Once you’ve linked up with a coach, in order to maximise your time together, it’s a good idea to prepare for your 1st session then continue (or develop) this habit to make the most of each of your sessions. This helps you hit the ground running, and both you and your coach can make a positive and strong start at your first session.
Here are some thoughts on preparation
#1 Make a note of any questions that you still have
You may have asked all your questions during your consultation or pre-coaching conversation, but sometimes you think of something afterwards. It’s a good idea to email them over to the coach to answer before your first session, so you don’t take up the first part of the session in a Q & A dialogue.
Questions might include:
What other questions could you ask?
#2 Venue preparation
If the session is being held at your workplace, ensure that a room has been booked that ensures confidentiality.
This is vital! The nature of coaching involves levels of thinking and reflection, which require both coach and coachee to be highly focused. Any interruptions will disturb this, and have the potential to reduce or halt any key learning.
‘Do not disturb’ signs on the door aren’t always respected. Your coach should be putting baselines in place with your employer that includes uninterrupted space. But it’s also good for you to be aware of this, incase any of your colleagues are tempted to come to you to ask a question, etc. during your session. Fortunately this seems to be happening less these days, as organisations understand coaching better and what is required to make sessions successful.
What else might you need to consider to ensure a workplace venue is appropriate for coaching to take place?
#3 Have an open mind
Experience has shown me that the more open you are to new possibilities, and different ideas, the more likely you are to achieve your goals/targets.
Even if you end up going with your first idea, you are more confident and secure with your final decision because you’ve been open to exploring and discounting other ideas as part of the process.
Having an open mind also allows you to adapt your goals to something more suitable if, during the coaching process, a more relevant area emerges.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how open-minded are you usually to new ideas?
#4 Making notes
Have some way of recording your learning in sessions and beyond (more of the latter in a later post).
I encourage clients to bring a notebook or other form of recording to sessions, so they can record key learning points, or anything else they find useful. Usually they record new learning or ‘Wow’ moments. People who attend my Coaching Skills Training get a notebook as part of their learning process.
Of course you don’t have to make notes. Some clients I work with don’t want to make any notes during the sessions, they’d rather focus purely on being in the moment, and make any notes afterwards. That’s fine.
Others (like me!) like to make notes to aid memory and learning. I find it also helps with organising my thoughts. It really all depends on how you learn best and remember things.
What helps to cement the nuggets of learning & development that take place in coaching for you?
How do you record follow-up actions?
The main thing is – remember that you are responsible for recording your own learning. Your coach may also be making notes … as an aid memoire, for example … but it’s not the coach’s responsibility to make notes on the sessions to then pass them on to you.
Tomorrow’s post will continue the theme of roles and responsibilities of coach and coachee (mainly coachee!)
Would love to know your thoughts on this post. Feel free to share in the comments section under the title.
You can normally spot these people as soon as you walk into a room or feel their presence before you see or hear them. They will ooze confidence which may border on arrogance. They will not shy away from expressing how they feel and typically have a large ego that needs to be stroked. They will want to be in charge, even if they don’t know what they want to be in charge of, so it wouldn’t be unusual to see them in a leadership role.
These individuals would display the following characteristics
Imagine you are stood waiting for a lift and the person in front of you consistently pushes the button believing that the more they push the button, the quicker the lift will arrive! There in front of your eyes is a dominant D person.
Failure is their biggest fear so it wouldn’t be an option for them to fail & you may hear them say “this is what I’ve learnt” or “let’s move on and try something else”. They will never stop trying to achieve their hopes, dreams, aspirations or goals and would always want to be the best, encouraging others to do the same. They would want to lead high performing teams and failure for the team would also not be an option for consideration.
When under pressure the dominant D leader and coach may not be sensitive to others feelings and are motivated by results, power and authority.
Questions you may ask yourself when interacting with a dominant D leader and coach are: -
In every team, you need a mix of people so please do not shy away from employing a dominant D or interacting with a dominant D. As I have found out from my client’s, opposites attract and they may be the missing ingredient that you need to build a winning team.
My top tip for engaging with a dominant D leader and coach – BE BRIEF, BE BRIGHT, BE GONE. Don’t use 500 words if 5 will do because they don’t need that level of detail to make effective decisions and have valuable conversations.
Thank you to Bev James, CEO of The Coaching Academy for teaching me all I know about DISC. If you want to learn more, you can do so by reading "Do it or Ditch it" by Bev James and "Empowering Employee Engagement - How to ignite your team" by Claire Cahill. Both available on Amazon.
To celebrate International Coaching Week #ICW2019, which starts today, I've set myself a challenge to post each day around the same coaching theme. I've chosen to call it "7 Habits of Highly Effective Coachees".
Today's focus is on finding the right coach for you. With so many coaches in the coaching arena now, it can be difficult to find the right one for you.
I've worked with several different coaches over the years; all have their own style. Together with their experiences, training, sector or topic specialism (if they have one), they're all unique. In my experience, there isn't just one coach who is suitable for each of us. It can depend on the situation or goal that we're aiming for.
For example, you may work with a Leadership or Executive Coach in your workplace, a Life Coach for non-work goals, a Career Coach if you're looking to change your career or look for promotion, a Wellbeing Coach if you're looking to improve this aspect of your life, and so on.
Also, the more experience you have of being coached, the more you know what style of coaching works for you. I tend to prefer the totally non-directive style, which includes a very open and honest approach from the coach, who is also an excellent listener and works intuitively, rather than following a specific coaching model.
So how could you make a decision?
To offer some guidance here, I use a mental checklist when thinking about employing a coach. The one below is a guide and a way to start or develop your own checklist, so you can reach a decision with more clarity, certainty and confidence.
Choosing a Coach - Checklist
Some of the above questions can be answered by looking at a coach's website; others need a more direct approach.
Having a good level of rapport with a coach is vital for me. I work on developing it quickly with clients that I coach, so it's a no-brainer that I want to get a sense that another coach wants to develop the same with me.
Here are a few questions that I ask myself when deciding how much rapport there is during an initial consultation conversation.
Which questions would be on your Checklist?
Feel free to post these in the comments section - click on the link under the blog title.
This week is International Coaching Week.
Coaching can play a pivotal role in helping create positive conditions for the individual or group to flourish and prosper. However, with the advancement of different communication platforms in this digital age, the pace of life can for some, become overwhelming.
"It is just being constantly connected to everything. You are just unable to switch off....."
Richard Balding, British Occupational Psychologist, on IT stress.
How do you manage communication overload?
Here are my 7 practical tips that may help manage communication overload:
1. Review use of social media
2. Work on gratitude
3. Be aware of feelings
4. Start journalling
5. Take time out
6. Streamline your spending
7. Get a coach
One of the benefits of coaching is the ability to hold an effective conversation. Knowing what question to ask at the right time and respectfully listening so that rapport can be built and maintained throughout the coaching relationship.
During the first coaching session, I like my clients to complete a DISC personality profile so that I can get to know them in minutes rather than months, tailoring my language to theirs.
During International Coaching Week 2019 I’ll share information about each personality type.
Imagine you had this knowledge to answer these questions through identification of personality types.
Your core values influence the way you think, act and communicate with other people and enable you to make decisions. DISC is a personality profiling tool, also known as a psychometric test. There are several types of psychometric tests that you may have heard of or experienced
The modern day DISC methodology was founded on years of research undertaken by American psychologist and inventor Dr William M Marston (1893-1947). Dr Marston also invented the lie detector machine (the polygraph).
DISC is an acronym based on four core personality groupings. Everyone will fall into one or more of the following categories.
Marston’s DISC behavioural model classifies people primarily as either TASK ORIENTATED or PEOPLE ORIENTATED, and then as either OUTGOING or RESERVED.
Which are you?
There are no correct or incorrect answers, however each will tell you something about your predominant business style and your preferred decision making style.
For further information about DISC and the personality traits I can recommend you read "Do it or Ditch it" by Bev James and "Empowering Employee Engagement - How to ignite your team" by Claire Cahill. Both available on Amazon.
All our Full Members have the opportunity to post here in the Blog.