A Quick Guide to One-to-One Leadership Coaching

In this blog, we explore what you can expect to happen in one-to-one leadership coaching sessions and the outcomes you could experience.


According to the Harvard Business Review, 48% of coaches are hired to develop high potential, 26% are hired to act as a sounding board, and 12% are hired to address derailing behaviour.

Interestingly, one incredible aspect of coaching is even though we begin with an end in mind, we also allow the conversation to develop and grow to often surprising and insightful conclusions.

Often, where we think we are heading may not be exactly where we end up. This reinforces a key aspect of the coaching space: both parties, the coach and the coachee, need to be open, reflective, and speak their truth.


A Quick Guide to One-to-One Leadership Coaching Point One: As You Come Into the Process, Be Open, Reflective, and Proactively Seeking To Learn and Grow.

At the start of any new working relationship, it is essential to establish how individuals will work together. This is especially important in a coaching relationship, and so the coach will discuss this at the start of the first session. This is likely to cover areas such as confidentiality, levels of challenge, and expectations of each other.


It may also cover commitment and communication as well as style and tone. This is often referred to as ‘contracting’ and may be formalised through exchanging a record of what has been agreed. This contract can then be referred to during the coaching process and refined or amended as the relationship develops and grows.

A Quick Guide to One-to-One Leadership Coaching Point Two: At the Start, You Will Set Expectations and Contract Your Working Relationship.


During your time spent with a leadership coach, you will both share responsibility for the learning and growth that takes place. Your coach will hold the coaching space in a way that will enable you to explore your context and environment without judgement and advice-giving.

The coach will use skilled questions to understand your situation and the processes within it. The coach will seek to raise your self-awareness and allow space for you to have the conversation you need to have with yourself.


With an expert coach, time will be given for the issue and solution to emerge.

The conversation will be challenging and supportive; it will allow for questions to be asked that no one else is likely to have been able to ask. There is power in a question expertly asked.


You have a depth of untapped potential within you, and the coach will provide the time, space, and challenge for you to develop and grow that potential.


In addition, there may very well be situations you are finding difficult to face. An external coach will journey alongside you as you find the strength of your convictions and the courage you need to make the right decisions.


A Quick Guide to One-to-One Leadership Coaching Point Three: During the Coaching Session, the Coach Will Ask You Insightful Questions That Allow You the Time and Space To Develop, Resolve, Grow and Learn.


Towards the end of the session, you will be offered time to reflect on the session, to consolidate what you have learnt and discovered. This is also a time to plan actions or additional thinking that is needed. Following the session, learning and development will continue, and it is vital to form ideas of your way forward before the session ends.

Leaders often see changes in their behaviours that directly impact their effectiveness. They and their teams improve performance through improved task completion, greater depth of capacity and capability, and improved relationships.

A Quick Guide to One-to-One Leadership Coaching Point Four: End the Session Reflecting on Your Learning and Establishing Your Way Forward.


As the session ends, it is essential to reflect on your learning and establish how you would like to move forward with your coach.

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More information is also in our blog, “what happens in leadership coaching sessions?”

It is important to invest in your own future performance, so why not contact us today and discuss how leadership coaching can benefit you.

Written by leadership coach Ian White.