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.
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.
All our Full Members have the opportunity to post here in the Blog.