3 ways to get the best from your coaching sessions

I have one client who comes to each session to give me an update on what they have been doing. I’ve tried many ways to help them find what they could use the time for but we keep ending up in the same place. So it got me thinking, how do you get the best out of your coach and coaching sessions.

1. Get a dedicated notebook and pen for your coaching

Opening that notebook will have a different quality than when you use your work notebook. Or if it’s too much of a hassle to have two notebooks then use the back of your work one. I started keeping a learning journal in 2014 to record notes on all courses, supervision and coaching I have, I’m now up to my fourth and I go back to them often. It’s quite a boost to read over something I was struggling with that hasn’t been a problem for ages,

2. To prepare or not to prepare

There are two schools of thought on preparing for a coaching session. On the one hand I notice when my clients prepare they are more focused on how they want to use the session and so we spend a lot less time on catching up. They want to dive in and because they have started their thinking I can help them uncover deeper and richer parts of their reflection to accelerate their learning. This is where having a dedicated notebook is handy, one place where you can capture all of your thoughts.

On the other hand there is merit in coming unprepared and working on what is top of mind. When we prepare we might bring a more polished version of events or decide not to bring an issue we want to avoid. I find when I don’t prepare, the thing I am avoiding bubbles to the surface in a raw and messy way and that’s when I have the biggest insights and shifts. This is why it is important to select your coach carefully and I’ve written about 11 questions you can ask to make sure you have the right coach for you.

3. Be completely honest with your coach about what is and is not working for you in the sessions

It can be hard to do face to face so drop them an email instead.  I spend time reflecting on how I can create an environment that will enable you to do your best thinking, you have the answers after-all. I take my questions and dilemmas to supervision to uncover different ways to help you. I’m perceptive and I’m not a mind reader. Let your coach know what you want to have more of or less of.

Tell me what you do to get the best out of your coaching session and let me know if you have any questions. I love hearing from you and I reply to everyone.

PS: this letter was written on 18/12/20 – I’m taking a proper two week break for Christmas so will respond on 4th January 2021!

PS2: Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

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