How to create great coaching relationships


When coaches are asked ‘what is the key ingredient that enables your clients to achieve their goals and aspirations?’ they usually answer, ‘it’s all about the relationship.’ This is no great surprise as there is virtually unanimous agreement across the research, between the professional coaching bodies and throughout the practitioner literature as to the significance of the relationship in enabling successful outcomes for clients.

‘How can I enhance my ability to establish, maintain and develop the coaching relationship?’ is therefore a question that has relevance for new and experienced coaches alike. It is also relevant for coach supervisors, mentors, and trainers as this ability is a core element of any coach’s training and development.

It is tempting to think that enhancing our ability to foster the relationship is all about developing our interpersonal skills. But this is only part of the story. It needs to be explored through a more holistic lens.

This is a workshop with a difference. Based on the very latest research, it will share current knowledge and will use facilitated discussion groups and coaching to give participants the opportunity to explore their skills, knowledge, beliefs and assumptions about the way they foster coaching relationships with clients.


This workshop has been approved by the International Coach Federation for 8 Continuing Coach Education hours:

  • Core Competencies: 5 hours
  • Resource Development: 3 hours

Certificates of attendance will be issued to all participants attending the full day.

Learning objectives

We will be using the ‘Relationship Style Framework’, a research-based model* to help you gain greater insight into understanding:

  • What is important to you in the coaching relationship and how you articulate this with the client
  • The ‘goodness of fit’ between your style and what your coaching clients may be looking for
  • What works well and where you would like to have more flexibility
  • How to develop your own relationship-building skills to create great coaching relationships

* Crosse, E, ‘A Q Methodology Study: How Do Coaches Foster the Coaching Relationship?’ International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring S13 (2019), 76-93.


This highly participative one-day workshop is appropriate for both internal and external coaches – those new to coaching, experienced coaches, coach mentors and coach supervisors.

Expert trainer

The workshop will be delivered by Elizabeth Crosse, who developed the Relationship Styles Framework. She is one of the 1% of coaches globally to have attained the International Coach Federation (ICF) Master Certified Coach credential. With over 30 years of expertise in coaching and training, her practice focuses on executive coaching and the development of coaches. She holds three Masters’ degrees, including one in Coaching and Mentoring. She is an accredited supervisor and an ICF registered coach mentor and has successfully mentored hundreds of practitioners for their ACC, PCC and MCC credentials.

See the feedback from participants in some of Elizabeth’s previous workshops:

  • ‘Elizabeth is authentic, she cares about the people she meets. Her smile is infectious and makes one enjoy being taught by her.’
  • ‘Inspiring, kind, friendly and knowledgeable – superb
  • ‘Professional, makes you think!’
  • ‘Elizabeth is an excellent facilitator, very engaging which made the course fun, therefore enjoyable and memorable. I’m confident that the skills I have learnt I will be able to take forward and enhance my skills in this area.’
  • ‘Knowledgeable and excellent presentation style. Keeping the group engaged throughout with examples of personal experiences.’
  • Incredibly engaging, knowledgeable, friendly allowed everyone to have their say – I would love to work with her again in the future. Could have sat and listened to her forever!’’
  • ‘Her passion and enthusiasm shone thorough the session. This really encouraged me to stretch myself.’
  • ‘Elizabeth’s style of facilitation suits me down to the ground – knowledgeable, practical, timely, perceptive of the audience’s focus levels and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you.’
  • Exceptionally knowledgeable – made the course by managing pace, content, feedback, support and experience. Would love to work with Elizabeth further through ICF, etc.’
  • ‘Expert, brilliant facilitator, makes “steep” more approachable.’
  • ‘This was a life-changing course.’
  • Elizabeth was brilliant over the two days and really made us think and work hard to learn and understand the content. The best part was being able to practise the skills with each other.’

Workshop outline

The aim of this workshop is to help you build on your current level of expertise and give you additional knowledge, rigour and insight to enhance your ability to create great working relationships with clients. Establishing and developing a coaching relationship is a dynamic interactive process, and we mirror that in our approach to this day, which is about so much more than sharing knowledge and giving you the opportunity to build your skills.

The outline below gives you an overview of the content and areas for exploration, but the focus is on working together. The day is all about helping insights emerge through discussion, interactive exercises, skills practice, observation and feedback. It may end up looking rather different – but that will depend on your input.

1 Introduction to the session

  • Objectives and our coaching alliance for working together

2 What makes the coaching relationship important?

  • How do we define the coaching relationship?
  • The coaching relationship: what are we learning from research?
  • Elements of the coaching relationship that underpin collaborative working

3 What is important to you in creating great coaching relationships?

  • Exploring and characterising the factors that inform how you develop the coaching relationship
  • The roles of coaching competencies skills and techniques

4 How do we foster relationships in practice?

  • Moving from knowledge to implementation: it’s all about sense making
  • How do coaches make sense of the coaching relationship?
  • The Relationship Style Framework© and implications for working with clients
  • Exploring your relationship style and implication for working with clients

5 Enhancing your understanding of how you interact with client

  • Coaching skills practice and reflective learning: the afternoon session will be a recorded observed skills practice, followed by an opportunity for reflective learning. As part of the debrief you will have the opportunity to observe yourself where you will record how you work with the client and then explore with your peers and tutor your learning and insights to take forward
  • Tutor-led debrief on key learning and insights

6 Insight to action

  • Tutor-led discussion key learnings and insights from the day
  • Peer coaching conversation, reflection on learning and action planning

7 Review and close

For a no-obligation discussion about running this workshop for your organisation please just give us a call on 01582 463461.