When you invest in career, confidence or leadership coaching, it’s not just a financial investment … it’s a commitment to you and your career. It’s an investment of time. It gives you accountability.
What I notice is that the more I prepare for coaching sessions with my business coach, the more valuable each session is. The more I learn about myself. About my confidence. The more clarity I get. And the better results. And that’s true for my clients too … my clients tend to be women in technology, professional services … so mostly in the City.
Typically these women are ambitious, articulate, intelligent, confident … but they know they want more: more success, more confidence, more balance, or more responsibility.
Coaching is not the only way to achieve more … however once you have made the commitment to invest in coaching, it makes sense to prepare effectively for every career or confidence coaching session.
Here are my best tips on how you can prepare for your coaching sessions.
Prepare for every coaching session
If you have not worked with a coach before, you might not be sure how coaching works.
A coach is not there to tell you what to do … however she will support you, encourage you, challenge you and hold you accountable. She will support you to make decisions. She will encourage you to think outside the box. She will challenge you on unhelpful thoughts and beliefs. She will hold you accountable to the actions that you commit to at each session.
At the end of each coaching session, you will be asked to commit to taking very specific actions. Actions that you choose. The actions may be different from what you would have chosen if you had worked by yourself. Coaching is powerful because you coach will help you to explore beyond your comfort zone. She’ll guide you to feel the fear and do it anyway. Which means that the ideas, decisions and actions are likely to be more than the ones you would have committed to on your own.
Before every coaching session, take 30 minutes with pen and paper to prepare.
Review your actions
The first thing to do before your next session is to remind yourself of the specific actions from the previous session. Did you follow through? Or did you change your mind? Did life get in the way? Or was it fear or lack of confidence?
If you followed through on some but not all, what happened? Take time to consider the reasons for following through or not following through on the actions. Your coach is not going to judge you or berate you … however it is important that you understand what happened to the actions. What you will notice if you consistently don’t follow through on your actions, your coach will pick up on this and help you to explore what is happening and why.
And if you look at your actions list and you missed one, it’s not too late to get it done now!
What else has happened
Once you have reviewed your actions, the next step is to reflect on what else has happened since your last coaching session. Perhaps a new opportunity has opened up for you. Or you discovered a previously hidden talent. Maybe you’ve been promoted. Or you’ve read an article or blog post that has really got you thinking.
Often my clients tell me that simply working with a coach opens their mind to other opportunities. They start to explore options outside of the coaching session. Their clarity increases and their confidence grows. They become braver about what they put themselves forward for. They express their skills and ambitions more effectively.
Reflect on what else has happened and how that affects your overall goal for your coaching.
Notice when you have felt confident. What was happening? Who else was there? How can you recreate that feeling?
Where is your focus
Get clear on on what you want to focus your time and energy in your next session. What is the one thing that will help you get closer to your overall goal? Where are you stuck? What are you avoiding?
Where do you want help to brainstorm ideas and options? What is causing the most confusion and concern? Where are you feeling the fear?
Your overall goal
Before the start of your next session, take time to reflect on your overall goal. How much progress are you are making towards that overall goal?
Is that goal still the right one? Or does it need to change? Which direction are you moving in? Which direction do you want to be taking?
Write it down
The session with your coach will be more productive and more effective if you record your thoughts and ideas in advance. That means you won’t waste time in the session trying to recall what has happened. Take time to:
- review your actions
- reflect on what else has happened
- identify your focus for the next session
- recognise the progress you are making towards your overall goal.
Coaching can be incredibly powerful (don’t just take my word, read Ashley’s story) and can help you to make life-changing decisions with confidence and ease. Maximise your investment and prepare for each coaching session.
Wondering whether coaching can help you? You can book a complimentary 30 minute clarity session <<HERE>>. Let’s explore whether coaching can help, and whether I’m the right coach for you.
(Yes I’m aware of the irony of asking you to pluck up the confidence to have a chat to me about clarity and confidence, but if you want to feel more confident, banish the imposter syndrome or pluck up the courage to apply for promotion or make a career change, let’s talk. A simple conversation might be all you need.)