This paper demonstrates how teachers who were working in a range of developmental relationships with researchers used coaching dimensions to understand, describe, analyse and improve the quality of their coaching and mentoring conversations. The findings are based on analysis of transcriptions of case studies of one-to-one professional dialogue practice. The dimensions of coaching provide a language and mechanism through which teachers can analyse and reflect on their ‘coaching’ practice. They can act as a metacognitive tool for teachers, providing them with the opportunity to engage with the complexity of their practice. Such self-knowledge enables productive practice development, and an ability to talk with peers about how their practice is developing. This can help teachers to plan for, and be more responsive within coaching or mentoring meetings. Use of the dimensions allows the relationships between the nature and the intent of practice to be explored and may help to clarify the roles of different types of professional dialogue, securing them within CPD structures in schools. As relationships and trust within coaching and mentoring partnerships can be vulnerable, gaining greater awareness of the significance of the semantics of the dialogue can support the participants to match intent with outcome.