How to make coaching work for you if it doesn't happen "just like that"
Updated: Mar 14, 2019
Deciding you want to make a start with coaching is perhaps the biggest step to take. For some people it is as simple as in the quote above. However it is not always 'just like that' so if you are wondering how to make sure it works for you here are a few important things to consider:
Decide that it is worth doing. You got in touch, something was on your mind- remind yourself that you wanted to make a change.
Make regular appointments. Have a set time in between sessions with goals and tasks to do.
Make your action plan real. I usually email my clients with a summary of what has been discussed and the agreed action plan they made. Even better if you email me with your plan! That way it reinforces what you are thinking and doing.
Be prepared to try things out. Do something. Be bold. Experiment.
Use the time wisely especially in the consultation. I will assess your situation and let you know how I work. There is not time in this meeting to give too much detail. During the hour long sessions It is absolutely Ok to give background detail, you may even ramble a bit too! If you are unclear about something it’s not surprising, especially as one of the things a coach does is to listen objectively. However recounting your life story in detail for 45 minutes in the hour long session is not going to allow much time for coaching!
Coaching has some similarities with physiotherapy. You don’t have it done to you – you do it to yourself! If you had a sore ankle and were given exercises to strengthen it and did nothing between appointments the chances are it won’t improve. Coaching is the same.
Sometimes thinking is doing. For example if you are observing triggers that set you off into an unhappy cycle of being, then thinking is useful. You may be aware that it happens on certain days, or times of the day, or even in certain parts of the house!
Sometimes doing is what is required. You’ve thought and analysed so long now is time to take some action – see below for some evidence of that!
Here are the comments of one of my clients who has really made coaching work for him. (With many thanks - you know who you are!)
I came to Nicola as I was dissatisfied with my career and my work/life balance. I had done a lot of analysis on my own but hadn't achieved clarity or motivation on which direction to take.
I saw Nicola once a week for a month. This was frequent enough to keep momentum, yet allowed enough time to reflect on the previous session, and prepare for the next.
I would prepare for each session by listing out options, ideas, scenarios, and sometimes pros and cons of each. Nicola and I could then dive straight into exploring, scrutinising and prioritising these. A stack of post-it notes was really helpful here. We'd summarise any conclusions from the session and agree a plan of action.
This format worked really well for me. I felt prepared going into each session, the hour together was very productive, and I'd come away feeling like genuine progress had been made.
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