What is the Essence of the Transformational Coaching Process? | College of Executive Coaching
Coaching Article

What is the Essence of the Transformational Coaching Process?

August 4, 2020
By Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., MCC

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What is the essence of how a coach, or a manager, can create a powerful, transformational coaching relationship with their clients or team members?

Transformational coaching is the art of assisting people to grow in line with their own aspirations, beyond their current reality, toward a new, evolving vision. If coaching is genuinely transformational, the vision and goals that emerge may be significantly beyond what they originally conceptualized. The coach, or manager-coach, must do this in a way that the employee feels is helpful, where the employee feels supported, and where the employee feels a sense of trust and confidence in the integrity of the coach and the confidentiality of the coaching conversations.This process requires a special coaching alliance — a supportive caring relationship — involving genuine communication not only between the coach and the employee, but if the goal relates to performance or leadership, ideally also between the employee being coached and their key stakeholders.

What is the Essence of the Transformational Coaching Process?

This transformational coaching process can include discussions, for example, about one's executive presence, interpersonal skills, business skills, or perhaps about their values, strengths and dreams.

What is the transformational coach's job description?

The coach must:

  1. Invest time to get to know people as people
  2. Understand people's roles, goals, and challenges on the job
  3. Help the employee clearly understand the reality of their situation
  4. Help the employee articulate their hopes, dreams, and specific goals
  5. Observe people's work closely enough to have relevant and in-depth feedback, or help them receive that feedback from others
  6. Provide timely, candid, and specific feedback regarding what one observes and help them interpret the impact they are having on other people and performance
  7. Contribute to learning, growth, and performance improvements by asking thought provoking questions which stimulate one's learning while holding back from giving many suggestions
  8. The outcome of the above coaching behaviors is the person being coached feels uplifted, supported, and empowered

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What are coaching questions you can ask that will help your client have a great coaching experience?

  • What are your specific, most important goals, stated succinctly?
  • Who is involved with this goal?
  • What information, ideas, people, equipment, books, training, or other support do you need to succeed with this goal? How and when will you get this assistance?
  • Who do you need to be to accomplish this goal? How do you need to think and act to be most successful?
  • Who will you be accountable to, to accomplish the milestones or action steps of this goal?
  • By what specific dates do you need to accomplish key steps, make important decisions, or gain needed support?
  • What do you need to delegate and what is the best way to do this?
  • How will other people be helped by this goal (if they will be)?
  • What do you need to do to support others to help you achieve this goal? With whom and by when?

Coaching has become the dominant method to provide customized development, and when used widely in an organization by trained, competent coaches, it helps create a high-performance working environment where employees value these respectful, growth producing coaching conversations. People experiencing coaching learn how one can improve their working relationships, their individual work performance, and their constructive contributions to the team.

Central to the effectiveness of coaching is the individual being open to feedback as a learning tool which produces high levels of personal accountability, professional development, and high trust relationships. In this way, coaching often not only improves job performance, engagement, satisfaction, and customer satisfaction, but can lead to transformational growth where an employee's potential is unleashed to a much higher degree than ever would have occurred without the coaching relationship.

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