Compatibility in a Coaching Relationship

Compatibility in the Coaching Relationship

Much of the emphasis in coaching is on the person being coached, and rightly so, but to ignore what the coach brings to the table could jeopardise the coaching relationship. The success of a coaching relationship will depend on the compatibility of the coach and the person being coached. During the CONNECTING phase it is important for the coach to determining compatibility of vision, values, behavioural styles, etc. Making assumptions based on little information, wrong information, or no information can cause problems.

Behavioural or personality styles are particularly important keys to an effective coaching relationship. Knowing your style and the style of the coachee will begin to clarify what adjustments need to be made. Two factors will determine your effectiveness in making those adjustments. The first is your flexibility, or your willingness to change. The second is your versatility, or your ability to change. When both factors come together, effectiveness increases. An accurate assessment of behavioural/personality styles can be gained by taking an inventory such as the Personal Profile System (DiSC), Insight Inventory or Psychological Type Indicator (PTI). Inventories such as these are best administered early in the coaching process. Use the early coaching session to discuss ways to maximize the fruitfulness of the coaching relationship given each others style.

Reflection Questions

  • How have you adjusted your style in order to work more effectively with another person or group?
  • How could your behavioural tendencies cause tension in those you coach?
  • What changes could you make that would increase your flexibility and effectiveness?
  • How willing are you to make these adjustments?
  • What compatibility issues do you consider non-negotiable?

© 2012. Colin Noyes.

Colin is the Director of ResourceZone International. He is a recognized authority in areas like coaching, leadership development, team building, church health and growth and multiplication movements. He can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Colin Noyes

Colin Noyes is a Brisbane (Australia) based coach and consultant with extensive experience in the areas of organisational health and growth, change management, leadership development, recruiting/staff development and coaching. Read more

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