Coaching Essentials (CE)

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Basic Coaching Skills Training

CE Course Description

Using the coaching skills and strategies introduced in this course will improve your communication with clients, co-workers, friends and family members.

Coaching Essentials an intensive, introductory course in basic coaching skills, methodology, strategies, ethics and philosophy. Specifically, it teaches:

  • 16 powerful receptive and active coaching skills (defined and demonstrated)
  • The structure and process of a coaching session
  • Skills competence (supported by the trainer(s) and your skills group)
  • The core philosophy, best practices, and ethics of coaching

You can begin using the coaching skills and techniques right away — starting from the first class. You will strengthen your listening ability, learn how to deepen client self-knowledge, and empower clients to move forward through a coaching partnership.

This is intensive training and we encourage you to make space in your schedule to maximize your learning. Find detailed course information in the CE FAQs at the end of the page.

Senior Trainer Casey Moore, MA, CPLC, PCC, CPO teaches this course with Elizabeth Brink, ACC, CNC, assistant trainer.

As with all our courses, the Coaching Essentials curriculum references the International Coaching Federation’s Core Coaching Competencies.

Coaching Essentials is offered two or three times a year: late winter, late spring (or early summer) and fall.

CE Student Testimonials

What Our Students Say

Longer Lasting Results

My clients have benefitted enormously from my ability to change hats from coach to organizer and back as needed. Hands-on used to be non-stop hands-on, but now it is a blend and the clients seem to have longer lasting results because they change fundamentals within, not just their stuff.

Ask the Right Questions

Coaching has given me the confidence to know how to ask the right questions at the right time with my clients.

Better Listener

Coaching has made me more thoughtful in my questions, and a much better listener.

Create a Framework

Adding coaching skills has changed my work with clients in these ways: It has changed the tone of conversations. My conversation contains more questions/curiosity and perspectives. We have richer and more meaningful discussions. Coaching has also allowed me to create a framework for the organizing relationship that acts as a “guiding compass” for our work together.

More Patience

Because of Coaching Essentials training, I have more confidence, patience, and insight in my work with organizing clients.

More Aware

Coaching allows me to be more aware. I step back and support my clients in developing solutions that work for them rather than telling them what to do. This removes the unrealistic burden on me of having all the answers.

Transformed How I Interact with Clients

Coach training has transformed how I interact with clients, friends and family. Each time I hear someone identify their own solutions or insights from a question that I asked them,  my decision to pursue coaching gets reaffirmed. Thank you Denslow and Cam!

I Feel Good

I feel good about using my coaching skills. I’m offering my clients a connection that is much deeper than before and one that is more satisfying to me.

More Confident

The training helped me immensely. I’m more confident. I have a stronger understanding of skills I’ve used intuitively.


Something life-changing happened to me as a direct result of my coach training. I can see things ‘from a different perspective’ and am able to move from stuck positions.

Clients Reach Solutions

My coach training changed everything about the way I work with clients. I am a better listener, ask better and more powerful questions, and help clients reach solutions based on their own strengths and what works best for them.

How Much Better

You have allowed me to look at what I do and how much better I can do it!

Better Mother, Wife, Daughter

Coaching skills made me a much better mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend?

My Clients Are Incredibly Responsive

Each week of class I added coaching skills in my organizing work, and my clients have been incredibly responsive. Last week I started using coaching as maintenance with clients when the organizing project was completed.

Goal More Than Realized

This has been an incredible class! I came to get tools to work with my most challenging ADD clients. This goal was more than realized. Each week I have added coaching to my skill set and my clients have been incredibly responsive. Just last week I added coaching as maintenance with clients as I ‘conclude’ with them.

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CE is the Pre-Requisite

Coaching Essentials is a stand-alone course — a comprehensive introduction to coaching skills and methodology,. In addition, Coaching Essentials is also the pre-requisite course for the five-course Foundation Coach Training Program. Take Coaching Essentials to develop basic coaching understanding and competence, and then decide whether or not continuing is right for you. You may move into additional foundation courses at your own pace.

The 2-Course Foundation Package

You may register for this course alone or gain some savings with the 2-course intro training package. Strengths-Based Coaching is the popular follow-up training to Coaching Essentials and the second course in the foundation program. Offered twice a year, the SBC focus is on coaching to a client’s strengths. This is modeled through two powerful strengths models: Values & Needs — and Processing Modalities. Strengths-Based Coaching (SBC) has its own page — find more info there.

CE Schedule

Foundation Training Schedule

CE Registration Options

CE FAQs — The Course Details

How is this course structured?

– Eight weeks long, one 90-minute class each week, with 2 trainers via Zoom (See course calendar for holiday accommodations)
– Seven 90-minute Skills Building Group (SBG) meetings, one each week, with two other classmates
– Class time training includes instruction, discussion and question time, coaching demonstration, and assignment review
– Between-class assignments (see below for details)

What do I need to do for the course start-up (before Class 1) and how much time should I schedule to complete these items? 

– Typically, you will receive start-up instructions and tasks 2 weeks, and again 1 week, prior to the first class
– Allow 3+ hours to complete all Coaching Essentials start-up tasks
– Read through the CE Course Overview and the two start-up documents (allow an hour)
– Complete the New Student Info Form and sign and return the document Understanding & Agreements (15 minutes)
– Communicate your Skills Building Group (SBG) scheduling preferences via email (a few minutes) and then coordinate with your group to set up your meeting schedule
– Organize your training materials, including downloading/printing/reviewing those needed for Class 1 (allow an hour)
– Get a headset with microphone to use during class (optional, but highly recommended)
– Log in to the CE Coaches Learning Lab (CE CLL), complete your student profile, and look around (15 minutes+)
– Listen to the recorded CE Orientation Telesession (15 minutes)
-Students are sent several documents, primarily in PDF format, for the course start-up process (before Class 1).  There is also an on-line learning center where all remaining training documents are available.  Some people prefer printing everything out, some prefer using documents electronically — many choose a hybrid approach.  If you want to work from hard-copy you will need to print about 150 pages of information.  The footers are number- and color-coded so color printing is helpful but not    essential. You’ll be offered a 3-ring binder and pre-printed tab set — so consider printing on 3-hole paper or getting a paper punch.

What are the weekly course assignments and how much time should I schedule to complete them?

– Assignment completion times vary from student to student, but expect to spend 4-5 hours each week (in addition to the (1½-2-hour class) to complete all
– Complete brief reading assignments (short articles and handouts), usually 1-2 each week (1/2 hour)
– Complete forum post assignments, usually 1-2 brief posts each week, and review classmates’ posts (1/4-3/4 hour)
– Prepare for your weekly SBG meeting (¼ hour) and attend/participate in it (1½-2 hours)
– Listen to the recording of your SBG meeting and complete the SBG Report (1 hour)
– Listen to the recorded coaching demonstration and capture questions and comments for class discussion (1/2 hour)
– Review new documents that will be used in each upcoming class (1/4 hour)

What are the course closure assignments and how much time should I schedule to complete them?

– Complete an online course evaluation (15-30 minutes)
– Complete a written, take-home, open-book assessment provided after Class 7 (average 4-6 hours to complete, range of hours reported is 3-20)
– Be sure all other course assignments are completed

Once I complete Coaching Essentials, what other CA (Coach Approach) Training can I take?

After completing Coaching Essentials, you are eligible to take two other courses:
Strengths-Based Coaching — the second of the five foundation courses, described briefly above and on its own page Strengths-Based Coaching
Coaching Skills Lab, an elective foundation course decribed briefly in the next Q&A and in more detail on its own page Coaching Skills Lab.

Tell me more about the Coaching Skills Lab — the elective course which helps new coaches practice their coaching skills.

CSL‘s lab-style training is for those who have completed Coaching Essentials. Designed to support new coaches at any point in their foundation program training, classes are limited to five students. This inexpensive course strengthens coaching confidence and competence between courses (or if you stopped foundation training with CE).
– In each class, a live coaching session takes place with a student coach and client. The trainer provides instruction and feedback and leads discussion with all present.
– For many years, Denslow Brown, MCC (the Coach Approach co-founder) has been the CSL trainer.
Coaching Skills Labs is offered throughout the year in various configurations (weekly, every other week, monthly). The registration fee is determined by the number of sessions ($90-150).

Upon completion of both Coaching Essentials and Strengths-Based Coaching, there are two additional elective courses to consider (in addition to Coaching Skills Lab). They are Cultivate Coaching Courage (CCC) and Client Enrollmant: Best Practices (CEBP). Find the links to all three Elective Foundation Courses below.

Required Foundation Courses
Elective Foundation Courses