3 min read

What Is One to One Coaching, Really?

What Is One to One Coaching, Really?

More than likely you’ve heard terms like executive coach, leadership coach, mentor, or one to one coaching, at some point in your career. But what do they mean, exactly? Why is it when you Google an answer you end up with more questions like when should you seek out a coach? What can they help you with? Is it really just meant for executives?

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. To help, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions when it comes to one to one coaching.


What Is 1:1 Coaching?

As the name suggests, professional coaching typically takes place one-on-one. Regardless of what name it is found under, such as one on one, leadership, or executive coaching, it is a practice where you meet with a coach who advises you on skills that need to be developed and honed, gives situational advice, and acts as a sounding board. Their goal is to help you reach your professional goals and outlined career trajectory.

Coaches can help you in the following ways:

  • Provide clarity and focus on your goals, and help develop the path to achieving them
  • Accountability to be progressing forward toward your defined goals
  • Identify areas of improvement that you may otherwise not realize are holding you back
  • Implement a development plan that hones in on the skills you need to achieve your goals

Keep in mind that coaching differs from mentoring. Coaching is a formal arrangement where a coach works with you to achieve specific objectives over a defined period of time, anywhere from three months to a year. Whereas mentoring is an ongoing, sometimes informal relationship with someone “who has been there” to provide wisdom and guidance based on their experience.


Who Is Coaching For?

After completing even just a bit of research on one to one coaching, it can be easy to believe it is only for top-tier leadership or those in the c-suite just based on the naming of the practice alone. However, the actual demographic seeking out coaches is much different. According to the ICF Global Coaching Study, the most common position held by someone who is working with a one to one coach is a people manager. Ultimately, everyone can benefit from one on one coaching, whether you are an individual contributor, a high-potential employee being groomed a promotion into management, or a seasoned people manager.


Can a professional coach accelerate your career and help you achieve your  goals? Find out in this guide.



What are The Benefits of one to one coaching?

Much like a professional athlete works with the very best coaches to perform at their best, a one on one coach does the same. There is a perception that a coach is only needed when there is something to fix.

This may be true in some situations, however, there are so many more one on one coaching benefits than just fixing. We don’t question why an Olympic athlete works with a coach, however, there is a misconception why someone who is clearly excelling in their career would work with one.

Working with a one on one coach is performance-driven. Their goal is to work with you to improve your on-the-job performance and demonstrate a measurable change that helps you achieve your career goals. The Institute of Coaching lists the following as one on one coaching benefits:

  1. Goal Achievement
    Working with a coach helped clients create action plans, meet checkpoints, and stay accountable against objectives to achieve their defined goals.

  2. Greater Confidence
    After working with a coach, clients felt they were much more self-resilient and confident as a leader.

  3. Job Satisfaction
    Coaching clients experienced increased levels of satisfaction with their current roles, which also included spillover effects to their personal lives as well.

  4. Increased Contribution
    Clients felt they were better able to effectively contribute to a team and the organization, in addition to taking greater accountability for the outcome after one to one coaching sessions.

  5. Better Relationships
    A side benefit experienced by many clients was the ability to build trusting and productive relationships with superiors, employees, and peers.

Conclusion: One to One Coaching Can Help at Any Stage in Your Career

As Benjamin Franklin once wisely said, “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” If you’re committed to progressing in your career and achieving a state of heightened self-awareness, adding one to one coaching to your leadership development plan is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. A professional coach will only strengthen your ability to achieve your defined goals and aspirations.

Download the guide to professional leadership coaching

[Infographic] 4 Types of Leadership Coaching for Middle Management

2 min read

[Infographic] 4 Types of Leadership Coaching for Middle Management

If you think that leadership coaching is exclusively for executives and senior leaders, think again. Those in middle management positions are ideally...

Read More
Why People Love the Coaching Leadership Style

6 min read

Why People Love the Coaching Leadership Style

Buzzfeed asked their community of readers to share stories of their best bosses and what made them so great. In the article, there was a common...

Read More
A Brief Guide to Writing an Employee Coaching Plan (+Template)

5 min read

A Brief Guide to Writing an Employee Coaching Plan (+Template)

It’s one thing to recognize that one of your employees needs coaching from you in a specific area; it’s another to know how to go about it. Even if...

Read More