prepare for your coaching session

Firstly, please come with an outcome – something you would like to have happen – or a problem that you’re trying to solve. If you come with a problem I’ll help you find an outcome.

Here are some work-related outcomes that often respond well to coaching:

  • figuring out what to do with a great idea you’ve had
  • identifying and clarifying work or personal goals, and how to achieve them
  • preparing for a difficult conversation with a colleague or client
  • preparing for an appraisal
  • responding to feedback from a colleague or client
  • getting clarity on what you should be doing in your role
  • getting unblocked on something that’s blocked you for a while

That said, there are no strict rules about what you can discuss during coaching so as long as it’s not illegal or unsafe (see below) then we can talk about whatever you want. Ultimately if you’re stuck on something whether it’s at work or at home then it’s probably going to affect your work so let’s see if we can help you get unstuck again.

You can get a sense of what others have found useful on the testimonials page.

Secondly, it’s worth remembering that we can only usefully talk about the person in the room – you! So if you come with an outcome that relates to another person, I’ll have you explore what your outcome is in relation to that. As example, if you say ‘I want my project manager to have a word with Mary about X’ then we’ll need to explore how you can best communicate that with your project manager. The difference is subtle, but the key thing is that it recognises that the person who’s able to change their behaviour or approach is you, not the other person.

I’ll run through it at the beginning of the session but it’s good to say that generally in the type of coaching I’m offering

  • I’ll help you explore an issue, work out what you want, and how you’ll achieve it
  • I won’t offer suggestions
  • I won’t comment on anything you say
  • I won’t answer any questions you have once we’ve started
  • I may not look at you much
  • I’ll take notes and if we’re in the same room I’ll hand them to you at the end. If you’re remote then I can scan and email your notes before shredding them.

Please know that everything you share with me during the session itself will be confidential unless it’s illegal or unsafe. If someone referred you for coaching then I’ll ask them to ask you how it went. That way you can choose to share as much or as little as you wish.

Finally, if I believe that someone else would be better equipped to listen to you – because of conflict of interest or the type of outcome that you bring – then I will tell you.

I believe that you have a right not to be told by default what I (or anyone else!) think about your outcome or how you’re going to make it happen. Coaching uses what you know to make progress. However, some mentoring is sometimes helpful during a session if you really don’t know how to get started. In which case, I’ll only offer mentoring after we’ve explored your outcome through coaching and you’ve agreed to listen to what I think.

I hope this all makes sense. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing you.