Partner with your coaching client

partner with coaching client

At its essence, coaching exists to serve a client to clarify and move toward the greater success they desire to attain, and to help them clear any obstacles in the way.

The role of the coach is to expertly apply coaching skills and competencies, with Coaching Presence at its core.

The hallmark of Coaching Presence is partnering with your client. The more partnership present between coach and client, the higher the level of coaching mastery demonstrated. Here are a few distinctions of what partnering is and isn’t.

What is Partnering?

Partnering starts with recognizing that every client has a unique perspective and knowledge about themselves that no-one else could possibly possess. We engage in uncovering how the client thinks, successfully changes and gets things done. We help them understand their ideas, their way of thinking, feeling and believing – and to determine what they can use to move themselves forward.

Partnering recognizes that the coach is there to witness and uncover the client’s greatness, and shine light on obstacles that may need to be handled. The coach allows the client to guide them by often asking the client where they want to go next in the session. It also involves checking during the session if the coaching is still on track toward their desired outcome.

What Partnering Isn’t

As an ICF assessor and mentor coach who regularly evaluates coaching sessions, I‘m attuned to listening for the impact of the coach on the client. Here are some indicators that the coach isn’t fully partnering with their client and is likely minimizing the full potential of what could occur in the coaching session.

The coach:

  • Doesn’t explore the client’s language, concepts and ideas but instead uses their own language and ideas.
  • Ignores the emotional content of the client and instead focuses on coming up with solutions and problem-solving their circumstances.
  • Gives no feedback in the form of observations about what they are hearing the client say, especially when the client says things that may seem conflicting. Or misses helping the client become aware of a pattern of behavior or thinking that might benefit the client.
  • Fails acknowledging, identifying or seeking to help the client draw on their strengths and their values.
  • Neglects to probe about what has successfully worked for them in the past in similar or different situations.
  • Leads the client with their questions and ideas down the path they think the client needs to go.
  • Finishes the client’s sentences, or makes up meaning and interpretations of what the client says.
  • Interrupts the client at critical times – lacks the ability to be silently present when the client is wrestling with an emerging awareness or insight.
Let your Client Shine

Give your client the space to have their own voice. You are the partner to your client.  Make your observations and reflections in a clear, clean way, where you allow the client to make up their own interpretation and meaning. Coaches aren’t here to be the knowers of everything, but to use their developed coaching skills to be curious, connected and present to what seems to be next in the coaching session.

Are you preparing to apply for your MCC, PCC or ACC credential?

Next 3 month Mentor Coaching Group begins October 8 from noon-1.30pm Eastern. Space is Limited.


Do you need mentor coaching hours for your ICF or Coach Certification process? Or are you renewing your ACC credential and need 10 hours of mentor coaching?

We offer an awesome mentor coaching group and individual program that has many exclusive offerings for our participants. One of those offerings is an extensive library of MCC, PCC and ACC coaching sessions for our participants to listen to, evaluate, debrief, and learn from, along with The Target Approach to demystifying the ICF core competencies. These are incredibly valuable learning tools, and will accelerate your understanding of competency distinctions.

Here’s where you’ll find more about The Mentor Coaching Group