We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website. By using our website you are accepting our cookies.  Learn More

UK Coaching Team
Inactive people Developing Mindsets Coach Developer Employer or Deployer We Are Undefeatable

Coaching Behaviours

A detailed look at what great coaching looks like through the eyes of the participant

Great coaching is all about putting people first. Whether the participant or the person coaching them, being able to understand and connect with them is essential to creating an environment in which they can thrive. Listening to the wants and needs of people is key to creating the experiences they want from coaching.

We asked a wide range of participants to help us understand what great coaching looks like to them. They consistently described the behaviours of the person who was or would be coaching them in favour of highlighting the specific knowledge or skills they might hold.

Behaviours are what people see. By defining coaching through behaviours, we are able to present clearly what great coaching looks like through the eyes of the participant. Behaviours also provide a connection to the knowledge and skills required to help enhance a person’s experience or performance.

What are behaviours?

A behaviour is defined as:

The way in which someone acts or conducts their self, especially towards others or in response to a situation or stimulus.

This is more than purely a person’s ability to do something (Competency), it also involves the what, how and why they do the thing they do.

What do people want from coaching?

We have taken time to understand what people want from a great coaching experience. We captured their thoughts and words to create a vivid picture of the coaching behaviours they are looking for across four key participant groups.

Watch our Voice of the Participant animations to see what they told us:


People not regularly taking part in physical activity

Watch Now


People in full-time primary education

Watch Now


People engaged in the talent pathway

Watch Now

Active Lifestyle

People regularly taking part in physical activity

Watch Now

What are Great Coaching Behaviours?

Although people often use different words to describe what great coaching looks like to them, they do refer to one or more of the same 10 Great Coaching Behaviours:

Showing Great Coaching Behaviours

We have used the insight behind our Coaching Behaviours to create three infographics that provide some handy hints and tips for creating great experiences for everyone. Download them below. 

Encouraging Our Children to be Active

Coaching Yourself

Developing Great Coaching Behaviours?

To help to understand how to develop great coaching behaviours we have mapped the associated knowledge and skills connected to each identified behaviour.

How does our work connect to the Professional Standards for Coaching?

Our insight into coaching behaviours has informed the development of the professional status for Coach and Coach Assistant. The behaviours we have identified map across to the knowledge and skills that exists within the current Professional Standards

UK Coaching is committed to working with CIMSPA to embed behaviours into Professional Standards in 2019.

UK Coaching Duty to Care Digital Badge

Earn our free nationally recognised Digital Badge by demonstrating your thorough knowledge of the five pillars of Duty to Care (Safeguarding, Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health, Well-being)

Find out more

Related Online Classrooms




Promoting Behaviour Change (Online Classroom)

Behaviour change is a series of small steps taken over time as part of a journey. The goal of that journey may be to reverse unhealthy patterns of behaviour, such as an inactive lifestyle. This Online Classroom will provide you with the tools and tactics to ensure your participants develop and maintain the incentive to create lasting change in their lives. £20 per coach (special pricing until Oct 31st – usually £30)




Understand, Connect, Thrive: Knowing Your People (Online Classroom)

You’ve got your session plan and your kit sorted. You love coaching – but how do you know what you deliver is meeting everyone’s needs? During this session we will share some tried and tested methods of really connecting with your people – helping them to thrive and keep them coming back.




Understand, Connect, Thrive: Developing Your Practice (Online Classroom)

You’ve got your kit sorted and you understand what makes the people who come to your sessions tick. But you have a really broad range of experience and abilities in your group. How do you manage this and keep everyone engaged and meeting their own goals? Find out how adopting just a couple of new approaches will make your session work better for all your people.

Join Us

 Register for free

Sign up to our #greatcoaching enewsletter and be kept up to date with courses running near you and all our latest coaching resources that will help you improve your practice.

Sign up today

Connect with other coaches

ConnectedCoaches is a friendly and supportive online community where members; pool ideas, solve problems, and overcome challenges together.

Learn more


Subscribe to unlock

For just £24 you get 12 month's access to the full UKCoaching.org experience, with our most valuable resources, free courses and amazing discounts.

Unlock Now

Related Resources

  • What is Great Coaching?

  • Coaching the Person in Front of You

  • Top 10 Qualities You Need to be a Coach


We’re unlocking the secrets of #greatcoaching


To access our most valuable resources, amazing discounts and freebies you need to be a subscriber.

Like this resource? We'd love you to share a link to it.

Want to reproduce this resource, or part of it, elsewhere? Please do the right thing and make a permissions request so we can licence its proper use.

UK Coaching Team