Coaching Relationship Essentials

Spring and Summer 2019


Experiential Learning

April 25 - 26 | 2019

[Application Deadline: April 1, 2019]

August 14 - 15 | 2019

[Application Deadline: July 22, 2019]

Group of students walking down a hallway

Course Overview

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.

2 days | 6 to 12 hours per day + prep

  • Day 1: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm (dinner and networking)
  • Day 2: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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  • 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.
  • 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
    • Practice your coaching and receive feedback about your interpersonal skills.
    • Expand your coaching toolkit with improvisation techniques.
    • Improve client contracting with techniques adaptable to a variety of coaching engagement types (e.g., internal coaching, external coaching, and coaching direct reports, peers and teams).
    • Understand and develop strategies for "self-care" to manage the emotional labor required in coaching.
Kimberly Scott, Michelle Albaugh, Megan Redfearn


Kimberly Scott

Kimberly Scott, Director of the ELOC and Master’s Program in Learning & Organizational Change at Northwestern, draws upon her research, management, and consulting of mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies. Her work focus on employee wellness, learning, and success.

Michelle Albaugh

Michelle Albaugh is a leadership and effectiveness coach who has been a member of the LOC faculty since 2015. With experience in startups and academia, her research has focused on life narratives at the intersection of personal faith and political ideology.

Megan Redfearn

Megan Redfearn is a facilitator and coach focused on using the principles of improv to enhance learning.