A Quick Start Guide: How to Start Coaching Session

As you embark on your new journey as a coach, a big question comes to your mind, “How to start coaching session in the most effective manner?” This article will give you some quick suggestions as to how to start a coaching session.

A Quick Start Guide: How to Start Coaching Session

How to Start Coaching Session Effectively

Regardless of whether or not you already know your coachee well, the first coaching session is critical because it’s very likely to set the stage for the entire coaching relationship.

Set Goals for Each Session

Goal #1: Establish Trust A coach’s job is to help people change. Change is usually only possible when your coachee feels safe. In a coaching relationship, safety starts with trust. Therefore, it is crucial to plan each session with the aim of establishing trust with your coachee.

Goal #1: Establish Coaching Commitment The success of coaching greatly increases if coachees feel that their coaches genuinely care about their success. It’s important that your coachee hears and feels like you care about him or her and are committed to their development.

Goal #2: Encourage the Development Journey Usually, coachees need help pulling together a good plan that he/she finds deeply motivating, achievable, well prioritized and efficient.

During the Session

For the first meeting, determine the hours, for example, one hour or one hour and thirty minutes, because, if you do it right, it’s likely to go longer than you might imagine.

Commitment Affirmation Start the meeting by explaining the agenda and what you hope to accomplish. Be sure to clearly and strongly voice that you care about the coachee and that you are committed to the coachee’s development and success.

Confidentiality & Control Nothing discussed during the coaching session should be shared with anybody else. This is critical to establishing a ‘safe’ space for the coachee to discuss personal issues like his/her weaknesses or delicate things like problems he/she is having with another person. Also mention to the coachee that he/she is in control and is free to discuss anything.

Getting to Know the Person

Take your time to get to know the coachee. Ask questions like those offered below to find out what’s most important to your coachee and what are the issues in his/her life right now.

The more the coachee shifts from a thinking mode (in the head) to a feeling mode (in the body), the better. This will establish trust because the most important things to people always evoke a deeper emotional (heart/gut) response.

– What do you want to achieve right now in your life or work?

– What are you most passionate about in your life right or your work?

– When do you feel the most fulfilled?

– When do you get the most stressed?

– What are the biggest challenges in your life right now?

Development Plan Discussion

The next step is to discuss with the coachee about his/her career aspirations and next steps. Some people may have an easy time talking about it while others will have a very hard time. If they’re having a hard time, don’t push too much but also make it clear that you do want to know. It’ll probably come over a longer period of time.

Then, review any development goals that the coachee has already outlined. Evaluate other potential goals if appropriate. If there are multiple goals, think about how to prioritize them.

Goals are worthless without a good action plan to achieve them. One of the most important roles of the coach is to brainstorm the action plan. What is the best way to achieve this goal? Have they considered other options?

You can also suggest other ways to achieve the coachee’s goals that might save them a lot of time and effort.

Wrapping Up the Session

Part of the coach’s role is to hold the coachee accountable to his/her goals and what he/she truly wants to accomplish.

Make sure the coachee summarizes any changes or new takeaways for his/her development plan and corresponding action items. Also, ask them if they are ready to commit to any goals. If not, ask them what they think it’ll take to be ready.

Learning how to start coaching session effectively is a great stepping stone to any subsequent sessions, which means only one thing: good news for your coaching business!

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Jeannie Cotter
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community”


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