Building coaching skills

coaching programs bannerGain fresh perspectives on personal challenges, enhance professional competency skills, achieve greater interpersonal effectiveness, increase confidence – and boost your career!


Professional coaching programs provide a host of benefits to individuals who work with teams of employees. You can improve the productivity of your team while building a portfolio of professional and personal skills that apply across both career and personal life – as attendees of these workshops attest. Watch this video!

USC Training and Development offers two separate coaching program opportunities – a coaching certification program, and a 3-day “Leader as Coach” workshop.

A word about payment for these programs: Coaching programs are not affiliated with USC academic programs and therefore do not qualify for employee tuition benefits. Please submit an internal requisition form or personal check for the course payment.

Become a certified coach with the USC Master Coaching Program (International Coaching Federation certification)

If you’re a learning and development or HR professional – or a team leader of any type (staff or faculty) – enhancing your coaching skills by becoming a certified coach is an investment in both your employees and your career.

By the end of this coaching certification program, participants will have:

  • Learned to provide effective feedback to drive higher levels of engagement and productivity
  • Gained deeper self-awareness by uncovering blind spots that may affect active listening and other communication skills
  • Learned to build trust and better understand team members’ motivation, improving accountability

Topics covered include:

  • Coaching agreement
  • Building a partnership
  • Communication skills
  • Coaching presence
  • Cultural issues in coaching
  • Neuroscience
  • Coaching practice

Certification consists of 5 components:

(1) Core coaching sessions (36 hours) – the core coaching program is presented in 6-hour daily sessions over the course of 5 months. Participants must attend at least 80% of the sessions to remain eligible for certification. See schedule in box below.

(2) Self study (13 hours) – participants should plan to spend about an hour a week reading assigned materials:

  • Professional Coaching Competencies, Goldvarg, Matthews and Perel
  • Systemic Coaching, Hawkins and Turner (2020)
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Greaves, J., Lencioni, P. TalentSmart. (2009)

(3) Triad practice coaching sessions (8 hours) – triad coaching practice sessions (4 total) can take place in person or virtually (phone, Zoom, etc.) in clusters of  2 hours each, and are focused on practicing coaching. Triads/quads will meet without formal facilitation, dates and times TBD by participants.

(4) Coaching practice with clients (15 hours) – to build coaching skills, participants will schedule 5 coaching sessions with at least 3 individuals either within or outside USC for a total of at least 25 hours. These hours will count toward the 100 hours of certification required for ICF ACC – Associate Certified Coach.

(5) Individual mentor coaching sessions (3 hours) – these 3 sessions consist of working one-on-one with one of three external ICF PCC or MCC level certified mentor coaches introduced by Dr.  Goldvarg. Steps:

  1. Record one of your coaching practice sessions
  2. Submit recording to your mentor coach
  3. Coach will provide feedback based on your progress
  4. Repeat steps until you have completed 3 sessions

Master Coaching Program – 2021 sessions

  • February 19
  • February 20
  • March 19
  • March 20
  • April 16
  • May 21

Sessions run via Zoom from 8:30-10:30am, 11am-1pm, and 1:30-3:30pm

Fee: $2250


Leader as Coach

This interactive and practical three-day program equips leaders to motivate teams, increase professional effectiveness, enhance decision-making and overcome interpersonal challenges that thwart productivity and goal achievement. Participants practice coaching skills in a variety of exercises designed to teach how to:

  • Develop trust with employees and colleagues to facilitate collaboration
  • Identify what motivates direct reports and help them align personal with organizational goals
  • Conduct effective conversations related to employee development
  • Provide effective feedback
  • Identify “coaching moments”
  • Create a learning environment for employees to grow and develop

Leader as Coach will build skills in:

  • Developing trust
  • Actively listening
  • Being present during conversations
  • Asking powerful questions
  • Providing feedback
  • Designing development programs
  • Creating accountability and awareness
  • Creating a coaching culture within teams

Fall 2021 Leader as Coach program

(details to be announced when available)

Instructor for both programs

Master Certified Coach Damian Goldvarg, PhD, has 20 years of experience training and developing leaders and empowering people at their workplaces. He provides executive assessment and coaching, organizational assessment and intervention, leadership training, performance feedback, group facilitation and consultation. His other areas of expertise include communication skills, conflict resolution, behavioral interviewing, team building, and time management. Dr. Goldvarg has worked with many Fortune 100 companies and in more than 40 countries. He is the Global Chair of the International Coach Federation Board of Directors.


Email USC Training and Development via the HR Service Center at