July 2018

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Common Coaching Challenges
and Tips for Tackling Them


Coaching challenges – whether you are a new coach or seasoned, we all run into sticky situations now and then. This month I am focusing on a couple of the common challenges that coaches face and provide some practical tips for overcoming them.

Challenge #1: Overcoming misconceptions about what coaching is.

Although coaching is not new, and much progress has been made in educating people about coaching, there are still those who are unaware or have misconceptions. One misconception about coaching that persists is that it is for people who have a performance problem. If a potential coachee holds that view and coaching is suggested, you are likely to face someone who is ready to put up their defenses. You may also run into people who are unaware of what coaching is or those who confuse it with mentoring or consulting. If you face any of these challenges, you must do some educating before any real coaching work can begin.

Before starting with a new client or attempting to sell coaching services to an organization, make sure you know what their understanding and view of coaching is. A good way to think of coaching and to put it into language that others can easily grasp is to position coaching as a tool to unleash human potential, increase motivation and sustain high performance. Who doesn’t want that?

Use your questioning and listening skills to learn what the client thinks coaching is. Do they understand the difference between coaching, mentoring, consulting? Do they have a positive, neutral or negative impression of coaching? If you need ideas for new questions or new ways to ask a question as you work through this challenge, you may find our 365 Coaching Questions Booklet helpful.

Make sure you understand what your potential client / coachee goals and objectives are, and that coaching is the right tool. Coaching is a powerful tool, but it is not the answer to every problem in every situation. You must be able to recognize when coaching is not the best fit and be willing to pass on the opportunity when it is not the best tool to use in a given situation. It is much worse to try to force coaching into a situation where it doesn’t belong. For example, if someone isn’t ready to be coached or is looking for someone else to provide solutions to their problems. In these situations, consulting or mentoring may be more appropriate. As we all know, coaches help people develop their own solutions, not tell them what to do.

Challenge #2: Your coachee is not willing to commit / follow-through to action.

This is a challenge both new and seasoned coaches face. You think things are going along well. You are having good coaching sessions, the coachee seems engaged and motivated. You’ve worked out an action plan and feel good about the progress being made. Then, you are caught off guard to discover your coachee has not followed through on the agreed to action plan. Maybe the first time it happens you are not too concerned. You use your questioning skills to understand the reason for lack of follow-through. You and your coachee do a reset of the goals and continue. But then, when the coachee fails to follow through multiple times, you’ve got a real challenge on your hands. Successful coaching is about unleashing potential, helping someone to change and be accountable for his/her future. After you have guided your coachee to an appropriate solution, if he/she is unwilling to be accountable for making it happen you can try a few strategies.

If your coachee is not following through on commitments, it could be that the goals created are not the right ones. A good first step is to do some exploration with your coachee to understand if the goal is the right one, and if not adjust.

You can be assured that there is a roadblock to be uncovered if your coachee’s lack of follow-through behavior is on-going. It may be worth doing a rewind and diving deeper. Our Personal Groundwork for Coaching Assessment™ and accompanying Personal Groundwork for Coaching™ Workbook is a great tool for doing this. It allows coaches to highlight and explore areas that are often at the source of where a coachee becomes stuck, self-defeating or demotivated. Coaches use this tool to uncover the deeper source of what gets in their coachee’s way when moving toward bigger and broader goals. This tool can help you and your coachee uncover what is at the root of their lack of follow-through.

Establishing or, if necessary, revising the coaching contract can be helpful in addressing this challenge. The contract clearly states the roles, responsibilities and expectations. Perhaps the coachee was eager to please and agreed to the contract before really understanding and embracing the process.

Another option is to nudge him/her into making a commitment and exploring his/her level of commitment using a Likert scale question, i.e. “On a scale of 1-10, how committed are you to making this happen?”

If the above strategies and tactics fail to produce the desired result, a last option is to discontinue coaching him/her. None of us want to get to this point but, in some cases, this may be the best option for coach and coachee. If you do get to this point, be sure to use it as a learning experience.

We are here to support you when it comes to coaching challenges. We offer webinars, coaching guides and courses. View our resources here. If you have questions, connect with our Program Advisor.


Education and Training Courses


Build Core Competencies


5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™
ICF Core Competency Hours: 12

If your 2018 goals include starting a coaching business or using coaching to lead within an organization, you won’t want to miss our 5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™.

During this course participants learn questioning, listening and framing skills. These skills help coaches guide their coachees to new insights, discoveries and breakthroughs that will help them become self-reliant problem solvers and goal achievers. This course provides in-depth learning of core coaching competencies including multiple practice and feedback sessions. Join over 18,000 participants who have gone through this transformational program. Click on the title below to learn more and register.

5/5/5 Coaching Skills Training Program™ – Starts July 9


Coaching Fundamentals Program™
ICF Core Competency Hours: 15

Coaching is catching on. More and more people are turning to coaching because coaching produces results. The performance of individuals, teams and organizations are being transformed when coaching skills are developed, used and become part of the culture. If you are intrigued by what is happening with coaching and want to learn core coaching skills, this fundamentals class is for you.



This is a hands-on class that includes practical techniques for trust building, focused listening, evocative questioning, planning and goal setting. The course includes practice sessions that are reviewed by a professional coach who provides feedback on coaching skills and comprehension of the competencies. You will learn the skills and gain the confidence needed to use them. Click on the course name to learn more and register.

Coaching Fundamentals Program™ – Starts August 8


Advance Your Skills


Personal Groundwork for Coaching Program
ICF Core Competency Hours: 20

Are you looking to enhance your coaching skills or take your coaching to the next level? Or maybe you need to obtain CCE credits to renew your ICF credential or add to your coach specific training hours. If any of these apply, check out our Personal Groundwork for Coaching Program™.

In this course you will learn advanced coaching skills to help highlight and explore areas that are often at the source of where a coachee becomes stuck, self-defeating or demotivated. You will also learn how to use the accompanying Personal Groundwork for Coaching™ Workbook, a widely-used tool to help coaches move their clients’ past daily symptoms and into the deeper source of what is getting in their way and preventing them from reaching their goals.

This is a hands-on class. Each week you will work (outside of the classroom) with a different learning partner to coach one another around the concepts covered in the class. Click on the course name to learn more and register.

Personal Groundwork for Coaching Program™ – starts July 16.


Take the Fast Track to Your ICF Credential


Fast Track to ICF Credential
Fulfils the educational requirements for obtaining the ICF ACC credential

Develop the skills and set yourself apart by jumping on the Fast Track. Coaching is becoming more and more competitive and yet many coaches have no credential and minimal training. One of the best ways to set yourself apart is to complete the training and earn a coaching credential.

But pursuing your ICF Credential is a big step and commitment. That is why we created the Fast Track to ICF Credential – to streamline the process and make it as convenient as possible.

Benefits of the Fast Track to ICF Credential include;

 FAST TRACK: Takes only 6 months to complete (other programs may take as long as 18 months).

 ROBUST, DISTANCE-BASED LEARNING: We use cutting-edge technology to create an in-person, interactive classroom experience while you participate remotely.

 TOP-NOTCH EDUCATION AND TRAINING: You get world-class instruction from expert coaches with experience in both coaching and teaching.

 FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE: We offer day and evening classes for your convenience, and new classes start throughout the year.

 AFFORDABLE: This program is priced to fit into your budget. Save $495 US / $595 CDN when you register for the package option. Don’t need the package option? You also have the choice of taking separate modules a la carte. We even have a payment plan.

Our next program (evening) starts July 9. Click here to view the schedule


Ace the ICF Credential exam


ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) Prep Class
ICF Core Competency Hours: 9



This course is designed to prepare coaches for the ICF Coach Knowledge Assessment exam which must be successfully completed prior to receiving the International Coach Federation (ICF) ACC Credential. The course covers ICF Core Competencies and Ethics and Standards plus test taking strategies. This prep class will present several questions each week that mimic the multiple-choice questions you will be asked to answer in the CKA exam. Click the course link below to learn more and register.

ICF CKA Prep Class – Starts July 10


Inspiration Station

Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
– John Wooden

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
– John D. Rockefeller


Coaching Resources



We offer many resources on a wide variety of topics to support coaches at all levels. On our website, you can find blog articles, educational videos, webinar recordings and more under Coaching Resources. We are continually updating this section so check back often.

Our coaching guides continue to be very popular and we will be adding to these in 2018. If you haven’t taken advantage of these free resources, you can find them here.

NEW COACHING GUIDE: We just added a new guide on how to bring coaching into your healthcare organization. Note: This guide was based on the experience of several healthcare organizations but the learning applies to any industry. Get your free guide here.


Did you know?

COTBx offers Immersive Coaching Skills Development Programs 
for Organizations

These programs, delivered specifically for your organization, are designed to accelerate learning and uptake. Programs are offered in on-site, virtual and blended formats. Contact us to learn more.




If you have questions about coaching, certification, courses or more, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to schedule 1:1 time with Alison Hendren, CEO and Founder, or fill out our contact form!



We would love to connect with you! Reach out to our team here or call Toll Free, 
1-888-4A-COACH (1-888-422-6224).


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