The Coaching Process
When my clients begin the coaching process, they seem relieved to be able to talk about the entirety of their life, goals, skills, desires, and challenges; the process that I use encourages this level of reflection. I believe this helps my clients expand their capacity to grow into their potential. The process uses inquiry, practical tools and a development plan to support clarity, growth and change.
Frequently, people get too busy, side-tracked or lack practical tools to focus on choosing a life path that may be more creative and fulfilling. When you enter a coaching process, you schedule time and pay attention to what is most important about your life and your future.
The coaching process usually lasts from 6 to 12 months. Although each coaching client progresses according to a unique timetable, this is an example:
Coaching Sessions: 1, 2, 3 (Month 1)
Purpose: Reflection and Discovery
The first few meetings explore the person’s unique patterns, talents, values, attributes, blind spots, developmental challenges, and yearnings/desires. Some assignments are completed between sessions.
Coaching Sessions: 4, 5 (Month 2)
Purpose: Action Planning
An action plan is developed to initiate practical steps toward the identified goals.
Coaching Sessions: 6-12 (Month 3-12 )
Purpose: Implementation and Change
Each coaching session in this stage is used to develop new behaviors that will lead to demonstrated progress towards the identified goals.
Purpose: Closure and Maintenance
A self-assessment process is used in the final session to review the progress and results. To ensure that changes are maintained, the client and I develop a list of “next steps.”
The goals are specific to the client’s work and life. Some examples are developing specific leadership skills, coaching staff members, strengthening work and family relationships, expanding creativity, resolving conflict, decision-making, listening, life-balance, problem-solving, and whole-self integration.
I use a wide variety of tools such as structured interviews, 360-degree feedback inventories, appreciative inquiry, expressive arts-based learning, personality and values assessments, mindfulness, and visualization.
The coaching process facilitates movement into a deeper state of reflection, planning, and action. To complement this movement, my client develops an action plan—a roadmap for personal and professional growth. While engaging in the coaching process and implementing the action plan, the person acquires insight and can develop an inner guide/coach that he or she can use indefinitely after our professional work together has concluded.