I received some questions regarding what happens in a session. Well, very often we would ask the client for an objective or an agenda that they want to address for the session. Because each session is an opportunity to move an issue or project forward. Coaching is about making choices and about taking actions.
When the objective for the session is clear, we then move onto getting the client to describe the issue. Periodically, the coach will reflect the dialogue back to the client so he gets to see it in a slightly different light. Coaches ask for clarification so both client and coach get clarity as possible. In the session, the coach will concentrate on listening and observing the client and asking powerful questions so the client get more self awareness and different perspectives of looing at the issue.
When the client is clear about what he really really wants and what might some of the barriers and blockages be with their options and impacts, we move onto co-creating a strategy with action plans and steps. We also discuss structures that will help support the client move towards the goal. Fieldwork is set so the client can implement his actions plans.
Before the session ends, coach and client will both check to see that objective for the session has been met. The entire session can take anything from 30 minutes to not more than 55 minutes. Laser sessions of 15 minutes are also very powerful and effective.
This is one very common coaching model used. However there are many many models that we have access to and many many tools that we can use. We will not enter into discussion of solution-focused, behavioural coaching, cognitive behavioural coaching or the use of NLP here. In order not to make it sound confusing and complicated, I have chosen to draw the simplest and most common picture of a model here. Both Life and Executive Coaching can follow similar models.
Another thing to mention is that as each client is unique. I use different models for different clients at different points in their coaching process. The entire process can be anything from 3 months to 9 months. And during th few months, clients will go through different phases that will need careful attention so motivation and focus is maintained.
Suffice to say that coaching sessions are structured to ensure that objectives are met. There are many ways of reaching the ojectives and experienced coaches work with client’s unique situation and personality type so she can design the most appropriate model and structure to achieve that goal in each case.
I was also asked if face-to-face coaching is more effecctive than phone-to-phone coaching. Well, the answer is it depends. If you have the time and resources, face-to-face can be very powerful as some feel more engaged and present in the person. However, some prefer phone-to-phone as they can be more free to share and can concentrate more without the visual distractions, not to mention the time saved on not needing to travel and fight the traffic jam. For cross country coaching, we do use a lot of phone-to-phone coaching or group coaching using tele-seminars. I will be working on launching tele-seminars soon so watch this space!
So, if you have any more questions, send them in or leave us your details and I will be glad to get back to you. Till next time, have an abundant weekend and a great Independence Day celebration for those in the US!