Blog Posts

Deborah Bulcock writing in notebook, laptop open.

How To Prepare For A Great Coaching Session

  • On
  • By
  • Comments Off on How To Prepare For A Great Coaching Session

Why bother preparing?

Coaching is an investment of time, energy, and money; just like any other meeting, preparing for it will help you get the right outcome and good value.  And in this instance the outcome is all about you – your objectives, your development, your future, your fulfilment, etc. so it’s in your interests to get the most from it.

But I also know what the working day is like. Back-to-back meetings, multiple demands and pressures, and very little time to focus on yourself. Ironically, until your coaching session. I get it, it’s a tricky balance, but my encouragement is to give “you” the focus and time needed to get the most from coaching.

First session, last session and everything in between

Your first session and your last session of a coaching programme will feel a little different to the others. The first is about setting everything up, clarifying objectives, discussing ways of working together, and so on. The last will likely be heavily focused on review, reflection, and learning.

Everything in between is about you working towards your objectives in whatever way is going to work for you. I find that each person’s approach and focus are different because what they need and what will help them is very individual.

The trend I do notice however is that the clients who prepare for their sessions are the ones who typically have the most success in achieving their coaching objectives. So, how can you best prepare?

Practical Preparation

There are some basic practical tips to help you have a focused and distraction free session.

  • Arrange your sessions at a time of day that suits your thinking quality and reflection time
  • Have a private space, so you can talk openly
  • Check your tech is working for the call
  • Know when your session is amidst the sea of other meetings
  • Plan in some preparation time
  • Schedule buffer time immediately before and after the session
  • Turn off all forms of messaging and potential distractions in the session

And then there’s the crucial stuff …

Mental Preparation: 13 Thinking Prompts

This isn’t a “you must think through all of these before every session” list. Rather, it’s a menu to choose from – select what resonates for you right now and give it some thought in advance – whether that’s sat at your desk, out on a walk, returning from the school run, or on your commute.

  1. What did I set as my coaching objectives and where am I with those?
  2. What’s going well for me right now, and what insights does that offer?
  3. What’s challenging for me at the moment, and what will be helpful for working that through?
  4. Where am I stuck? And want to become ‘unstuck’?
  5. What’s keeping me awake at night / consuming too much headspace, and what do I want to do with that?
  6. What did I cover / commit to in the last session, and where am I at with that?
  7. What deserves my attention today, and why?
  8. What do I need? What will serve me the most in this session?
  9. What will be helpful to talk through so I can process it fully?
  10. Where would I benefit from some extra accountability?
  11. How can my coach best help me in this session / what do I need from them?
  12. How do I need to show up to get the best from this time?
  13. What are my objectives for this particular session / what outcome do I want?

If all else fails

Do not fear, I’ve got you. Whilst I always want you to come prepared, I also live in the real world and understand the demands and pressures upon you. I will have prepared and have suggestions for you to consider about how to use the session. It’s a back-up, just in case.

See you next time.

Thinking About Coaching?

If you’re interested in exploring coaching and mentoring for you or your team, then take a look here. Deborah and her team of coaches will be able to help.