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.