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A practical introduction to coaching conversations

Develop the skills to be a more empowering leader, teammate, and friend

Heidi Helfand

Listening is power. By tuning in and applying self-management and directed curiosity, you can help others solve their own problems instead of telling them what to do, giving them the tools they need to be leaders in your organization rather than “order takers.”

Go hands-on with expert Heidi Helfand to learn practical communication techniques to draw out the leader in others through coaching conversations. You’ll discover useful listening and self-awareness techniques and dig into skills and behaviors you can exhibit to verbally and physically show other people that you’re listening. Along the way, you’ll practice techniques for asking questions focused on curiosity and the benefit of the other person instead of for your own personal information gathering. Everything culminates into a framework for having opt-in coaching conversations that are helpful for mentors, managers, and anyone who wants to help others succeed. Best of all, you’ll be able to apply these skills and techniques to all areas of your life.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, interactive online course, you’ll understand:

  • How to design coaching conversations to help the other person unearth an action or desired change
  • How to design coaching conversations to include accountability and follow through
  • How to invite people into coaching conversations
  • The three levels of listening
  • How building an awareness of your own listening can help you control and regulate your attention
  • How to draw people out and help them discern what they really want by asking open-ended, powerful questions
  • How to connect coaching into individual development plans (IDPs)
  • How rank and privilege impacts coaching
  • Why telling people your opinion first gives them fewer options

And you’ll be able to:

  • Distinguish the difference between coaching and mentoring and when to use each skill
  • Identify how to coach ethical issues and know when to refer people to specialists
  • Show others that you’re listening
  • Refactor your one-on-one meetings to incorporate a coaching approach

This training course is for you because...

  • You’re an engineer who wants to improve your communication skills.
  • You’re a manager, and you want to shift your approach to be more growth based.
  • You want to become a manager.
  • You’re an architect, and you want to encourage others to determine their own solutions to grow their skills instead of telling them what to do.


  • Experience working with people in a corporate setting

Recommended preparation:

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Heidi Helfand coaches and influences fast-growing companies using practical, people-focused techniques at Procore—a leading provider of cloud-based applications for construction. She focuses on R&D leadership, coaching, and consulting on software development and reteaming best practices as this company scales globally. Her approach is based on her experience at highly successful startups: At Expertcity, Inc. (acquired by Citrix Online), she served on the development teams that invented GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, and GoToWebinar and helped the company scale from 15 employees to 800; as principal Agile coach at AppFolio, she built a coaching group that supported dynamic, cross-functional teams as the company scaled from 10 people to 650.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction to coaching (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: What coaching is and what it isn’t; the differences between coaching, mentoring, consulting, and therapy; using skills from all these disciplines; what these skills look like in technical workplaces
  • Q&A

Why coaching is important in today’s world (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: Current trends in management that show a shift to growth and learning
  • Q&A

The coaching conversation model: An overview (15 minutes)

  • Lecture: The components of a coaching conversation
  • Q&A

Break (5 minutes)

Eight skills to a coaching conversation (60 minutes)

  • Lecture: The coaching conversation model
  • Hands-on exercise: Interactive practice within each skill section

Wrap-up and Q&A (10 minutes)