Delivering effective, engaging coaching sessions takes experience and planning – but what should your coaching plan include, and how do you create one?
As a digital provider, using a coaching session planner is by far the most effective way to organize, structure, and bring your sessions to life. Read on to learn about the digital tools and templates involved in planning, so you can start running powerful programs more efficiently and with confidence.
Why You Need A Coaching Session Planner
When it comes to maximizing your impact as a coach, a plan isn’t just important – it’s essential.
A proper coaching plan is perhaps the best way to ensure you start each session fully prepared, with purpose, and with a clear idea of how you’ll support your clients in achieving their goals. Organizing your coaching sessions has a multitude of benefits.
Here are five reasons why you should consider planning ahead:
- Organization: It helps you stay structured and keep things in order. This includes planning out the different components of each session, such as topics, activities, and desired outcomes.
- Greater clarity and focus: By planning ahead, you can ensure that you and your client are on the same page regarding what you are working toward. This helps to establish clear goals and expectations, which can increase motivation and focus.
- Preparation: It allows you to prepare relevant topics, gather resources, and create materials to support your coaching. This can save time and make your sessions more effective.
- Efficiency: It makes your sessions efficient and effective and will help you ensure everything is covered in the allotted time.
- Progress Tracking: By documenting each session, you can track your client’s progress and adjust your approach accordingly.
Your Coaching Session Plan: What To Cover
Broadly speaking, here’s what you should aim to cover in your coaching session plans, according to the experts:
- Coaching agreements – laying out the terms and conditions of your collaboration with clients
- Goals, objectives, or outcomes – outline your clients’ fundamental objectives for each session for a short-term plan and/or their goals for the duration of your coaching relationship (if you’re creating a long-term program overview)
- Coaching tools – the exercises, activities, frameworks, lessons, and/or resources that you plan to use during and outside of your sessions. These may include:
- Assessment tools – helping you and your client establish your starting point and chart a path from A (where they are now) to B (their desired outcomes)
- Tools for action planning – how you’ll help your client identify practical steps forward, and how you’ll help them stay on track outside of sessions (e.g. with homework, worksheets, or habit trackers), and
- Tools for summarizing key outcomes – helping your client solidify their commitments, learnings, and important insights (e.g., with note templates, diaries, or journals)
- Engagement and accountability – your strategies for building and maintaining your clients’ motivation throughout the duration of your collaboration. A few examples include how you’ll communicate, the motivational incentives you plan to use, and how you’ll measure progress.
Because this leaves plenty of room for flexibility based on your life coaching niche, let’s take a look at an example.
7 Example Templates For Life Coaches
Life coaching can touch all aspects of life, so what should you cover in your sessions?
Here are a few common topics that can come up during life coaching sessions, plus examples of life coaching tools that might work for you.
- Vision for the future: Clients come for coaching to attain a particular goal. Therefore, getting them to visualize their future helps clarify their dreams. Quenza’s Goal Visualization (pictured above) and Consulting the Future Self When Making Choices Expansions are two example tools that promote goal-directed behavior by enhancing motivation.
- Purpose and values: Life becomes easier when all our actions and behavior align with our purpose and values, so it’s extremely helpful for coaches and clients to have a clear idea of the client’s values. Exercises like Quenza’s Value-Tattoo Expansion can be useful when clients need to creatively connect to their values.
- Relationships and transitions: For most clients, an important source of satisfaction comes from their relationships with themselves as well as with others. Expansions like Gratitude in Romantic Relationships help rejuvenate close relationships, while A Letter of Self-Compassion can increase self-compassion.
- Health and wellbeing: Most clients have health-related goals as we live in a stress-inducing world. If health coaching is your particular life coaching niche, templates like Progressive Muscle Relaxation and The 5–4–3–2–1 Stress Reduction Technique are two example life coaching session templates that can help clients manage stress better. You’ll find them for free on Quenza’s health coaching platform.
If you’re finding it hard to look for a topic for a life coaching session, you can use an assessment tool like Quenza’s Wheel of Life template below. Using this feature, you can create a bespoke assessment to measure your client’s satisfaction with different domains of their life.
Then, you can help them identify areas to work on.
For step-by-step instructions for using this tool and different contexts in which to apply it, take a look at our Wheel of Life resource.
Questions To Ask In Your First Coaching Session
The right coaching questions help you and your clients identify a starting point and pave the way for more successful collaboration.
Here are some life coaching questions that can get a client thinking, especially at the very start of a program:
- What are your main goals at this time?
- What is holding you back from getting what you want?
- How have you motivated yourself to change in the past?
- What activity makes you the happiest?
- What matters the most to you in life?
You’ll also find more example questions in Quenza’s Pre-Coaching Questionnaire template, shown below.
Three more example questions from this initial assessment include:
- On a scale of 1 -10, how happy are you with your life right now?
- What major objectives or gains do you wish to achieve from coaching?
- What do you expect to achieve in life as a result of hiring me as your coach?
A Coaching Session Plan Template Example
Once you and your clients have established their overarching objectives, you can start to map out sub-goals for each session and the best tools for each.
One great example of a life coaching session plan template is Quenza’s Creating a Positive Body Image Expansion Pathway, shown above.
This coaching program template includes four sessions after an initial video introduction, each of which aims to build a client’s appreciation of the ways their body helps them:
- What Can Your Body Do?
- What Can Your Body Do In Terms of the Senses and Movement?
- What Can Your Body Do In Terms of Health and Creative Endeavors?
- What Can Your Body Do In Terms of Self-Care and Interpersonal Relations?
In the final session, coaches are encouraged to write a letter of appreciation to their body.
To create a unique program from your own exercises, you can use a coaching application like Quenza.
Done-For-You Evaluation Forms and Scripts
Here are some popular scripts and forms that might inspire you as you plan, whether you ask them during a session or choose to share them in survey form.
If you’re looking for more form templates, you’ll find them in this article on coaching forms.
3 Best Evaluation and Feedback Forms
All of the following templates can be found in Quenza’s Expansion library, available for free with your $1 trial.
- Coach Evaluation Form: This feedback form, shown above, lets you collect detailed feedback from your clients. In this survey, they can evaluate you on the working relationship, results, and overall satisfaction.
- Effectiveness of Session Evaluation: This Expansion template, shown below, records the success of each session in terms of goals, approach, and discussion topics, helping you identify areas of improvement for you.
- Coaching Session Client Feedback Survey: In addition to getting feedback on the coach’s skills, this form explores the client’s favorite part of the session, what they found most challenging, and their action plan based on the session.
Customizable Coaching Session Scripts
Rather than giving answers or instructing, coaches generally ask questions.
As powerful coaching questions always reflect what a client has just offered, they need to be highly personalized and customized – so it would be unwise to go to a coaching session with a script of pre-set questions.
When it comes to introducing coaches to specific life coaching tools, however, you can find some pre-written texts to follow in every Quenza Expansion.
The Strengths Self-Reflective Questions exercise shown below is one useful example:
This worksheet also includes some short phrases to give context to important questions, for example:
“When our goals align with our strengths, we tend to put forth more effort and are more likely to succeed. Think about some of the goals you have for your future. How can you utilize your strengths to achieve each of these goals?”
If you’re looking for more example scripts, take a look at some of the next exercises.
Additional Coaching Planner Templates in Quenza
Knowing your goals and objective for each session makes it easier to pull your resources together.
With Quenza’s Pathway builder, you can select your desired templates and customize them to fit your client’s needs.
Here are a few more examples of Quenza coaching planner templates that you can use for that:
- You can help clients build positive, goal-oriented habits using the Realizing Long-Lasting Change By Setting Process Goals exercise above.
- Quenza’s Self Contract is a creative way to foster accountability in your coaches, who can use this contract to solidify and ‘formalize’ their commitment to their personal goals.
- The Session Notes for Clients Expansion is a customizable coaching session notes template that invites coachees to jot down their thoughts, and
- A Strengths Versus Weaknesses Focus helps clients draw on their skills, talents, and unique capabilities on their coaching journeys.
3 Unique Online Tools Included In Quenza
Quenza’s coaching platform also has more unique Expansions that you can use as coaching planner templates.
Here are three that are available for free with all subscriptions.
Daily Exceptions Journal
This collection of nine Activities builds client awareness of their strengths and empowers them to face challenges with confidence using gratitude journaling.
Journaling Through Grief in 40 Days
If a client is dealing with grief and loss, it is important for them to be with negative feelings rather than flee from these feelings. The Expansion below will help them do just that for 40 days.
We all deal with significant stress every day. This set of Activities encourages clients to become aware of their stressors by tracking them, as shown below.
Coaching plans not only help you stay on track, but they also provide you with all kinds of chances to refine and develop your solutions.
With flexible and customizable coaching planner tools such as Quenza provides, you can create helpful templates of your own for different services and packages you provide and focus your energy on personalization.
Use this guide alongside your $1 Quenza trial to create your next digital plan. In a few simple steps, you’ll be able to turn it into client results easily and effectively – from anywhere!
Frequently Asked Questions
A structured coaching session has a clear goal and focuses on the client’s needs. It typically includes an opening, exploration, goal-setting, and closing. Creating a safe and supportive environment that encourages open communication and trust is an important part of all coaching sessions.
A good coaching session plan will generally start with a clear goal and agenda and should be tailored to the client’s learning style, strengths, and challenges. Each plan should be flexible and adaptable to reflect the client’s evolving requirements.
To plan a life coaching session, determine the goal, assess your client’s needs, create a coaching plan, establish coaching objectives, prepare your materials, conduct your session, evaluate your client’s progress, and follow up.