1:1 Coaching Demystified

When I begin 1:1 (individual) coaching with leaders, the first coaching conversations are powerful and even magical. Leaders arrive eagerly and full of questions, mainly:

“What exactly happens in coaching?”

Let’s demystify 1:1 coaching. Here is what it looks like:

The ultimate personalized learning for leaders. While courses and other forms of learning are helpful, coaching is a space where the leader drives the agenda. The leader brings their goals, challenges, and areas of focus and the coach holds space, using effective questions, sharing tools and resources to support the learning.

Goal driven, behaviour shifts. Unless the coaching conversation shifts something (in thought or behaviour for the coachee), it has just been a nice conversation. Coaching is action oriented and is designed to impact the leader and the system within which they operate.

Strategic, reflective space. Leaders are given space to strategically think about decisions, challenging upcoming conversations or the myriad of other topics that need some reflection. If there are goals that are not being met, they are explored and revised. Leaders gain confidence in the process of our conversations.

Increased accountability. When a coaching session is scheduled, it puts this time on the calendar. We meet every 2 – 3 weeks which builds a rhythm of ongoing movement and accountability. The coach becomes both a think partner and an accountability partner. The time that leaders spend in 1:1 coaching, has resulted in saving time and energy in other areas of their work.

Organizationally connected. Coaching is a confidential process, and the leader participating in coaching is part of the larger organizational system. Engaging the supervisors of the leaders through conversation and feedback, while maintaining confidentiality, is both rich and important.


The complexity of leadership demands leaders who think strategically as well as thoughtfully. Leaders must be willing to make the time to reflect on their practices and be open to feedback. Through 1:1 coaching, leaders gain a strategic advantage as they support their teams and organizations.

1:1 Coaching in Action

What does coaching look like in action? Take a look at these real ten minute coaching sessions we did with Alison to help her think through her next moves for her team. In this first video, we used the GROW model to understand, position and explore options forward through a goal.


In this second video, we go deeper on body language, noticing words and focusing on strengths to help understand the challenges.



Want to learn more? Let’s connect!