What happens in a coaching session?

A thinker asked me this in a chemistry session. I can’t answer for all coaches, we all have our own ideologies and influences but I can tell you what it’s like to work with me.
My approach is:
  • person-centred [you decide what we talk about in each session]
  • emergent [we work with whatever comes up in the moment, I don’t have a plan]
It’s influenced by:
  • psychodynamic theories [acknowledging that we all have patterns formed by past experiences],
  • The Thinking Environment [the brain that contains the problem also has the solution, we do our best thinking in an interruption and judgement free space]
  • Gestalt [we have to accept our truth to be able to change]
  • Somatic coaching [tuning into feelings and sensation in the body as a source of information]
This is how it looks in practice.
I like to think of a coaching session with me being a bit like one of those choose your own adventure books, and yes I like to use metaphors if they come up. The beginning is always the same, the middle is chosen by you and that determines what the ending will be like.

The Beginning

We start by checking in with each other and I ask about what’s been happening since last time. I’m that horrible coach that makes you pause to celebrate your wins ?
If it’s our first session we will do some contracting to agree how we want to work with each other. I’ll tell you more about my style so there are no surprises and you’ll tell  me what I need to know to create a thinking space where you can be at ease.
Then I ask what you want to think about today.
Sometimes you might have a goal or outcome in mind that we are working towards or perhaps you’re facing a challenge or dilemma.
I’ll ask you to tell me more about it and that’s when we move into the middle.

The Middle

This is all you, and just like a choose your own adventure book I give you lots of options of where we might explore. I try not to influence your choice, I believe you know best, and you can choose as many directions as you want to.
Some will hit a dead end and we’ll have to go back a bit and try again.
Sometimes we’ll be curious about what would happen if we tried another path as well.
Sometimes we get stuck, and that sucks cos it feels like we’re going round in circles but each time we do, something new comes up.
My role is to keep you thinking by asking questions to spark new thoughts, offering support and appreciation, or sharing a story that might be helpful. Some of my clients say I’m a bit like a mirror.
The middle is directed entirely by you and we are both in it together, I’m always by your side.

The End

The ending is always different because if I’m doing my job well you are different.
Not every ending resolves every storyline, we may need to revisit something more than once.
The ending is also always the same.
I’ll ask you to reflect on the session and what you want to take back into the world. You might have some actions you want to take away, things to experiment with or notice.
I’ll ask if there is anything you want to say to feel complete and if there is anything you want more of or less of.
If we haven’t already we’ll book in the next session and say good bye till next time.
If it’s our last session you have a choice of what you want to work on. Is there something you want to bring? Or would you like to reflect on our time to together to consolidate what you’ve learnt. Is it both or something else? The choice is always yours.
Having read that what thoughts now come to mind? What questions? [email protected]

Cool stuff I found on the internet this week:

A heart warming story explaining why dogs don’t live as long as humans

Pic of the week:

I did an Urban Safari iPhone photography walk a little while ago and to give me the motivation to keep up my skills I’m posting my favourite picture each week.

A banner advising that Think Like A Coach is available for sale now.

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