Three students smile as they walk eagerly through the hallway to class

Seven Factors Every Instructional Coaching Program Needs to Be Successful

We’ll help you provide your coaches with the most comprehensive tools for success.

You’re here because you want a successful coaching program.

…A coaching program that your instructional coaches understand, that is evidence-based, and that provides a clear process with lots of helpful resources.

Two female educators have a conversation in the school break room. One educator is turned away from the camera, and the other smiles.
A female teacher raises her hand during a lesson, smiling as the students follow along and mirror her.

…More important, a coaching program that fosters positive learning experiences for your students.

…Maybe you don’t know where to begin. Or maybe you’ve already created a coaching program, but aren’t seeing the improvements you were aiming for.

A male educator looks up from his computer and out the window with his hand on his chin, thinking deeply.

We help schools/districts learn and implement The Seven Factors for Success to sustain a beneficial coaching program.

What are the Seven Factors For Success?

Seven areas that must be engaged to ensure a successful coaching program.

Without purposeful development and support in all seven areas, your coaching program will not meet its maximum potential, educators will become discouraged, and those who are the most vulnerable—your students— will suffer the most loss.

Your school/district staff will gain fundamental knowledge and resources in the following areas:

The Overview of the 7 Success Factors

Jim Knight’s newest book, The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching summarizes seven factors that have been identified over the past 20 years that must be in place for any coach to flourish.

The Definitive Guide to Instructional Coaching

1. The Partnership Principles

At its core, a partnership approach is about treating others the way you would like to be treated. We see coaching as dialogical. Instead of dictating exactly what someone should do to improve, we believe a respectful and collaborative dialogue paves the way to positive change. We work from seven Partnership Principles to guide all of the work we do: equality, choice, voice, dialogue, reflection, praxis, and reciprocity.

Creating Learning Partnerships

2. Communication Skills

Since coaching is, above all, a series of conversations, coaches must be effective communicators. Coaches should employ effective coaching skills grounded in healthy beliefs about communication.

Better Conversations

3. Coaches as Leaders

Leadership can be divided into two parts: leading yourself and leading others. To lead yourself, you must know your purpose and principles, how to use your time effectively, and how to take care of yourself. To lead others, you need a combination of ambition and humility—to be reliable and ambitious for change but at the same time responsive to teachers and their needs.

Better Leaders

4. The Impact Cycle

While every coaching situation presents unique challenges, an established process for guiding the coaching experience ensures that instructional coaches have all the tools they need to help teachers set and achieve their goals.

The Impact Cycle

5. Data

Data is important within a coaching program because it provides a way to set goals and monitor progress. Goals need to be measured frequently so that teachers can determine if what they are doing is working or if adjustments need to be made.

Gathering Data

6. Teaching Strategies

Instructional coaches share teaching strategies with teachers so they can meet the goals they set. For that reason, coaches need to have a deep understanding of high-impact teaching strategies.

High-Impact Instruction
The Instructional Playbook

7. System Support

When coaches flourish, it is often because they work in settings where leaders are intentional and disciplined about providing the support that is required for coaching success to occur. The opposite is also true. Without support, coaches often struggle to have any impact at all.

What Administrators Need to Know
Evaluating Instructional Coaching

Embedded Coaching

We know that after the excitement of an event day wears off, there can be a bit of a “what next” feeling. In order to set up our partnership schools and districts to have the most success, we’ve created follow-up workshops for embedded coaching. Embedded coaching days provide on-the-spot professional learning with an ICG senior consultant, focused on the needs of each coach.

Bring The Seven Factors for Success to my school/district


If you would like to partner with an ICG consultant to work privately with your school or district, either on-site or virtually, we can tailor a schedule that best fits your needs. 

The Instructional Coaching Institute

If you are looking for a PD option in which you attend as an individual rather than with your school/district, or you’d like to interact with educators from around the world, you may be interested in The Instructional Coaching Institute. It offers a similar agenda with a broader scope that isn’t tied to a specific school or district’s needs.

Learn more about The Instructional Coaching Institute >>

If your school or district is already invested in professional development for your instructional coaching programs and you are looking for individual workshops, please visit our Workshops by Request page.