21 Impactful Coaching Tools & Exercises for Coaches

Coaching Tools Exercises for Coaches

Digital coaching exercises are at the heart of how development professionals create value, and as online coaching becomes increasingly popular, there are more tools available than ever before.

Consider this guide your go-to toolkit for 2022, complete with engaging resources to engage your clients and increase your impact as a coach!

Benefits of Using Coaching Exercises

Coaching exercises are powerful tools that can make up a huge part of your digital program.

While the specific types of exercises you apply will depend on your niche, client list, and coaching philosophy, most coaches find it useful to create a toolkit of versatile exercises that they can adapt to suit different contexts.

There are also some very commonly-used science-based exercises that belong in every coach’s arsenal because they can help you:

  1. Teach or develop specific skills
  2. Challenge and invite new perspectives
  3. Motivate and engage your clients
  4. Guide their decision-making, or
  5. Prompt self-reflection at various points in a program.

Choosing The Right Exercises

Deciding on the right tools for each session can be a little tricky, but as a rule of thumb, it’s best to plan out your goals for a coaching program.

Deciding on the right tools for each session can be a little tricky, but as a rule of thumb, it’s best to plan out your goals for a coaching program.

When you know what you hope to help your coachees achieve at each step in their journey, you can work backward to select an appropriate exercise by type or goal.

While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the most popular types of coaching tools:

  • Assessments: used to establish a client’s starting state, measure their progress throughout a program, or invite them to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses
  • Journaling exercises and diaries: useful for helping clients track progress or building their awareness of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, among other things
  • Meditations may be used as visualization exercises or to help clients cultivate positive strengths and mindsets, e.g. compassion and mindfulness
  • Reflections are often valuable when helping clients build self-awareness or learn from their actions and behaviors
  • Lessons are an effective way to teach skills or psychoeducate
  • Metaphors can encourage clients to adopt new perspectives and frames of reference
  • Worksheets encourage active or deeper learning, skills application outside of sessions
  • Visualizations are used to help clients picture a way forward, plan goal-oriented actions, or make success seem more achievable.

Here are nine popular examples of effective coaching tools that you can use with digital coaching clients.

9 Proven Coaching Tools

These customizable coaching exercises can be adapted to suit different audiences, from individual life coaching clients to group sessions, as well as adults, teenagers, and children.

While we’ve categorized them into certain niches here, these nine tools are universally applicable and can easily be customized for use in all kinds of coaching.

3 Effective Relationship Coaching Tools

1. Goal Visualization

When people get into relationships, they have a lot of expectations.

Helping your client visualize their goals for a relationship can clarify their needs and struggles.

desktop preview of Quenza Goal Visualization coaching exercise
Quenza’s Goal Visualization Expansion is an interactive coaching exercise that can help clients identify their goals.

2. Visualizing a Compassionate Self

It is critical for a client to have compassion for themselves before they can extend compassion to their partners.

Quenza’s Visualizing a Compassionate Self Expansion exercise, shown below, is one example of a relationship coaching tool that encourages clients to become more compassionate about their past mistakes and “weaknesses”.

preview of Visualizing a Compassionate Self Quenza Expansion Activity
Visualizations such as this Quenza Expansion can be used to help clients cultivate positive strengths and traits such as compassion.

3. Gratitude in Romantic Relationships

Through the haze of our busy days, it’s sometimes hard to be grateful for all that our partners do for us.

Gratitude in Romantic Relationships is an Expansion activity you can send to clients to help them rekindle their relationships through gratitude, as pictured here.

Quenza gratitude in romantic relationships coaching activity desktop preview
Gratitude in Romantic Relationships is a customizable Quenza Expansion that invites clients to think about their partner’s positive traits and actions.

3 Best Techniques For Coping with Grief

1. Journaling Through Grief in 40 Days

This Quenza Expansion Pathway is a sequence of 40 narrative therapy-based grief coaching tools that can help bereaved clients explore their loss by journaling for 40 days.

There are 40 different prompts and exercises that allow the client to explore and express different angles of their grief.

Quenza Journaling Through Grief Pathway Preview
Quenza’s Journaling Through Grief coaching resource aims to help clients with a series of learnings and interactive exercises.

2. Three Minute Breathing Space

Clients dealing with a loss often need a way of grounding themselves.

Meditations like Quenza’s short Three Minute Breathing Space Expansion can be used to help keep them in the present moment.

Quenza coaching Tool preview: Three Minute Breathing Space
Quenza’s Three Minute Breathing Space tool can help clients relax and ground themselves when they are struggling with anxiety, stress, or panic.

3. Three Good Things

Once your client has a chance to express themselves fully and feel more grounded, it can be good to introduce a daily gratitude list.

Exercises like Quenza’s Three Good Things Expansion are a good way to help them practice gratitude journaling whenever they feel hopeless or lonely.

Quenza Three Good Things Expansion Pathway Preview
The Three Good Things Quenza pathway is a great way to get clients to benefit from gratitude, even amid grief and loss.

Coaching Exercises For The Workplace

1. Finding Your Ikigai

We always work best when our passions and talents align.

This example coaching tool, Finding Your Ikigai, will help clients explore the intersection of their talents and passions, and brainstorm ways to monetize these talents.

Quenza finding your ikigai career coaching exercises example
Career coaching exercises such as Quenza’s Finding Your Ikigai Expansion (pictured) are a useful way to help clients utilize their strengths and passions for goal achievement.

2. The Scoreboard Metaphor

If you work with leadership, business, and executive coaching clients who feel weighed down by weekly, quarterly, and annual goals at work, coaching tools for managers like The Scoreboard Metaphor below can be useful.

This interactive values exercise aims to help coaches differentiate between their goals and values to create the alignment required for intrinsic motivation.

Scoreboard Metaphor Quenza Expansion desktop preview
The Scoreboard Metaphor differentiates between goals and values, which can be valuable if you want to help set more meaningful goals.

3. Strength Interview

It’s important for clients to communicate strengths to their bosses and colleagues at work, but clients first need to know what their unique strengths are.

Self-reflective tools such as the Strength Interview Quenza Expansion below can be valuable coaching tools in the workplace in organizational contexts, because they prompt coachees to identify their strengths.

Quenza Strength Interview Expansion Preview Desktop format
Quenza’s Strength Interview includes useful questions for an initial exploration of your client’s strengths within a wide variety of coaching programs.

What’s The Best Digital Tool For Coaching?

Structuring your client’s program and knowing what tools to use for and between each session are the two first steps in digital coaching, but you’ll also need to customize and deliver them.

The best way to do this efficiently and at scale is with digital coaching software, which can take save you a lot of prep time that is ultimately not billable.

How To Share Coaching Resources Online

Coaching software (or coaching apps) typically falls into two categories:

  1. Coaching management software, e.g.  appointment scheduling apps or billing platforms, and
  2. Software that is designed for coaching, which often includes coaching management tools as well.

If you regularly design and share digital exercises, software that falls into the latter category is far more versatile and powerful—especially as your client list grows.

This video shows you how specialized software like Quenza can help you build and share personalized coaching activities with your clients much more efficiently:

To learn more about your different options, check out our full review: 5 Best Coaching Apps: An Ultimate Software Guide For Coaches [2022]

How To Customize Activities and Resources From Your Toolkit

Customizing pre-made coaching exercises like the examples above is a great way to engage clients, which can hugely increase their chances of success.

You can do this in a few ways, but the easiest and most effective ways are by:

  • Adapting the instructions, difficulty levels, and language of your exercises
  • Addressing them by name within your activities (and their accompanying emails)
  • Using relevant examples in worksheets, lessons, and microlearnings
  • Uploading custom multimedia into your exercises, e.g. personalized coaching videos, audio, and images
  • Delivering them when they are most likely to engage with your content, e.g. in the evening, on the weekend, or outside of working hours, and
  • Integrating your own additional resources, e.g. PDFs, spreadsheets, and manuals.

It’s strongly recommended that you choose a software solution that simplifies or automates these tasks, so that you can free up time for more important things.

Customizing Coaching Exercises: Tips To Increase Your Impact

To illustrate, here are some valuable ways you can increase your impact using customization tools.

Build Unique Coaching Activities

While it may not be the fastest approach, the surest way to create high-quality tailored coaching activities for your clients is by building your own solutions from scratch.

Tools such as Quenza’s Activity builder give you a quick way to design your own coaching exercises by dragging and dropping straightforward short answer fields, text boxes, scales, videos, multimedia, and more as shown below, which is ideal if you’ve got unique solutions to share digitally.

Quenza Activity Builder Tools for Coaching
Quenza’s Activity tools for coaches are a quick and easy way to design professional coaching interventions and share them under your own practice brand.

This approach enables you to create custom assessments, surveys, and even note templates for your own use, which you can then save as templates and adapt for individual clients.

It’s easy to develop lessons from the ground up, build psychoeducational interventions, or even put together a simple feedback form tailored to your client’s personal coaching experience.

Customize Coaching Assessment Tools From Templates

Another high-mileage way to share personalized tools is by personalizing done-for-you coaching templates.

Quenza’s Expansion library, for example, contains a wealth of science-based coaching exercise templates that you can customize with your choice of text, bespoke images, or even your own audio recordings and video for a more interactive solution:

Quenza Expansions Best Coaching Tools
Quenza’s inbuilt Expansion Library contains a wealth of coaching activities, meditations, quizzes, homework, worksheets, and other templates to integrate into your programs.

Here are a few examples of life and health coaching assessment tools that are available as customizable Expansion templates:

  1. The Outcome Rating Scale: a popular tool for coaches who want to understand how their clients are doing individually, socially, interpersonal, and overall
  2. Wheel of Needs: one of the best coaching tools for self-awareness, which helps your clients explore their needs and work towards meeting those that are unmet.
  3. The Life Domain Satisfaction assessment, which asks your clients to rate how satisfied they are with their different life domains, e.g. money, work, health, family, friends, learning, and partner.

Curate Unique Sequences

Every client’s journey is unique. When you deliver your coaching exercises at a pace that caters to their lifestyle or learning needs, they’re far more likely to engage with them.

With features like Quenza’s Pathway builder, you can share organize your custom-made coaching resources into a series of steps that correspond to their preferences, as shown below:

Quenza Health Coaching Tools Pathways preview
Quenza’s Pathway tools for coaches are an efficient, convenient way to assemble Activities from your library into automated programs or journeys.

Journals, habit diaries, and e-courses are all good ideas for engaging coaching sequences that you can create from your exercise toolkit, then automate or ‘drip feed’ to your clients on a schedule.

5 Online Coaching Assessments and Worksheets To Use

Looking for more online coaching tools?

All of the coaching tools in the left column are available as customizable Expansions in Quenza’s in-app library.

Search for them by name, edit, and brand them to make them your own!

Coaching Tool

Type

Goal

Wheel of Life

Assessment

Encourage clients to explore their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with various life domains with this ready-to-go template.

The Yes-Brain Versus the No-Brain

Exercise

Help your client experience both sides of their brain, each of which represents a different mindset.

The Beyond Limitation Question Technique

Reflection

Cultivate client self-awareness about their personal values and adopt a solution-focused approach to problem-solving.

Self Contract

Agreement

Build accountability in clients to drive goal-oriented actions.

Connecting To Your Intuition

Exercise

Help clients connect with and trust their intuition to improve confidence and create clarity while aiding decision-making.

Exercises for Business Coaches and Mentors

If you deliver team or leadership coaching in the workplace, here are three more example exercises to inspire you.

Whether you decide to use with personal clients or groups is up to you; each of these can be adapted to suit various contexts.

Goal realization exercise for business coaches in Quenza
Quenza’s Goal Realization Using the WDEP System Expansion can be useful as part of a business coaching or mentoring program in the workplace.
  1. Goal Realization Using the WDEP System: This Expansion worksheet (above) can help your client identify what they want to change about their approach, leadership style, or career, and plan how those changes will be undertaken. It is broken into sections under the headings “Wants,” “Doing,” “Evaluate,” and “Plan.”
  2. The Top 5 Values: This Expansion exercise lists example values alongside questions that can help clients clarify their most important values. By choosing and prioritizing their values, they can better understand where to invest their time and effort to be their ‘ideal self.’
  3. The 5-4-3-2-1 Stress Reduction Technique: This Expansion is a useful guided meditation that can be used to help managers cope better with workplace stress. The exercise incorporates elements of informal mindfulness practice, as shown in the diagram below.
Quenza Stress Reduction exercise example of Coaching Tools for Managers
Quenza’s 5-4-3-2-1 Stress Reduction Exercise is a customizable coaching tool for managers that is well-suited for professional development programs, executive coaching, and workplace wellness coaching interventions.

How To Grow Your Coaching Practice: PDF & Examples

Hopefully, you’ve got a few solid exercises to add to your coaching arsenal by now, plus some great ideas about how you’ll use them with your clients or employees.

Maybe you’ll introduce them in your sessions, add them to a sequence, or create a self-paced e-course—all of those are solid starting points.

But what about when you’re not around?

Every experienced coach knows that real growth and positive behavior change occur when your clients are out in the real world when you’re not there to hold their hand.

If you’re serious about delivering the kinds of results that your coaches are paying you for, you’ll need to dive a little deeper into the nuances of digital coaching.

We’ve put some of our most effective tips on that topic in our Quenza guide to online coaching, plus a few of the ways that your peers have increased their digital impact.

Click here to download your free copy of Coach, this changes everything, and get ready to supercharge your coaching game!Coach this changes everything ebook cover logo

Final Thoughts

Effective, engaging exercises are a digital coach’s secret arsenal – they’re the means to building, engaging, informing, and activating your clients wherever they are in the world.

Using these digital resources, you can create bespoke development journeys with a lot less effort than you would manually, and keep your coachees motivated for the long haul. Why not give it a try?

About the author

Catherine specializes in Organizational and Positive Psychology, helping entrepreneurs, clinical psychologists and OD specialists grow their businesses by simplifying their digital journeys.

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