How to get the most out of coaching
Maximize the value of your coaching sessions
Coaching is a co-created process to bring on change. Read on for some tips on how to maximize your experience.
People often ask me how coaching helps and how to get the most out of coaching. Coaching can help immensely to get more clarity on life situations and adjust behaviors that are not serving anymore. Coaching also gives you the necessary support in the process of creating a vision and leading the life you want.
When you decide to pay for any type of product or service, you want to make sure you get value out of it. A coaching relationship is a two way street. It is not enough to have a great coach to see results and transform your life. It takes also a great client. When you work with a coach, it is Your responsibility to implement the skills you acquire and try out new things.
There are several things that have a direct impact on the value you get out of coaching and that lie uniquely in Your hands: being curious and committed, asking questions, taking notes, continuing your reflections after the coaching session and taking action….
Here are a few thoughts on how to maximize your coaching experience:
- Find a coach that matches you: somebody with whom you are at ease and who can challenge you in the right way. Ideally a person who has some understanding of your topic. They do not need to be an expert but it is important that the coach has done some personal work. A coach will only be able to take you as deep as he has gone himself.
- Work with a certified coach. The coaching profession does not own the title “coach”. This means that anybody can use the title coach, even if they have not completed a high standard coach training. Having a certification means that the coach
- has received professional training from a program designed to teach coaching skills in alignment with the ICF Core Competencies (link to https://coachfederation.org/app/uploads/2017/12/CoreCompetencies.pdf) and Code of Ethics (https://coachfederation.org/code-of-ethics/) at a coaching institute that is recognized and accredited by the ICF
- has demonstrated a proficient understanding and use of the coaching competencies as outlined by the ICF
- Be flexible in regards to geographic location. Coaching is frequently conducted over phone / Skype. This gives you the freedom to choose from a much larger pool of coaches, even if they are not in the same city as you.
- Know what your dream is. Know what you are longing for. Ideally you should have a main topic that you explore in subsequent sessions from different angles. If you are not sure about your dream, you might know what you do NOT want. That’s also a good starting point.
- Be truthful. Do it for yourself. No masks. During coaching, some uncomfortable topics and hard truths can come up. Things that you would prefer hiding. Remind yourself that the coaching relationship creates a confidential, safe space to explore all aspects of your personality and your life. There is no judgment, just curiosity, courage and compassion.
- Be prepared. Come to each session with a concrete question / topic and a desired outcome. This way you are in the driver’s seat, the session follows your agenda. It can happen, that topics and goals change during coaching but that’s ok. The important thing is to have a plan and be open to explore different views.
- Be curious: this means being in an open and non-judgmental space. Be willing to try new perspectives as this helps you to create awareness. Once you have awareness, you can align your actions to your values. Playing with different viewpoints is a bit like trying on a new clothing: you can wear it for a while and then change again if you want.
- Be courageous. When you decide to work with a coach, you want to get out of your comfort zone and stretch your thinking. Accept (and expect!) that your coach asks you hard questions. The coach will do this in a gentle yet direct way, always believing in your Highest Self and intending your growth.
- Be pro-active. Communicate openly with the coach what you want and what you like. If at any time you are uncomfortable with the direction of a coaching session or are not getting what you need from coaching, let the coach know how you feel so that you can change the direction or end the coaching relationship.
- Be patient. It takes often several sessions to get to the bottom of a question. Awareness often arises slowly. We live in a fast-paced and results-driven world. However, certain things take time to mature. Sometimes new perspectives arise from shifting our vantage point. Sometimes action arises from non-action.
- Be willing to take action. Coaching conversations are a lot about creating awareness and linking it to an action. The distance between your dreams and reality is called action. Goals are dreams we convert into plans and take action to fulfill.
Success is directly related to your dedication and the energy you invest to create the life you want. Are you ready to be accountable for your choices, your actions, your life?