Getting the most out of your coaching experience

Your time and money are very valuable. When you come to a coaching call, I want you to get the most out of both! It’s up to me to prepare to coach you, and here are some things you can do on your end to make best use of our hour together:

Before our coaching calls begin:

Take advantage of the free introductory call. This is not a coaching call (though I might ask a few coaching questions to give you a feel for my approach), but it is a time for us to get to know each other, talk about the process, and build trust. I will ask about your overall goals for coaching and about your personality so that I can tailor my questions accordingly.

Utilize assessments. If you haven’t really thought through how you learn best, consider making use of a free assessment such as Mindframes. (It’s easy to complete in less than 10 minutes.) If you’ve never taken a test like the Myers-Briggs or employed a framework like the Enneagram, look them up online. We’ll be able to focus on action steps more quickly when we both understand where you’re coming from.

Before each call:

Follow through on actions designed on the last call. Once you have put your plans into place, we can tweak them to make them even more effective.

Minimize distractions. Close out tabs on your computer. (Or better yet, turn it off completely if we’re talking by phone.) Set your phone to silent. Put a note on your door that you’re not to be interrupted. This is your time. You’ve earned it.

Give yourself time to settle in. Make sure you give yourself a buffer before you coaching call. Take a deep breath. Refresh your coffee. Find a comfortable place to sit. Load up Zoom a few minutes early in case it needs to update. If you come into the session on two wheels, you’ll spend precious time at the beginning of the call focusing yourself.

Think through what you want to talk about. Consider challenges and opportunities you’re facing. Identify your desired outcomes for the coaching call. (This prep sheet can help.)

During the call:

Lean on your learning style to stay focused. It’s hard for anyone to stay fully engaged during an hour-long conversation. If you’re a visual person, find a focal point in the room or draw whatever our conversation brings to mind. If you learn by writing, take notes. If you’re a mover, stretch occasionally.

Ask me to rephrase. If a question doesn’t click with you, tell me to ask it a different way. Sometimes a new angle on the same question shakes loose some ideas.

Be willing to try new things. I might suggest we imagine or experiment. This might be a bit out of your comfort zone, but stretching provides the groundwork for positive change.

Tell me what worked and what didn’t. Especially if you are a new client, I will ask you at the end of the call what I should do more or less of during our next session. Even if I don’t ask, I am always open to feedback. I want to do whatever will best help you meet your goals.

After the call:

Reflect on your takeaways. Think about new awareness you gained or action plans you put together. (This reflection form can help.)

Act right away. To move your learning into long-term memory, you must act on it quickly. Take at least one small step within 72 hours. With every effort you will move closer to the results you’re looking for – or at least to awareness that will make change possible.

Build in accountability. Ask a friend or colleague to ask you how your action steps are progressing.

When coach and coachee both bring their best to a session, amazing things can happen.

Creative Commons image “Morning Routine {1}” by MarLeah Cole is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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