Change Agent

Expectation management is the key to establishing a high-quality coaching

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The one goal that rules them all

For a long time, as a career coach. I paid a lot of attraction building a relationship with the coachee in coaching. ‘walk along with them!’ is the essential value and purpose of my every coaching. At the same time, I also pay great attention to the details and what needs delivery in the process. But I find that sometimes what I prepared did not match the coachee’s need. When this happens, on the one hand, the coaching progress is hindered, and it takes a lot of effort and time for both parties to make corrections. The situation is like chasing each other, but it is always impossible to find a common goal and seek appropriate solutions; this was not a good experience for both the coach and the trainees. 

As a coach, you must fully align with the people involved in this coaching before starting coaching. This situation is especially likely to happen when the trainees are appointed. Because appointees, appointees, and coaches all have different expectations of the other two parties. Therefore expectation management and alignment become my most enormous room for improvement. Combining Kholghi, B, and Barlow, S articles and analysis of expectation management, I summarize the following points.

  1. Define what coaching is and the purpose of this coaching. 
  2. Time and resources boundary
  3. Trust level and communication mode
  4. Intents, purposes, and results
  5. Understand limitations, different ethical standards, including confidentiality
  6. Accountability
  7. Roles and relationships 

As Barlow, S suggests, “expectations are foundational for effective coaching.” Therefore, before the start of coaching, we can let everyone know and understand each other’s expectations, which can significantly assist the effect and quality of coaching, especially if we need to reach ISTE 1a. I think so because there are too many unpredictable situations in the process of change agent. In this coaching, we are likely to strongly encourage and require the trainees to break through their existing ideas, re-learn and understand and build a new digital teaching environment and value system together. If the trainee does not understand or has not shared and managed expectations with the coach, it is easy to get lost and confused and ultimately fail. 

Appointees’ roles like the manager or principals, proper expectation management is even the Key to the plan’s success. As a coach, they must understand that both the coach and the trainee have their limitations. Each coaching All can only bring part of the improvement or solve part of the problem. As Barlow also mansion as a coach, “you can’t wave a wand and make things happen!” Appointees’ roles There is full affirmation and recognition of this point. Once there is a deviation between their expectations and actual results, it will significantly affect the mutual trust of the three parties. It is absolutely an undesirable situation in the process of coaching.



Kholghi, B (2021), 9 CLEAR Ways To Manage Coaching Expectations (2021),

Barlow, S (2018), How to Manage Expectations in Coaching,

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4 thoughts on “Expectation management is the key to establishing a high-quality coaching

  1. Karen

    I really like the drawing you included of expectations vs reality, it does a great job of illustrating why it’s important to up front set definitions, understand roles, etc. I wonder how you see the expectations the same or different based on the role you take, e.g. a coach vs a coachee.

    SPU has a mentor program and I was thinking of that while I read your post. They outline some expectations for students and do something similar for those who will be mentoring, there’s some overlap but different expectations for their roles. I think many of them would carry forward into the work place too, but I think in some ways too, the way I would interact with a student vs a colleague would be different too.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jason!


    Your focus on developing a common understanding for the roles and responsiblities of both the coach and their learning partner feels like it is crticially important in addressing the issue of expectations. You raise a second issues here that also seems important. Early in your blog you observe, “But I find that sometimes what I prepared did not match the coachee’s need.” Will have common understanding of roles and responsibilities address this common problem? If not how do coaches avoid this pitfall?

  3. K. Clum

    Expectation management is such a tricky thing, and yet it permeates pretty much every relationship in our lives, both professional and personal. Thanks for taking the time to acknowledge this in your post. I also appreciate that you noted how expectations will differ depending on whether or not the trainee or coach has been appointed to their roles, (vs. organically seeking each other out, perhaps). The coaching process may need to be approached differently in these “appointed” or assigned scenarios. Establishing clear expectations for the relationship as well as the outcome can go a long way towards improving a coaching relationship, which you’ve succinctly and effectively addressed in this post!

  4. JK Freeman

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how expectations management can be an important component of peer coaching. You raise an important point about how important expectations are to both parties in the coach/coachee relationship. To have a chance for success in peer coaching, it seems vitally important that both parties are clear on each other’s roles and responsibilities, articulate their expectations of the relationship, and agree on anticipated goals/outcomes of the mentorship.

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