What is One to One Coaching?

What is One to One Coaching?

One-on-one coaching is a process where a leader assists their clients in becoming a better version of themselves through live training and development. It also benefits individual contributors, high-potential employees, and lead managers to improve their work experience with coaching guidance.

An African proverb says if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together. Similarly, a manager meets face-to-face with their employees to provide insights and feedback through 1 on 1 coaching.

People raise questions like, ‘what can a coach do for me?’

Let us answer this question with 5 key points:

  •  A one-on-one coach can provide you with a structure and reflection of your learning and growth process.
  • The goal of the coach is to provide clarity and focus on your life’s path by assisting you to reach your personal and professional goals.
  • Through one-to-one coaching, the employees upskill and improve team effectiveness which initiates rapid business growth.
  • 1-on-1 coaching can be given for cognitive development, positive psychology, goal-oriented behaviors, adaptive lifestyle, and more.
  • Coaching unlocks people’s potential and aims to maximize their performance.

Let’s look further into this article to understand the purpose of a coach and the structure of conducting a consultation process.

Purpose of 1-on-1 Life Coaching

A life coach is a person that mentors individuals through a one-on-one coaching session. Like a therapist, a life coach understands your problems, assesses your career goals, observes your interests, and helps you overcome obstacles through professional conversations.

In the words of Elaine MacDonald,

A life coach does for the rest of your life what a personal trainer does for your health and fitness”.

The role of the life coach is to measure things that you would never anticipate including such as ‘self-compassion’. A professional trainer also helps in developing strategic thinking, resilience, and decision-making ability among their clients. 1-on-1 coaching enables clients to create a bridge connecting the present situation to their future desires.

How do you know if your life coach is the right coach for you?

  •  Your coach will be excited to support you and motivate you for your work.
  •  Your one-on-one coach should be pushing you towards goal attainment.
  •   Your coach should be someone you trust.

Pros of 1-on-1 Coaching

Learning creates confidence and a leader helps employees grow in the organization. The benefit of talking to your coach in one-to-one coaching can develop confidence, build accountability, and define the purpose of your work in the company.

According to the International Coaching Federation, 80% of people who received consultations reported an increase in self-confidence, 70% reported improvement in relationships and 86% of companies with management teams reported that they recouped their investment in coaching.

Three reasons why you should make time for 1 on 1 coaching:

Attaining Goals

A business coach can assist you to create a step-by-step plan that is a roadmap for your training and development journey. One-on-one coaching sessions create a positive impact on the employees that builds wellness and improves work performance. Overall, the increase in effectiveness and motivation among the employees converts dreams into goals.  

Job Satisfaction

One-to-one business coaching takes place between an employee and a manager to determine the employee’s satisfaction with the job. Usually, staff believe that they can clarify their problems by actively listening and developing solutions individually, which often leads to employee stress. Thus, the work of the business coach is to determine employee satisfaction with a sense of leadership and purpose.

Earning Potential

Opting for one-to-one business coaching as a career is beneficial as it increases self-development with high-income goal potential. However, do you think that talking to a life coach can significantly increase your earning potential?

Usually, employees are stressed and lose their earning potential by bringing personal problems to the professional table. Professional coaches recommend that hiring a one-on-one coach for refining your skills can help you eradicate personal problems and may help you get a promotion.

Cons of Individual Coaching

Individual coaching can provide personal mentorship to you with a roadmap, which often receives criticism of being a lonely journey. Let’s read further to investigate  the cons of face-to-face consultation.

Mindset Struggles

The purpose of one-to-one business coaching is to address the performance issues faced by a client. To minimize the issues, the coach should work on different mindsets based on the client’s problems. Similarly, an employee can feel that it is not a priority for them and thus, lead to mindset struggles.

Difficult Coaching Session

Once in a while, a coach has to face clients that act difficult and vague during their session. Some clients have very little motivation during 1 on 1 coaching which can create tough situations for the coach in their future journey. Moreover, if an organization consists of low levels of experience and skills among employees, it may take more time to impact progress.

Do’s and Don’ts

What not to do as a one-on-one coach?

  • Bringing in judgements which are not related to the motive of the session.
  • Making the session all about your work and less about your client.
  • Using complicated questioning in abundance that confuses clients.

What to do in a one-on-one coaching session?

  • Bring in sub-topics and questions related to your client’s problems that offer potential solutions to achieve goals
  • Affirm that you will always listen to your clients and be curious by asking powerful questions.
  • Reflect constantly by using simple questions using simple sentences.

How to Run One-on-One Coaching Sessions

To run an individual coaching session you should be prepared with the 5 steps explained below:

1.     Identification of a Goal

In an organizational culture, an employee will be willing to talk and make conversations comfortable. A coach must implement strategies and resources to initiate a conversation with the client. It is a one-on-one coach’s responsibility to identify the specific goals of the client by creating action plans, developing checkpoints, and initiating accountability.  

2.     Focus on the Positive

One-to-one business coaching sessions should include a positive and motivational focus to help the client feel comfortable. Positive behaviors such as being respectful, patient, supportive, trusting, with clear communication can increase the connection between the coach and the employee.

3.     Ask Powerful Questions

Communication is the key to having an effective and progressive consultation, and to do that, a one-on-one coach should be familiar with their client’s goals. Your client came to you to grow and develop their presentation skills. To provide that, a coach should ask powerful questions. 

4.     Work Cohesively and Repeatedly

A coach should work simultaneously with the client to solve their problems and guide them with the right structure during one-on-one coaching sessions. The most widely used time is a 30-minute session, once a week. Similarly, the client must understand the frequency and should be responsible to be at the consultation on time.

5.     Keep Track of Progress

One-on-one coaching sessions are of no use if there is no progress taking place in a business team. Individual coaching should include progress trackers to develop motivation towards attending the sessions.

Structure of One-on-One Coaching

The following is what is required from you if you are part of  an individual coaching session.

Active Listening

Active listening is important for managers and employees during their consultations. An employee may ask questions regarding their payment structure, future opportunities, and growth prospects. A coach should be ready to give answers through active listening in one-on-one coaching sessions.

Get Personal

As an employee, you must remember that one-to-one business coaching is for your personal and professional growth. A life coach will always put you first to analyze your challenges and risks faced in the organization. And a leader will also encourage the client to share problems that they are unsure how to tackle.  

Accept Criticism

Employees in organizations often face problems regarding work ethics, work culture, and office practices. An employee may speak against the organization, which should be taken positively by accepting criticisms. Accept the feedback and review as a one-on-one coach. Get a constant hold of what’s working and what’s not working in the session.

What to Expect From 1 to 1 Coaching?

Expect that a coach will hold a larger vision for you than what you are thinking. One should expect from 1 on 1 coaching to receive an experience that encourages them to not just work but achieve life goals.

Coaching one-to-one will lead to achieving their ultimate goals in life and the strategies to work towards them. A leader can help you in your career trajectory in the following ways:

  • Identify areas for your improvement
  • Implement a development plan
  • Create accountability for defined goals
  •  Provide clear focus on your goals
  • Assist you in developing a path to achieving them


As Benjamin Franklin once said that without continuous progress, the words ‘improvement’ and ‘achievement’ have no meaning, the same goes for one-on-one coaching sessions. If a coach is not ready to track progress and implement strategies, the sessions have no meaning. Similarly, if an employee does not want to open up, the life coach cannot analyze the challenges.

1-on-1 coaching is a two-way street and an individual consultation should initiate positive affirmations and conversations. It is a formal arrangement where a leader works on the employee’s problems, challenges, and risks faced in an organization to provide related solutions.

At 5 Prism Academy, you can get the best coaching education with practical experience that can help you to analyze the client’s conflicts, feelings, and belief system.