Congratulations — you’ve done it! You’ve selected your coach and are getting ready to start on your journey. But what now? What can you expect? How do you prepare for your first session? What do you do when you don’t feel motivated, and how do you navigate giving your coach feedback if something is not working right? In the final blog in this three-part series Working with a Coach (Part 1: Preparing for Your Coaching Journey & Part II: Finding the Right Coach for You), I’m going to share strategies for working with your coach, based on my personal experiences as both a coach and a client.
Before your first session: In many coaching relationships, after completing all the necessary paperwork your coach may assign you some pre-work before the first session. I like to send my clients a set of questions to reflect on and answer before we start our first coaching session; this helps me as a coach to begin to better understand a client’s vision, road blocks, goals, and what they want most out of coaching. Take your time with these kinds of activities, as they will help to start to deepen your sense of where you want to go and what you want out of coaching, as well as helping your coach learn more about you and your dreams.
Your first session: Every coach is different and every coach structures their sessions in different ways. But regardless of your coach’s style, your first session is where you get to design your working relationship. Your coach will lead this session by asking questions. Remember, this is a two-way relationship; your coach will be eager to hear from you about how you want your sessions designed, what areas are holding you back, how you are motivated (and how not to motivate you), and generally what works and doesn’t work for you. This session often is where you begin to define your working relationship. Of course, over your coaching journey, you’ll want to revisit this periodically to be sure that nothing needs to be change or adjusted.
Ongoing coaching sessions: When coming into your coaching session, be prepared to answer a few questions similar to these: What is your goal for today’s sessions? What do you want to focus on today? Your coach may also ask, “How will you know that you’ve reached your goal today?” This will give your coach a focus area to dive into during tht particular session. Remember: this is your session, so you can decide where to focus.
Losing momentum: It’s not unusual to have periods when you are not motivated. This is normal! So name it… and let your coach know. If you made a commitment in a previous coaching session and you didn’t follow through, talk this over with your coach. Maybe there is a block? Maybe there is something that held you back from achieving this milestone? Be sure to name in and work on it with your coach. Making big changes and bold decisions is not easy — it’s normal to lose momentum.
Lastly, here is my tough love. Change is not easy. When we make a decision to play full-out in our lives, it can be rough sometimes. (See Who Is Waiting for a Change? for 3 lessons I’ve learned when going through change.) Lean on your coach, let them know what’s going on, and let them work through these moments with you. We all have things that hold us back from living the lives we want — your coach is thereto support you in uncovering and clearing these blocks.
Well, friends, I’m so excited to have gone on this journey with you during these past few weeks. I know from my personal experience that I’ve grown and made my biggest life steps while working with a coach, and have found exceptional value in my own personal and professional life. I look forward to hearing about your experience in finding the right coach for you.
As you embark on your coaching journey I’ve created a FREE Core Values Workbook that will help prepare you to work with your coach by getting clear about what you value most in life.