How I prepare for a coaching call

Creative Commons "Focus Focus" by Bart Everson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Creative Commons “Focus Focus” by Bart Everson is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Coaching calls require readiness on the part of the coach and the coachee. Calls themselves last an hour each, but prep + call + debrief usually add up to almost two hours. It’s important to me that I take time to focus so that I’m ready to be as helpful as I can be to my coachee:

  • I begin closing tabs on my computer about a half hour out to eliminate distractions.
  • I open my coaching spreadsheet to double-check how far the coachee and I are into our relationship. I coach a bit differently in the first couple of sessions, leaving more room for the coachee to give background and for us both to discover what learning methods work best.
  • I review notes from all previous conversations with the coachee so I can remember fully what she’s been working on, what self-assigned homework she wants to be asked about, and what she might want to discuss in the upcoming call.
  • I write down questions that might help us get at the potential topic of our conversation. Then I throw the questions away. The brainstorming is an exercise to get my mind in coaching mode. If I keep a laundry list of questions in my eyeline, it will keep me from listening deeply and moving with the flow of conversation. Besides, a lot can happen in 2-4 weeks, and the coachee might come to the call with a completely different agenda than she anticipated at the end of our last session.
  • I log into Skype five minutes before the call to leave time for software updates and other hiccups. I want to be ready to dive in when the coachee dials in.
  • I say a quick prayer that the Holy Spirit will use me to help my coachee find greater health and/or effectiveness.

As I walk through these steps, my excitement grows to talk with the coachee about her passions, process, and goals.

2 thoughts on “How I prepare for a coaching call

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