Coaching demands trust, respect and integrity between the players – qualities that underpin all strong alliances. (I examine the process of building trust in the following section.) That said, the coaching relationship has some unique characteristics.
Think of the art of coaching as a dance between two figures on the dance floor. When the partners in the dance are in complete rapport, the dance is smooth and enjoyable. You can almost touch the rapport between them. Similarly, with a strong coaching relationship, the work becomes easy. The client enjoys the finest chance of getting the desired results while the coach revels in the satisfaction of doing work he loves. Without this chemistry in the relationship, both parties suffer disappointment.
Unlike other relationships in life, a coaching alliance may be relatively short-lived, more likely to last months rather than years. While therapy often continues for years, coaching may only take six or eight sessions, spread out over a few weeks. With coaching, two people come together for a defined purpose, and their project is to make some difference in a specific area of the client's work or life.
The success of the coaching comes as much from the client as the coach, yet often the client hasn't had a coach before and is a novice at designing this kind of relationship. Hence the coach takes the lead ...