Which hour of being a coach would you be most curious about? If I had to guess it would be the hour I spend working on my Christmas 2018 jigsaw puzzle while watching The Bachelor. Just kidding! I bet it’s going to be the hour, and some, it takes to actually coach. Let’s dive in because the clock is ticking.
The minutes leading up to a coaching session.
This time is typically comprised of preparing yourself both physically, emotionally, mentally. I like to recommend to my students and trainees that you incorporate some sort of ritual. It could be elaborate or, if you’re like me, not so much so. But definitely a ritual to help you come into your body, access your higher self, and tap into your intuition.
My personal ritual looks like, about 10 minutes before a coaching session, using an essential-oil blend that will help me access a little higher energetic frequency. I have one I use here called Common Sense so I can always lean on my Common Sense in a call.
Some might light a candle, say a prayer, pull a card for your client, so incorporating some sort of ritual. This is, again, about 10 minutes before the one-hour-long call. And then preparing yourself mentally, reviewing the notes from the last session you might have had with this client, allowing yourself to just really making sure that your desk is clear so you can stay focused.
Depending on your note-taking technique, you might want to prepare a little pile of loose-leaf sheets if that’s your style, or open up a new Google Doc within your client’s particular folder. So everything is super prepared, and you can just take a deep breath and get into the moment. And then the call starts. At the top of the hour, you’re ready. You got your sunshiney face, depending on if you’re doing it on video or audio only, just being super present for your client.
The first five minutes.
The beginning it’s sort of like a “Hey, girl” catch-up session. Quick little “hey” small talk, chitchat about the weather or how the kids are doing. And then we’re going to dive right in. What this is going to look like perhaps for the first, I don’t know, about 10, 15 minutes, is reviewing the notes from the last session.
You can remind your client of the step that was assigned to them last week and ask how that’s going or review what the major goal is, the overarching one for the coaching package that they signed up for, and then course-correcting where needed.
At the 15 minute mark.
Around this point, we dive right in to asking the small questions. As a coach, you’re going to be all set up with the tools, and most of these tools are designed to allow for whole-body listening. You’re going to ask very simple, small questions, such as, “Where are you feeling stuck today?” or, “What are you struggling with?” or, “What are you celebrating?”
Until the halfway mark, I like to do what my midwife told me in one of our first appointments. She’s like, “This is what we learn in midwifery school.”
Then she proceeded to sit on her hands.
She put one little hand under one little sweet butt cheek and then the other, and that’s essentially what we do as coaches: We ask small questions and then zip it.
Hold the space and just allow that inner knowing. It’s really beautiful to witness, actually, just their inner knowledge and wisdom coming out. We hold space. We guide them back if they’re taking off on tangents. So it’s very much a little nuanced game, but you can do it. It’s really beautiful. And then epiphanies will come, and our job as a coach is at that moment to note-take and also be fully present, whole-body listening.
30 minutes in.
At the bottom of the hour, there is an opportunity to offer, depending again on your coaching style and exactly what type of coach you are, some sort of experiential exercise. What this can look like is invite the client in for a guided meditation. And then maybe coming out of the meditation there’s an opportunity for a journaling prompt based on what came up for them in the imagery, so simple fill-in-the-blank type questions.
Time goes fast in this hour as a coach, so allow for a lot of breathing room within these activities. Experiential exercise can also look like a coworking experience. So if you’re working more on a creativity coaching, on a bigger project, working side by side, holding space for them to get to a particular aspect of the project that they’ve been procrastinating in. It can also look like role playing or brainstorming.
This is my particular favorite. My brain’s always firing off in storms.
45 minute mark.
Before you know it, it’s going to be 15 minutes to the top of the hour, and that’s the time that you mention to your client, “Dude …” Or if you want to use something a little bit more classier, “My lady, we have 15 minutes left, is there anything else that you want to get off your chest or share with me or questions you might have?”
Again, this is dependent on the nature of your coaching practice.
This is a point where you will just feel a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more into the flow of the session. You’ve been listening, and there’s a beautiful synchronizations that happen. You’re not going to have those pre-call jitters that everyone gets no matter how much of a seasoned coach you are. So then you can just have an opportunity to speak from your heart, not necessarily give advice, unless this is what your client is seeking, but more so just whole-body listening and speaking from your heart your truth.
Five minutes left of our hour already!
This is when the housekeeping stuff happens. So just making sure you’re arranging for the next time you speak. At this point I like to invite feedback. “What was your favorite part? What do you think might have helped a bit more? What would you like to see next time?” And then a very sincere, “I want to honor your time. It’s time to say goodbye, and I cannot wait to our next appointment.” And that should be scheduled already then and there.
Moments after the hour is up.
The final Wonder Bread slice, or gluten-free tortilla shell to your quesadilla or sandwich of this one-hour and a bit coaching hour, now is the closing ritual. So some sort of really just tying it up with a beautiful closing ritual. I like to suggest washing your hands, blowing out the candle that you might have lit for your client, some sort of prayer, any kind of ritual.
Feeling your curiosity has been quenched somewhat? If this had the reverse effect – meaning now you’re more curious than ever – about becoming a coach – be sure you’re signed up for my list of 50 Coaching Niches for Creatives by adding your name and email below.