A plan is one of the main ingredients for any successful outcome. The same applies to a coaching session as well.
When you plan your coaching sessions, you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve at a given session. This increases the probability of conducting a successful coaching session that can provide your client with the most value.
If you don’t take time to plan your coaching sessions, you run the risk of not connecting the session to the client’s larger goals, losing the client’s trust by not remembering critical details, and finally, failing to help the client transform their lives.
Before you continue, we think you’ll love our $1 trial of Quenza, the best coaching platform for your organization. Quenza’s user-friendly digital tools will help you plan, design, and implement effective coaching sessions, and give you everything you need to help others develop and grow.
How To Structure and Plan Your Coaching Sessions
A coaching session contains the following stages.
- Checking in, attunement, and celebrating achievements since the last session
- Aligning on a coaching agreement and outcome for the session
- Exploring the issue and evaluating options for the client
- Designing commitments and actions with the client
- Recapping the session’s learnings and signing off
How To Prepare For Your Coaching Session
When you plan your coaching sessions, you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve at a given session.
To prepare for a coaching session, you need to first read through your client notes from the previous session. These notes will contain what you learned about the client and what actions they committed to.
Quenza Client Notes allow you to add session notes for each client so you can easily retrieve them before the next session.
Once you’ve caught up on the previous session, you need to take some time to relax, ground yourself, and become present before the upcoming session. This is critical because your mood and wellbeing affect the coaching session and how you respond to the client.
Finally, if you’re still on your path to becoming a seasoned coach, it’s a great idea to pick a coaching skill or competency you want to focus on in the upcoming coaching session. This is important because trying to improve multiple competencies simultaneously may not result in the best outcome for you.
Planning Your Session: A Checklist
Here are some additional points that can help you plan your coaching session.
- Revisit the main goal/s for the coaching engagement.
- Remind yourself of your client’s strengths, values, and purpose.
- Think about the client’s learning and communication styles.
- Revisit any recurring themes for the client (For example, do they have a strong inner critic? Or are they frequently dissatisfied with work?).
- Pick an attunement exercise that may work for the client (Example attuning exercises include asking the client to describe their mood in terms of a weather system, a drink, or a perfume.)
3 Examples, Session Planners, and Ideas
Here are three templates you can use to plan your coaching sessions.
1. Coaching Preparation Form: It is sometimes useful to get clients to think about their needs for the upcoming coaching session. This form needs to be filled by the client in advance of the session and allows the coach and client to spend less time agreeing on the coaching outcome during the session.
2. Client Profile: Planning a session is mostly about knowing your client and revisiting vital information about their goals and needs. This free template enables you to create a detailed client profile that you can use to prepare for a session.
3. Intake Session Checklist: The initial intake session is where you learn more about the client, set expectations, and align on the way forward. This checklist will ensure that you address all key points in an intake session.
5 Forms and Notes Templates For Coaches
Coaches use a number of forms and templates throughout the client’s coaching journey.
1. The Quenza Coaching Agreement: The coaching contract forms the base of the coaching engagement. This Quenza form can be used to align on the focus and goals of the coaching.
2. Pre-Coaching Questionnaire on Quenza: This questionnaire helps a coach identify the client’s needs and expectations before beginning the coaching engagement.
3 Best Evaluation and Feedback Forms
1. The Quenza Coach Evaluation Form: This form lets you collect detailed feedback from your clients. They will evaluate you on the working relationship, results, and overall satisfaction.
2. Quenza Session Rating Scale: This form records the success of each session in terms of relationship, goals, and approach, helping you identify areas of improvement for you.
3. 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.
Best Software For Your Virtual Coaching Sessions
Finding the best software solution for your virtual coaching sessions can take a significant amount of time. That’s why we have picked the best solutions for you here.
As coaches, our top priority is providing value to our clients and helping them achieve their goals. Client engagement and accountability are key here.
The Quenza platform is focused on improving engagement and accountability while cutting down on your administrative burden.
|Quenza’s main features include:|
Drawbacks: A relatively new platform, but some great features will be added in 2021
|Free Trial||30-day trial for only $1|
Nudge Coach takes customization to a whole new level. This level of customization is attractive because each client is different, and we need the flexibility of customizing coaching engagements.
|Main features include:|
Drawbacks: Does not include payments or scheduling
|Free Trial||For first 3 clients|
My Coach Office
My Coach Office, as the name implies, is a tool that manages the coach’s office. It’s like an administrative assistant that can take care of all the things you don’t want to deal with. This is an excellent first platform for you if you’re a beginner coach.
|Main features include:|
Drawbacks: Mostly for admin purposes
|Name||My Coach Office|
|Free Trial||Starts at $24/month|
5 Unique Online Tools Included In Quenza
The Quenza platform has unique tools that you can use in your practice.
Daily Exceptions Journal
Daily Exceptions Journal: This collection of nine activities builds client awareness of their strengths and empowers them to face challenges with confidence.
Creating a Positive Body Image
Creating a Positive Body Image: Many clients deal with body image issues. This pathway helps clients focus on how they can use their bodies vs. how they look.
Journaling Through Grief in 40 days
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. This tool will help them do just that for 40 days.
Three Good Things
Three Good Things: Gratitude can help us get through even the hardest challenges. This pathway prompts clients to make gratitude a daily habit.
Stress Diary: We all deal with significant stress every day. This set of activities encourages clients to become aware of their stressors by tracking them.
5 Topics For Your Life Coaching Sessions
Life coaching can touch all aspects of life. Here are a few common topics that can come up during life coaching sessions.
- 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 and Consulting the Future Self When Making Choices tools 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. It is extremely helpful for the coach and client to have a clear idea of the client’s values. You can use the Value-Tattoo tool to get clients 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. Tools 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. Quenza’s tools like Progressive Muscle Relaxation and The 5–4–3–2–1 Stress Reduction Technique can help clients manage stress better.
- Professional growth: Career progression is one of the main sources of life satisfaction. You can use tools like Finding Your Ikigai and Strength Interview when coaching clients on their careers.
If you’re finding it hard to look for a topic for a life coaching session, you can use an assessment tool like The Wheel of Life to measure your client’s satisfaction with different domains of their life. This can help you identify an area to work on. Also read our article where we introduced the newly available Wheel of Life feature.
14 Questions To Ask Your Coaching Clients
As powerful coaching questions always respond to what the client has just offered, they need to be highly personalized and customized. So, it would be unwise to go with a set of pre-set questions to a coaching session.
However, here are some questions that can get a client thinking, especially when they are unclear of what they want from a session.
- What do you most need right now?
- What limiting beliefs do you have about your life?
- What can be better in your life?
- What will you most regret if you have to leave this earth tomorrow?
5 Questions For Your First Session
- 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?
Best Questions For Your Final Session
- What have you learned about yourself from this coaching engagement?
- How can you use those learnings to attain future goals?
- How have you changed since we started working together?
- What actions can you commit to for your future?
- How will you keep yourself accountable for future commitments?
Although preparing for a session in advance may initially have seemed like a waste of time, we hope we have convinced you otherwise now.
Don’t forget how easy Quenza makes the process, and sign up for a month’s trial for only $1.