Before the work begins, there’s work to do. Behind every effective coaching session is a coach who prepared. So, how o you prepare for an effective coaching session?
“Behind every effective coaching session is a coach who prepared.”
This is one of the first things you’ll want to consider prior to your coaching session. You may have an office to meet clients; however, you may meet clients in other places. Some alternative places coaches meet their clients include public meeting rooms, coffee shops, wellness centers and even virtually through remote communications.
Always scan your environment prior to the coaching session to minimize distractions. If you’re meeting face to face, try to find a comfortable private quiet area where you can easily have a conversation. If working remotely, ensure your family and pets are not able to interrupt or cause distractions during your coaching session.
Confirming the session date, time, and place (or connection details) are an important part of prepping for your session. Clients may forget that they have an appointment with you. So, do what the doctors and dentist do. Send out reminder communications perhaps a week prior, the day prior and even a few hours prior to the session.
Spend some time doing some mental housekeeping. Let go of whatever concerns are on your mind that does not directly relate to your scheduled session. You cannot “be here now” and hold a space for your client if your space is filled with your personal baggage. Physical activity, yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and aromatherapy are some ideas to help you get in the zone for an effective coaching session.
While preparing your mindset, also give thought to the purpose of the session. What are the client’s goals? What language can you use to ensure you remain open-minded, collaborative, and without judgment? Review your previous client notes or intake form.
Make sure you have everything you need for the client session. Writing materials, notes, and client handouts are a good start. If you are coaching remotely, you’ll also want to ensure your device is plugged in or fully charged and you do pre-checks on your communications.
Preparing Your Client
Establish a few ground rules with your client to help them show up and practice punctuality. Remind them to turn off their phone and honor themselves with the time you have together. During your initial session, talk about confidentiality and your scope of limitations.
Your client’s mindset is as important as yours. You can help your client clear their mental and emotional space through a simple mindfulness deep-breathing exercise. The goal here is to help your client release anything that might prevent them from being fully present and ready to collaborate with you.
Set the Stage
Any good conversation begins with small talk, including an effective coaching session. Ask your client what is recently new and wonderful in their lives. Helping them focus on something positive helps set the stage for a good session. Avoid beginning a conversation by asking someone how they are or how their day is going. While it’s a nice gesture, it could also rob the session of valuable time and potentially start the session with a negative tone.
As you can see, there’s plenty of preparation work to do! Planning out logistics, preparing yourself and preparing your client are all necessary. Before the work begins, there’s work to do.