are as follows:

  • Grounded (building on current success)
  • Bold (stretching the status quo)
  • Desired (what people truly want)
  • Palpable (as if they were already true)
  • Participatory (involving many stakeholders)


A compelling vision identifies what people want rather than what they don’t want. It’s hard to see and feel the absence of something; in contrast, it’s hard to ignore and resist the presence of something. This holds true for wellness and every other area of life.


Wellness is not the absence of disease or the opposite of illness wellness is rather the presence of well-being and the culmination of life and health-giving practices that include mindfulness, self-compassion, energy, and all that contributes to thriving.


Thriving results from tapping into one’s special talents, strengths, and purpose, having a growth mindset oriented toward learning and the ability to set and achieve the goals needed to grow.


Looking at wellness holistically, considering the breadth of possibility for human thriving is exciting, especially when clients have a personalized description of what they want, and believe they can do and be in the longer term (six months, one year, two years, five years, etc.).


Successful Coaching skills programs begin at this place, discovering through appreciative inquiries and reflections the values, outcomes, behaviors, motivators, strengths, and structures that clients want to realize through coaching.


Coaches avoid analyzing the causes of obstacles, barriers, setbacks, and challenges as though they were deficits to be fixed or problems to be solved. It is not helpful to ruminate for long or try to solve “why” the client has not achieved his or her dreams yet. This can generate a downward spiral of increasing discouragement and resistance.


It is better to assist clients in generating new possibilities for meeting and overcoming challenges by staying positive, appreciating strengths, brainstorming alternatives, and mobilizing resources. It is empowering for clients when coaches use verbal persuasion to communicate confidence in the client’s ability to move forward.


In the early stages of change, where challenges loom large and may appear overwhelming, it’s especially important to express empathy for client emotions and needs as well as express confidence that they have what it takes to succeed. This will both validate clients and reconnect them with their capacity for change and growth; it will shift the conversation in a positive direction.


In the later stages of change, after clients already have a measure of self-efficacy, clients will need to brainstorm and plan action strategies, including approaches to tackle emerging challenges that will be easier to handle given the higher level of self-efficacy.


The Importance of Motivation


As clients explore the most inspirational and feasible goals, it’s important to tie those goals back to a client’s reasons for the change, which underlie their visions. Understanding the reasons behind the goals helps clients stay on track.


For example, if a client wants to lose 10 pounds, it is important to uncover how this is connected to the vision of his or her best self (e.g., “You want to lose 10 pounds because . . . ?”). 


Once the reasons are pinned down, explore whether the motivator is strong enough to keep a client on track (“Is this enough to get you to the finish line? Will this reason keep you on track to make the necessary changes?”). It is important to help a client identify reasons that are strong positive motivators. Different prompts and motivators work for each client.


For some, the motivator might be wanting to play with their grandchildren. In this case, posting a photo of the grandchildren on the refrigerator may help. For many, an eating log may motivate them to make conscious choices instead of eating mindlessly or in reaction to emotions.


Some may want to add an avoidance motivator, such as avoiding loss of eyesight caused by diabetes. Keeping a picture of full health in mind can be a powerful motivator.


Clients can breathe life into the motivator by creating a picture that they can summon later when they are making decisions between health-giving behaviors and less healthy ones.


Listen attentively for the use of words such as obstacles, barriers, setbacks, risks, or challenges. Explore what they mean by those words and what will enable them to move forward in order to achieve their goals, not just immediately but also in the long term. Staying focused on solutions and possibilities, a coach can assist clients in meeting their goals by asking questions such as:


  • Tell me more about what is driving you to accomplish this goal. What is important to you about this goal? What results are you looking for?
  • What have been your best experiences in accomplishing goals like this in the past?
  • What values would be represented by your accomplishing this goal?
  • For whom do you want to make this change?
  • What structures and supports could assist you in being successful in reaching this goal?
  • To what extent is this scaled appropriately with just the right amount of challenge?


Although each of these topics will support the creation of a compelling vision, the importance of the client’s connection to their autonomous motivation cannot be overstated.


Too often we’ve seen a client’s first “design” of a vision being driven by external forces and validation, based on what others want of them or what they feel they “should” want for themselves. These visions aren’t deeply rooted enough to plan and nourish goals that lead to sustainable action.


As clients work on their visions, the following questions can assist clients with discovering not only their long-term wishes but also with beginning to formulate their three-month goals.


All of these questions will never be used with any one client on any one occasion (or the clients would feel interrogated); each of these questions add value, however, and may be useful, as clients seek to distill their vision into a provocative proposition.


  • What would you like your health, well-being, or performance in life or work to look like in three months, one year, two years, five years, etc.?
  • What do you believe is possible?
  • What are the top three values in your life? How is your well-being linked to these values?
  • What are the top three goals in your life? How is your well-being linked to these goals?
  • What part of your life is most important to you? How does well-being fit into that?
  • What would you like more of in your life? How is that linked to your well-being?
  • What would you like less of in your life? How is that linked to your well-being?
  • What excites you? How can we link that to your well-being?
  • What motivators might enable you to overcome your inertia and start moving forward?
  • What would your life be like if you achieved your vision? How would that feel?
  • What would your life be like if you do not achieve your vision? How would that feel?
  • What is the best-case scenario?
  • What have you tried and accomplished in your life that is similar to this goal?
  • What are some new possibilities that you haven’t considered before?


Protocol for Designing a Wellness Vision

Wellness Vision

Value: Explain the value of creating a wellness vision: A vision is a compelling statement of who you are and what health-promoting, life-giving behaviors you want to do consistently.


What’s working now: Ask about strengths and current successes: What are you currently doing to support your health and well-being?

About what elements of your life do you feel best about? In what way did you contribute to making those true and/or possible?


Strengths: Collaborate to identify client strengths: What are your success stories? What gives you pride? What qualities do you most appreciate about yourself?


Thrive: Identify the ways a client can thrive: What makes you thrive? When are you most alive?


Important: Ask what is most important to the client right now: Given all that is going well, what are you wishing? What elements of your health and well-being do you want to improve?


Motivation: Discover the client’s motivators: What are the benefits of making changes now? What is the driving force behind the desire to change now? What do you treasure most about potential change?


Visualize: Support the client in visualizing his or her vision, and describe it in detail: What are the most important elements in your vision? Tell me what your vision looks like. Paint me a picture. What would you look and feel like at your ideal level of wellness? What kind of person do you want to be when it comes to your health and well-being?


Past successes: Discover previous positive experiences with elements of the vision: What have been your best experiences to date with the key elements of your vision—times when you felt alive and fully engaged? Tell one or two stories in detail.


Strengths to realize a vision: Identify the strengths and values that could be used to reach the vision: Without being modest, what do you value most about your life? What values does your wellness vision support?


What strengths can you draw on to help you close that gap and realize your vision? How can the lessons from your successes in life carry over to your current situation?


Major challenges hurting confidence: Identify obstacles to boosting confidence: What challenges do you anticipate having to deal with on the way to reaching your vision? (Talk through multiple possibilities and express empathy.) What concerns you the most?


Strategies: Explore the strategies and structures (people, resources, systems, and environments) needed to navigate challenges and ensure success: What people, resources, systems, and environments can you draw to help you realize your vision and meet your challenges?


What strategies may be effective in helping you realize your vision and meet your challenges? (Brainstorm and clarify multiple possibilities before focusing.)


Recap: Reflect and summarize what you have heard the client saying about his or her vision. Collaborate on a first draft statement that captures the vision in a way that is meaningful and compelling for them.


Commit: Ask the client to state and commit to the vision.


Ask for Feedback on Coaching skills Sessions

Finally, it is important both for the coach’s learning and the client’s growth for the coach to get feedback on the coaching session before ending an initial coaching session. Asking questions, such as the following, provides valuable insight into what the client wants from the coaching experience:

  • “What was the most valuable part of today’s session?”
  • “How could future coaching sessions best support your path?”
  • “Is there anything you’d like to change about our session?”
  • “What can I do differently to better serve you?”
  • Unless they are asked directly, clients typically do not tell you that they would like the coaching to be different.


Clients may be thrilled by the startup coaching sessions but it’s best to inquire about their satisfaction in each session. The coach should continue getting feedback and fine-tuning the program. Requesting that the client convey feedback following the session, via email, is one way to encourage candor.


If there are any doubts about the coaching chemistry, it is important to be courageous and address the concern. If the feeling is mutual, the client should be given full permission to seek another coach and be offered assistance with the process.