An Analysis of Coaching Strategies used with Kathrina

By Elena Aguilar, President and Founder

In Episode 2 of The Bright Morning Podcast, I coached Kathrina on how she can set boundaries. Kathrina was struggling with her relationships with some colleagues. She’d tried being compassionate and understanding with them, but I could hear that what she wasn’t telling me was that some of those colleagues were toxic. And by that, I mean that they were treating her in a way that she didn’t deserve (that no one would deserve). I also heard that Kathrina was struggling to practice self-compassion.

During the episode, I interrupted the conversation a few times to interject my reflections—to help you understand why I said what I said. You’ll have to listen to hear those reflections!

I often encourage coaches to record a coaching conversation, transcribe it, and then analyze the data. This is a powerful way to refine your coaching skills. And that’s what I did with the transcript of Kathrina’s session.

My analysis of a coaching conversation begins by looking at two things: How much I talked and what kinds of coaching stances I took. (If you’re not familiar with my terminology around coaching stances, and the related terms, cathartic, catalytic, confrontational, etc., you’ll need to check out chapters 9-12 of The Art of Coaching.)

In my conversation with Kathrina, I discovered the following:

Facilitative StancesTimes UsedDirective StancedTimes Used
Cathartic8Confrontational3
Catalytic12Instructive7
Supportive3Prescriptive 2
Reflective (paraphrasing)7
Clarifying Question1
Total31Total12
Words Spoken
SpeakerNumber of Words
Elena2410
Kathrina4557
Total7067

I strive to speak for 1/3 of the time or less in a coaching conversation, so in this conversation, I was just over 1/3 of the time (only by 65 words!).

As far as the distribution of stances, I try to lean heavier on the facilitative stances – I aim for about 75% of what I say to be from the facilitative stances. And so again, I came very close to hitting that mark!

There’s a lot more to say about how we can classify stances, and how to decide which stances to take, and how to analyze the impact of what was said—but I have to save something to share with you for future episodes!

For now, however, here is a partial transcript of my conversation with Kathrina. I included the initial questions or statements that I made and coded them for you according to the stance I took.

Let me know if this was helpful and what questions you have about coaching that I could incorporate into future podcast episodes and blogs!


The Bright Morning podcast launched on June 22, 2020. To hear more podcasts with Elena, visit The Bright Morning Podcast page and subscribe to The Bright Morning Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!