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 6-month 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 two components:

  1. Core coaching sessions (80 hours)

The core coaching program is presented in 10 sessions of 8 hours each. Participants must attend at least 80% of the sessions throughout the 4.5 month program to remain eligible for certification.

Required reading 

  • Coaching Skills for Nonprofit Managers and Leaders, Wilson and Gislason, Editorial Jossey Bass. (2010)
  • Language and the Pursuit of Happiness, Chalmers Brothers. (2005)
  • Strengths Finder 2.0, Rath, Tom, Gallup Press. (2007)
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Greaves, J., Lencioni, P. TalentSmart. (2009).

Participants should plan to spend about an hour a week (16 hours total) reading assigned materials (books included in program fee; see below).

  1. Group mentor coaching sessions (20 hours)

Group mentor coaching takes place in 10 group sessions of 2 hours each, focused on practicing coaching skills.

Half the sessions are hosted by the instructor virtually via Zoom Platform with formal facilitation.

Master Coaching Program – 2020 sessions

Friday and Saturday:

  • January 24/25
  • February 28/29
  • March 27/28
  • April 24/25
  • June 5/6

Sessions run 8:30am-5pm

Location: CAL (3434 S Grand) training rooms (location subject to change)

Fee includes books, meals and mentor coaching

  • $3650 (if registered and paid by October 31, 2019)
  • $3850 (if registered and paid by December 15, 2019 – final deadline)

Registration link – Master Coaching Program

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 2019 and Spring 2020 Leader as Coach programs

Fall dates:

October 4
October 18
November 1

Spring dates:

February 7
February 21
March 13


Location: CAL (3434 S Grand) training rooms (location subject to change)

Fee includes both books and meals:

  • If registered/paid by September 1, 2019 – $1150
  • Otherwise, $1300 (registration deadline September 30, 2019)

Registration link – FALL 2019 Leader as Coach program

Registration link – SPRING 2020 Leader as Coach program

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 Saeyoung Chang of USC Training and Development.