Learning and Organizational Change

Coaching Relationship Essentials

Available dates

May 6—7, 2020
2 days
Evanston, Illinois, United States
USD 2400
USD 1200 per day
Sep 2—3, 2020
2 days
Evanston, Illinois, United States
USD 2400
USD 1200 per day


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About the course

As a coach, the interpersonal interactions and relationships you have with your clients are the heart of coaching. Without these essential skills, it's impossible to be an effective coach. This is why we dedicate this 1.5-day intensive session to reviewing and practicing the essential skills for coaching relationships: active listening, establishing trust and intimacy with clients, coaching presence, and authentic communication. What makes this session unique (and fun) is our approach: applying improvisation techniques to develop coaching relationship skills. We will guide you through a series of activities and reflection exercises to strengthen your relationship skills, while building your confidence and network along the way.

What Questions Will We Answer

  • What does it mean to engage with wholeheartedness, directness, open-mindedness and responsibility, and why does it matter in coaching?
  • How does my own emotional intelligence impact my relationships with clients?
  • How can I use the tools of improvisation to improve my coaching interactions?
  • What techniques can I use to more effectively contract with clients, and what modifications do I need to make when working with "internal" and "external" clients?
  • What are "powerful questions" and how do I use them in coaching?

Benefits and Outcomes

Expand your coaching toolkit, practice your coaching, and receive feedback about your interpersonal skills. By attending this session, you will learn how to:

  • Engage effectively with clients to establish rapport, intimacy, and trust and contract for successful coaching relationships.
  • Monitor your interpersonal presence, openness, and wholeheartedness to perform as a reflective coach practitioner.
  • Build self-awareness to strengthen emotional self-regulation and embody the highest ethical standards.
  • Use active listening and powerful questions to help clients planfully achieve their desired outcomes.
  • Communicate observations in an honest, accurate, and respectful manner to cultivate client awareness.
  • Develop strategies for "self-care" to manage the emotional labor required in coaching.

Who should attend

  • Leaders and senior managers who want to become coaches or add coaching to their overall leadership toolkit.
  • Experienced coaches seeking to expand self-awareness and develop as a reflective coach practitioner.

Trust the experts

Michelle Albaugh

Michelle Albaugh is a highly regarded leadership and effectiveness coach. She joined the MSLOC faculty in September, 2015, after she earned her PhD in Human Development & Social Policy, from the School of Education and Social Policy here at Northwestern. She received a bachelor’s degree in mu...


Kimberly Scott

Kimberly Scott is Assistant Professor and Director of the Master’s Program in Learning & Organizational Change (MSLOC) at Northwestern University. She came to Northwestern with over 10 years of management and consulting experience in a variety of mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies. Her work ...


Megan Redfearn

A graduate of Northwestern's MSLOC program, Megan researched how the practice of improv translates to leadership in the workplace. Since then, she has focused her work on academic and leadership development as Director of Faculty and Doctoral Student Affairs in the School of Education and Social ...


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