So, you have made the decision to have a coach. First of all, congrats! This is a huge investment in yourself, so well done. Crack open that champagne!
A coach can help you achieve your goals and reach the next level. That “next level” varies from person to person. For you, it may be to feel comfortable in your own skin, to accept yourself for who you are, to help inspire others or to feel more self-assured and confident in your decision making Everyone is unique, and the possibilities are endless.
No matter what the area of focus is in coaching, it is crucial that you know how to make the most out of your coaching experience.
Here are a few ways you can make the most out of a coaching session.
Get very clear on your goals - It’s so very important to have an area of focus and set goals to work toward with your coach. You want to come into each coaching session prepared for meaningful conversation. It’s completely fine, overall, if you have a number of items you want to work through, but keep in mind the importance of coming to each session with an area of focus and intention. There’s a great quote by business management writer, Patrick Lencioni: “If everything is important, then nothing is."
Get specific on what it is that you want to work on.
Keep a personal journal - Should you start any kind of coaching program with me, I will always ask that you keep a journal to keep on top of on what is happening between sessions. This will help help you self-reflect and also bring real-life situations into the session. This can really take the discussion to deeper levels. It doesn’t matter how big or small, write it down. When you have specific details to share with your coach, your coach can ask more meaningful questions to get to the root of a problem and get a clearer vision for you.
Be open - In a coaching relationship, it is so very important to be open and honest with your coach. Connection and trust between you and your coach are crucial. Your coach should ask you thought-provoking and powerful questions to help you identify the root of a problem. When you provide honest and transparent answers, you will have more meaningful results. If your coach has to spend time peeling back layers to get to what is real, the coaching process will often take longer and may not be as effective. It is helpful to prepare yourself to be open and vulnerable with your coach.
Be prepared to be challenged - Your coach should ask you powerful questions to help challenge your thinking and help you see other possibilities. You will be taking an inward look and thinking critically. As you work on achieving your goals with your coach, you will be challenged to get out of your comfort zone. Remember that your coach is there to support, encourage and challenge you and keep you accountable in fulfilling your goals.
In summary, remember to get the most out of your coaching investment by being prepared and focused. It will help you use your time with your coach more efficiently and effectively. Coaching works best when you are fully invested in the engagement. You don't want to waste your time or finances, you want to use it as a time to set and achieve goals, create self-awareness, critically think, gain new perspectives, be supported, challenged, inspired, encouraged and ready to change.