coaching - how do you prepare for a coaching session?
What is preparation? We ‘all’ in our busy lives tend to rush through the day, not always giving ourselves time to prepare thoroughly for a coaching session. Which brings me into asking ‘you’ to think about how do you prepare? What do you actually do?
I have found through experience the best way to prepare is to sit for ten minutes before a coachee enters the room. In those minutes “to be the best you can be for the coachee” you need to separate any judgements, any thoughts you may have already subconsciously made and what you may be carrying from both your professional and personal life. You may have had a busy morning; you may wear two hats! Two very different roles in which you may have to separate. A fantastic way to be prepared for the coachee is to bring ‘you’ into the present just by sitting. If you don’t do this even the questions you may pose will be judgemental, you may create questions that fit what you have subconsciously thought about.
Those ten minutes can be exceptional when done correctly. What do you do when you sit for those ten minutes? Think about what you are noticing about yourself, what you are feeling, sensing and thinking, how is your breathing, really focus. It is remarkable that if you build in a routine like this that you will notice, see, and hear so much more. You may notice sounds that have always been there but paid little attention to. You may notice the position of the chairs in the room, the way the wind is blowing outside, the smells in the room. Think about what a coachee may notice as they enter the room. We all live our lives so fast, we are always thinking about what we have just done or where we are going next, never what we are experiencing in the here and now, the present.
These ten minutes can create a perfect space for the coachee to enter the room. The relaxed atmosphere created helps the coachee settle down. You will notice so much more in the person; your awareness will be so much better when they enter and sit with you. Think about the coachee when they sit down, really think about them and how they may be feeling when they enter, notice them.
It is a fantastic feeling to get rid of any thoughts beforehand, those ten minutes count. You are so much more prepared just to watch and listen to the coachee to fully understand them. You can feel the coachee more if you share what you are sensing, feeling and noticing with them. First, though, you have to bring yourself into the present to increase your awareness.
Try this, see how you get on and then reflect afterwards.
Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training, and you can read more about her here. She delivers training on all coaching and numerous training the trainer courses.