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10 Steps to getting the most out of a life coaching session

This is your guide to help you prepare, be in and follow through on your life coaching or business session as a client.

Firstly, what is coaching?

The International Coaching Guild definition of coaching says...

A successful coaching partnership is one in which movement towards a client's goals are accelerated far beyond what the individual could accomplish without the support and feedback from a coach. Successful coaches and Professional Coaches will have mastered the Core Competencies of Coaching as established by the International Coaching Guild. This includes using the Critical Alignment Model to assist clients in establishing the right environments, systems, implementation strategies and relationships to achieve their goals.

Why it is so important to use these steps:

When it comes to your coaching session, you really do get out what you put in.

Follow the below process to really get the value from your time and money.

Step #1: Preparation

Come prepared. Do your research, find a coach that fits with the tone you want or more importantly what you need. Read testimonials and get a feel for what to expect from the coach as an individual. Don't be afraid to let them know what you need from a coach. For example, it could vary greatly from warmth and emotional comforting right through to a more direct, honest and accountable approach. One of the best things you can do (to not only help yourself but also your coach) is to come with a problem or goal that is relevant to work on in the session. If that's not possible look back over your past couple of weeks and discuss anything significant that has happened.

Step #2: Set The Scene

Be open to new ideas, stay open minded, empathetic and compassionate, play in an open hearted space always. Show up and be completely present, turn off distractions, create a container in which to converse from. Make sure your space is quiet and uninterrupted. Some people like to have a moment of silence beforehand. Set your intention to get what you need from the session. Have a pen and paper ready as well as a glass of water or cup of tea.

Step #3: Contribute

Give yourself permission to be genuine and authentic in answering questions and inviting playful curiosity and the vulnerability to embrace uncertainty in a safe place. Contribute to the session by hearing a question and taking the time and space to think of your response. Be okay with not knowing the answers, in fact these blocks are boundary conditions, once you begin to know what you do not know the answers to, you will create true transformation. Saying "I don't know" to a question from your coach is exactly where you are both trying to reach in a session, to then go beyond and explore together.

Step #4: Embrace The Journey Together

Be prepared to surrender and trust your coach after rapport is obtained. The coaching session is a journey and there is a loose structure that is used to move you from beginning to end. There is no rush, and although timeframes are set as a guide, the true success of a session lies in the experience you walk away with.

Step #5: Three Actions for you to take away

As your coaching nears the end you will come up with some steps you can implement between sessions. Be mindful to leave the session with your key take aways and to have a plan to execute them.

Step #6: Stay connected

Stay connected with your coach post the session as well, they love to hear from you and share in your trials, tribulations, success and celebrations. You now have your own coach in your corner, a cheerleader and champion in your life. It is such a gift. Use them.

Step #7: Review your notes and schedule time to check in on your own progress without your coach

Create time post the coaching session to look at your notes and do a status update on where you are at. This step builds your personal accountability muscle. Write new actions and tasks in your diary and share when you have accomplished. Also take note of any reasons that might be holding you back from moving forward too, things don't always go to plan, journal your thinking to discuss at your next session or give yourself permission if the tasks are no longer relevant to pivot and move in a new direction instead. You are in control. You are the one playing out the strategy that is being tried and tested.

Step #8: Book in your next session

In order to really maintain or create momentum, the ability to manage your calendar will be the thing that gets you ahead faster than most. Prebook your future sessions, decide what works well for you, weekly, fortnightly, as you need them, it is up to you.

Step #9: Go above and beyond

Be the one who has the highest standards, think outside the box and complete an extra task for yourself. Could you get a book on the subject you are overcoming, is there a mentor you could align yourself with or a peer or role model to connect with. Is their more education you can obtain, is their an accountability buddy that might help you or a community group you could join... if you are less empowered, what are you currently doing that is stopping you from moving forward, can you lean in and ask for help where you normally wouldn't? Ultimately, to change, you need to do something different to what you have been doing, go where you don't normally and be aware of the difference it makes.

Step #10: Have fun

With out a doubt the ones who truly embrace and value their coaches are the ones that see the fun it all, don't be so serious!

“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build, end up building us.” Jim Rohn

In closing...

It's now time for you to start applying what you have learned. Whether you are new to being coached or have been reaping the benefits already, these 10 steps are sure to give you something to think about and work on. Whether it be finding the right coach, or coming more prepared, setting intentions, bringing playful curiosity to your sessions, taking action on tasks or going above and beyond. You now have a path to embrace, go forth and conquer.

If you are on the search for an experienced coach you can book in a session here, it is a complimentary first session that gives you a taster of how coaching works and getting to know your coach and their style of coaching. If you are already a client, feel free to comment below anything that may help a person trying coaching for the first time. If you are new and have any questions, fire away...

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