What is a coaching session like?
A coaching session is a conversation; a conversation that leaves you feeling optimistic and with a clear path forward.
As you settle into your relationship with a coach it will feel less and less like a "session" and more and more like a relaxed, pleasant conversation between friends.
But there is a method behind that conversation; a framework of communication in which a coach is able to build trust, shine a light on what is important and effectively move the client toward their vision and goals. A good coach has a lot of tools in his or her bag, but those tools are all built around a set of fundamental skills. Among these:
- Active Listening: A coach should be an excellent listener, which includes paying attention to what is not said. Early in a coaching relationship a client is likely to realize that this is one of the only times anyone has listened to them - really listened to them - without having their own agenda. You should expect a coach to spend about 80% of the session listening to you instead of the other way around.
- Powerful Questioning: Coaching is about helping you find answers within yourself. Expect your coach to ask you probing and often challenging open ended questions. Your coach will use questions in place of statements (“ask, don’t tell”) because that is the most effective way to help you gain insight and clarity into your own behavior or situation.
- Insight & Perspective: An excellent coach will be guided by insight into your situation that you might not have yourself. One of a coach's most important jobs is to help you see things from a perspective that you would probably not have discovered on your own.
- Non-judgmental feedback: Your coach should be able to give you feedback in a way that you do not feel threatened or attacked. This is grounded in the trust and rapport that you should feel with your coach. When your coach provides you feedback it will be coming from someone that you know is there to support you and is committed to your success.
At the end of the session you might not really understand how you got there, but if you are like most clients you are likely to find yourself feeling more optimistic about your life and your career. You will be excited to move forward with a clear plan that you believe in because you created it yourself!