5 Steps How To Start Effective One-on-One Coaching

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Article by Gevorgyan

Content writer

Published 18 Mar 2023
13 min read
5 Steps How To Start Effective One-on-One Coaching


Online coaching has become increasingly popular as it assists people in reaching their full potential alongside main goals.  

People want personal and career growth, and online coaches assist them in whatever aspect is requested.   

However, there are certain difficulties in one-on-one coaching sessions, and to be a successful coach, you need to take several steps. 


In this article, we will review everything about one-on-one coaching starting off with the definition, keeping on with the pros & cons, and ending with the main steps you have to take.   

So, if you are ready, let’s start.   

What is one-on-one coaching?

Basically, one-on-one coaching is the coaching session where the coach and the coachee work together. These types of coaching sessions can be online or offline. Simply put, that is individual coaching.   

There are dating coaches, career, lifestyle, business, and all the other coaches on today’s market. As the niche name suggests, they help you to achieve your goals in certain areas of life.   

A coach can help the coachee to:

  • Have a more clear vision of the future and goals, and be more specific
  • Find what the coachee truly loves and wants to achieve in life or the meaning of life 
  • Establish SMART goals and track the progress towards achievement 
  • Implement individual development plans that guide coachees throughout their journey   

Coach’s work aims to help you achieve a specific goal in a pre-defined period. Usually, that period can take from three months up to a year. Most coaching training sessions last more than an hour once or twice a week for a few months. The length depends on individual needs and goals. 

Benefits of one-on-one coaching

One-on-one coaching benefits

Now it is time to take a look at the benefits of one-on-one coaching. From the client’s perspective, the benefits are:  

  • Goal achievement with a highly individualistic and customer-centric approach: When participating in a one-on-one session, all the attention is on the coachee, making the overall process much easier. 
  • Confidence. Coaching sessions greatly influence the confidence level of the clients, making them more confident about themselves and their lives. Why? Because one of the main elements of a successful individual cochin is increase and constant work on client’s self-awareness levels.   

From the coach’s perspective, the benefits are:

  • Higher profit margins. If you are known on the market and generally a good professional, then people will pay quite much so that you can coach them. 
  • Better results. Of course, group coaching is efficient; however, we all are different. Therefore individual coaching brings the fastest and best results possible. Therefore, when clients get fast & good results, they are ready to share their experience with others attracting new customers for you. 
  • Easier to focus. One-on-one sessions are easier to manage as well as last shorter than group sessions.   
Woman showing enjoyment sign

Disadvantages of one-on-one coaching

Meanwhile, in terms of disadvantages, there are some, mostly from the coach’s perspective:  

  • Time-consuming. Coaching sessions, especially one-on-one ones, can be too time-consuming; imagine how many new students you could have had if you did it in groups instead of individually. 
  • Profit margins. This may be surprising, as we included high profit in the advantages, but if you do not have many students who take individual sessions, then the few of them just reduce your time and profit margins. Instead of those you could spend the same time with more students and get more money. However, once again, this is extremely individual; plus, as a professional, you should realize the vitality of one-on-one sessions with certain clients.  

3 strategies for individual coaching

These strategies are basically coaching methods, the most efficient and famous of which are Autocratic, Democratic, and Holistic. Each strategy works well for different types of people. If one clientHolistic approach worked, you could not be sure that it would work on another one as well. Therefore it is vital to master all the strategies to be able to provide an individual approach depending on the client. Plus, the efficiency of the chosen strategy also depends on the circumstances and time limits.  

So, let’s start the revision of each strategy. 

Strategy 1 - Democratic 

Democracy is good both in leadership and coaching. In a democratic setting, the client plays a huge role in strategy formation. Basically, this strategy works best if there are no too pressuring “deadlines.” With democratic coaching, the coach and coachee can have introductory sessions, set the goals throughout the training, and decide on vital aspects of the training process together. 

Strategy 2 - Autocratic

Autocratic coaching revolves around the idea that the coach knows best. An autocratic strategy works best when there is a specific goal that has to be achieved in a short period of time. Therefore, there is little or almost no input needed from the client in goal-achievement strategy formation, rather than just listening and doing what the coach says. 

Strategy 3 - Holistic 

Holistic leadership, for example, is focused on creating an environment comfortable enough for the client so that the client feels free to explore. Also, it is, in a sense, a combination of democratic and autocratic styles. For example, many health coaches have adopted the Holistic strategy. However, in terms of coaching, a holistic strategy focuses on spirituality and how spirituality can affect one’s aspirations. Simply put, “Healthy Mind equals Healthy Body.”   

Once again, a reminder that for the coaching session to be successful, you must analyze the client and the circumstances to evaluate which strategy will work best for them. 

What skills does the coach need?

Just the implementation of strategies won’t let you become a good coach. to be a professional, you need to have a set of skills, such as: 


  • Professional foundations. Coaches are not just online course creators; you need to have certain certifications, bases & experience and be aware of professional ethics. 
  • Communication. A good coach definitely has excellent communication & listening skills. 
  • Powerful questioning. Also, coaches know how to ask the right questions that guide clients. 


Skills and goals

5 steps to create effective one-on-one coaching sessions

The main part of this article is - The Top 5 Steps to Create Effective Coaching Sessions.

Coaching session steps

Step 1 - Set Clear Goals 

When someone comes to you as a coach, they expect personal growth and keep a certain goal in mind. However, no one said the goal is formulated correctly; it can be, e.g., too general. You need to help your client identify the main goals they want to achieve in a specific period; a good technique is to set SMART goals. Each goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-specific.   

Also, set goals throughout the training session, e.g., expected outcomes, progress, etc., so that you also have a clear idea of what the clients came in with and what they will leave with. 

Step 2 - Ask the Right Questions 

As we have mentioned before, the whole success of coaching depends on asking the right questions. As a professional, you cannot just give away answers because those will be one-time usage. You need to guide your coachee throughout the way and help them find the answers to what they are looking for with the set of guiding questions. E.g., questions like:


  • What is your main goal, and how will it change your life?
  • What is your biggest strength?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • What are your biggest fears, and why do you fear those?
  • What differentiates you from the rest?
  • What do you need right now?   

The set of questions presented above is aimed at increasing the client’s self-awareness levels, which is an essential part of Emotional intelligence

Step 3 - Have the Right Structure & Frequency 

One-on-one coaching sessions should be held on a weekly basis. The most widely used frequency is once a week, from 40 minutes up to an hour and a half. Coaching sessions should be regular to have progress. 

Step 4 - Have Feedback Sessions 

Your client came to you to grow. They expect your feedback on progress. Track your progress and give constructive feedback. Be careful with the wording to motivate and not accidentally demotivate them. 

Step 5 - Effective Body Language 

One-on-one coaching sessions require effective communication. As you know, communication is not just oral but also body language. On a subconscious level, people tend to feel more or less comfortable near others, depending on their body language.   

Therefore, your last MAIN STEP to take is to work on your body language. For example, practice in front of the mirror and learn how to communicate more effectively. Moreover, you can read materials or watch educational videos on each posture or gesture.   

Besides learning how to control your body language to become a more effective communicator, you also need to read the clues in the client’s body language to develop an efficient strategy for further work.   

Smiling girl using laptop

4 questions to ask during 1:1 coaching

However, besides the main steps, to host successful coaching sessions and bring real-time results to clients, you also have to ask a certain set of questions. The power of coaching relies on questioning skills, as questions aim to awaken the coachee’s potential.   

Of course, it is only natural that questions vary depending on what type of coach you are (career, dating, etc.); however, there are questions any coach should ask. Keep in mind that a professional does not give away answers.   

The whole point of coaching is to make the client independent and ask questions that unlock the potential. The answers to those questions should make them more self-aware and open to further personal growth.  

So, here are examples of four questions you have to task throughout the session. 

Coaching session questions

Question 1 - What are your goals and expectations from our meetings? 

With these questions, you will be able to understand their goal and have a clearer idea of how you should guide them towards it. Also, you will be aware of their expectations, and in case of confusion, explain what coaches really do and what clients should expect. Some clients do not know what coaching is about, and they expect answers from the coach rather than questions. 

Question 2 - What other areas of your life concern you and you would love to improve?

With this question, the coach will understand the client better, including what bothers them and what fo they truly want to improve. Any type of coaching touches more than one aspect of life. 

Question 3 - What does success looks like to you, and how would you know if you have reached it? 

Clients often do not know what success is, and it is truly different for everyone. When they ill understand what success is like for them and how it makes them feel, this will be the step where they will be ready to take practical steps towards it.

Question 4 - Why is it important for you to reach your goal? 

If you do not know why you want the X thing, then you cannot get the X thing. So, make sure your client fully comprehends the vitality of their goal. 


People ask questions

Why make your 1-on-1 coaching online?

1-on-1 coaching sessions can be held online and bring both sides even more benefits than the traditional ones. For example, if the session is offline, you will have to:  

  • Invest in a space/rent the place 
  • Spend time & money on transportation 
  • Waste energy on tidying up the space before the client comes, and the same for every next client   

Also, the client will have to spend time & energy on transportation, maybe they have social anxiety, and it is easier for them to join the session from the comfort of their own houses. 

1-on-1 online coaching or online courses?

You have to understand the huge difference between those. Online courses, no matter live ones or pre-recorded ones, are aimed to equip students with certain knowledge and skills in a specific area. Meanwhile, online coaching is individual-centric; it rather aims to equip with life skills, with the method of asking questions, so clients find answers for themselves. 

Pros and Cons of being an Online Course Creator

Online course creation pros and cons


  • Great Source of Passive Income: once you have recorded the course, you can resell it as many times as you wish. 
  • Will develop your content creation, organization, and management skills
  • Easier to work with the students, not too individualistic, mostly even generic 
  • Low start-up costs 
  • Better educational content that provides value to the audience and at the same time attracts new students due to offering them self-paced learning opportunities. 


  • Huge time investments to create high-quality videos, visuals, etc.; 
  • Competitive market, so the promotion becomes harder 
  • Difficulties with website creation
  • You must invest lots of time on every possible platform to promote your course.   

Pros and Cons of Online Coaching 

Online coaching can require a lot more start-up costs in terms of coaching certification, as you need to be a professional. However, there are many benefits of being an online coach

Online coaching pros and cons


  • It provides Value due to the focus on the client’s personal growth. You literally help people to change their lives and reach their full potential. 
  • Personal fulfillment, according to statistics, most coaches develop as a person as well while working with clients. Coaching is one of the most fulfilling works. 
  • High-income potential. People pay way more for coaching and individual sessions that will change their lives rather than for online courses. 
  • Build a valuable long-term relationship and forms effective partnerships 


  • It can be hard to work with certain clients and requires lots of energy and a good memory.    

If you take a look at the list of pros and cons, no matter which one you choose by the end of the day, just be sure that if you truly love what you do, the cons do not matter anymore.   

Also, if you are already an online course creator, you can always invest time and energy to learn online coaching and become one. The same goes for online coaches; you can always create online courses. This world is off-limits; just follow your heart. 


Illustration weighting scale

Start your one-on-one coaching today

Stop wasting your time overthinking, grab your laptop and start your e-learning business immediately. With Uteach, you can create a website in less than 2 minutes, design& customize it, and publish your online coaching with SEO-optimized descriptions to rank higher in SERPs. 


Do not hesitate; it is your time to succeed. Whether you are an online coach, course creator, or teacher, Uteach offers all the necessary features and opportunities for you. Share your knowledge with the world.  

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