WHAT TO EXPECT FROM COACHING
What happens in a coaching session?
Coaching sessions are led by you. Sure, they will follow a structure, but the direction they take is driven by you. They are yours to own, and your coach is there to help you get the results for those sessions that you want.
So, before your very first session (or maybe during), you and your coach will agree a 'Coaching Topic' - the overall theme of what your coaching will be about, if you like. From there, you will agree a goal or topic for each session with your coach, which will feed into the Coaching Topic and set the direction of that session. It may follow on from a previous session, or it may be a fresh goal or topic just for that session.
Setting this 'agenda' for your session helps your coach make sure that the conversation and progress stay on track, and makes sure that you receive the value and results that you want.
You'll agree the number of sessions, and the length of each session, with your coach. Typically, though, a session runs for about 60 minutes. Depending on your location, the session may be face-to-face and 'in person' at an agreed venue. More often than not, however, sessions take place via video conferencing.
As a general rule, we don't offer voice-only sessions, as there is tremendous value in being able to see each other as the conversation unfolds - often, as much is said without the use of words, as with them, and those unspoken messages would be lost without visual contact.
Like we said earlier, your coach is not there to give you advice, but to guide you to your own solutions, and they will do that through a combination of active listening and questioning.
In addition to the conversation that will be at the core of your sessions, you may also engage in some coaching activities. These will most likely be in the form of tools, resources or specific interventions.
Interventions, tools & resources
During the course of the coaching conversation, your coach may introduce interventions, tools or resources to help you unpack or develop specific aspects of the goals being worked on.
Big Life Coaching draws from a range of interventions, tools and resources, all of which have been validated through research, and are considered appropriate for use within the Big Life Coaching approach. In particular, interventions used will tend to lean towards Positive Psychology, as these generally offer the greatest consistency with the overall coaching approach and methodology we apply.
While you are expected to demonstrate an openness and willingness to engage in such interventions, tools and resources, you will always be able to decline their use, should you not wish to participate in a particular activity.
The use of any intervention, tool or resource will be done by agreement between you and your coach, and they will always be used in accordance with the General Code of Ethics that we have signed up to (you can view that here).
What's this thing called the 'coach-client relationship'?
Essentially, the term 'coach-client relationship' refers to the part the coach plays, and the part the client plays, in the overall coaching relationship.
The first thing to say is that the coach-client relationship always falls under the General Code of Ethics that Big Life Coaching abides by. That code trumps everything, and is the reference point for both you, and your coach, if you or your coach have any doubts, concerns or questions about the relationship.
That said, there are some specific roles, responsibilities, duties and expectations that sit with the coach, and some specific roles, responsibilities, duties and expectations that sit with the client. In brief, those are as follows:
Your coach will:
- Help you to formulate coaching goals or intentions
- Discuss the areas that you want to explore with you, how these relate to your development, and how they fit into the coaching brief
- Support and challenge you appropriately
- Manage the coaching process (including, but not limited to number, frequency and length of sessions, and timing within each session)
- Help you to work things out for yourself, and learn from this
- Help you to explore what support you need and how/where to find it beyond the coaching relationship
- Help you to explore options, including the advantages and disadvantages of different courses of action
- Invite you to reflect on past experiences, with the intention of extracting learning from them and exploring how the learning occurred, so that the results of that reflective process can be applied in other circumstances
- Ask questions to help you to explore issues more deeply
- Engage in active listening
- Be honest and open in all coaching conversations
- Give constructive feedback as and when appropriate and agreed
- Support you in identifying specific actions and a way forward in order to meet your development needs
- Hold you to account for agreed actions; and explore the reasons why you may not complete actions (should such occasions arise)
The Client (That's You)
You undertake to:
- Think about what you would like to explore during the meetings, and prepare fully for them
- Be honest and open in all coaching conversations
- Take responsibility for your learning and development
- Capture learning (for example, through note-taking during the meetings)
- Reflect between meetings
- Carry through actions that you have committed to, and demonstrate a willingness to explore the reasons if actions are not carried through
- Provide feedback to the coach