Coaching Relationship Essentials

Winter and Spring

Remote or


Experiential Learning

Remote February 27 - 28 | 2024

[Application Deadline: February 6, 2024]

In-Person May 6 - 7, 2024

[Application Deadline: April 15, 2024

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Executive Learning and Organizational Change is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®

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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 these intensive sessions 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.

Remote 2 days | 3 modules per day + prep

  • Day 1: 9:00 - 11:45 am; 12:45 - 3:00 pm; 4:00 - 6:30 pm CT
  • Day 2: 9:00 - 11:45 am; 12:45 - 3:00 pm; 4:00 - 6:30 pm CT

In-person 2 days | 6 to 12 hours per day + prep

  • Day 1: 10:00 am - 9:00 pm CT (dinner and networking)
  • Day 2: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm CT
Click here to apply

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

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.

Earn Continuing Education Credit

  • ELOC is recognized by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education (IACET) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 15 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP or 1.5 IACET CEUs

Certificate Requirements

  • Attend and participate in all synchronous class sessions
  • Complete all coaching circles (practice: coaching, being a client, and offering observations)
  • Complete coaching identity discussion (and other paired discussions)
  • Collaborate with other class participants to build a coaching process model
  • Complete reflection exercises and emotion journal entries


Kimberly Scott

Kimberly Scott, Director of the ELOC and Masters 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.