The coaching relationship is the “heart and soul’ of the coaching experience. It is the catalyst that transforms the client’s vision into realistic possibilities. The connection has energy and a joint commitment to move forward.
An essential element to this relationship is a safe emotional environment based on trust, confidentiality and mutual respect. Clients need to know that they can talk freely about their life and goals in sessions. Trust is quite vital. Clients need to feel that we are trustworthy. We do this by keeping our appointments and showing up on time. Coaches empower trust by holding clients accountable on their stated goals, objectives and plan of action
The relationship must be honest and contain no judgments. The truth is always told. Coaches want to hear the truth as it engages the process of learning. Coaches present their truth in a direct, gentle and respectful manner.
This relationship is a partnership. It is mutual and has no power differential.
Another important ingredient is humor, laughter and having fun. The coach and client should not take themselves too seriously.
As you consider getting a coach, the above relationship ingredients are imperative to your success. Make sure they are operating. If you are a manager, using coaching as leadership capacity, the stage is set for what needs to happen between you and the client.
A final thought. My colleagues at ECofOC also believe that the coaching relationship is the change agent for the client.
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Author: Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org