liquid elements


What is Coaching?

Coaching is the pairing of individuals in a formal relationship in which a coach will facilitate conversation through open dialogue and questions to identify and draw out answers and strategies that may lie within the coach to achieve specific goals.

Other Common Names

Other common names for coaching include:

  • Mentoring
  • Career coaching
  • Life coaching

Key Properties of Coaching

In the context of our periodic table and in an effort to maximize the effectiveness of learning experiences, the element coaching is very different from these experiences. Coaching is a supportive relationship in which the coach serves as a guide, offering structure to a coachee, with the belief that the coachee will be able to identify solutions to their own challenges.

Key properties of the coaching element include:

  • one-on-one relationship
  • structured conversations at a regular interval
  • specific goal(s) are identified
  • coach provides guidance, not answers

Resources From The Train Like a Champion Blog

The Layout of Your Job Aids Matters (So Does Coaching)

Coach Brian's Insights on Coaching

Whats Your Formula book
Order your copy to learn more about coaching and all of the related elements.

Blowing the whistle on Elements that Bond with Coaching

Keep in mind that while coaching may bring about deeper-level conversations, it should never be confused with counseling or therapy. In creating a bond between coaching and the following elements, you may find ways to strengthen the effectiveness of both technical and soft skill training initiatives:

supervisor supportSupervisor Support

Assuming supervisors have been adequately trained in proper coaching techniques (which often means they’re using a specific coaching model), they can super-charge the impact of a learning program through additional, structured conversations. Coaching can also change the dynamic between an employee and their boss, taking a relationship in which the boss is expected to give answers to one in which the boss serves as a sort of guide on the side, empowering direct reports to find their own solutions while continuing to hold them accountable for results.

spaced learningSpaced Learning

Whether the coach turns out to be a supervisor, another internal resource, or someone contracted from outside the organization, providing ongoing coaching following a learning experience will encourage the participant to recall content and skills learned and use them during discussions or coaching-based assignments.

virtual meetingVirtual Meeting

The best person to take on a coaching role may be located in another office that is half a world away. Leveraging technology such as virtual meeting platforms so participants are able to engage with the most appropriate coach can be something to consider as you’re designing your program.

goal settingGoal Setting

Pairing someone up for coaching will only yield results if the conversations are focused. Identifying and setting goals to be achieved during each coaching encounter is fundamental to a productive and narrowly targeted interaction.

Books on Coaching

Mike Komola of FitwellHR said that It’s the Manager “gives lots of real, longitudinal research on how incredibly important the role of the people manager is in the success of an organization. And in fact, you know, the statistic that jumps out is: from their findings, 70% of the variance in engagement in employees is solely and directly attributed to the role of the people manager. So it’s huge. And so I use that one as a, you know– if you doubt your value, look at the data.”

The Coaching Habit focuses on seven essential coaching questions that empower managers to get more by saying less.


Download the Element Sanity Check

Even if you haven’t yet purchased the book (what are you waiting for?!) you can get access to worksheets that will help guide you through the use of the elements of amazing learning experiences.