Does the coach help identify and reaffirm what the client wants to focus on in the coaching session?
Although coaching shies away from specific methods, such as NLP or consulting, setting the agenda in a coaching session is fundamental to helping clients stay focused on their goals. First comes the call. The coach might say, “Just to be clear, I understand the agenda for this call to be (fill in the blank)?” Second comes the response, “Yes. That’s it.” As a coach, you cannot simply assume the agenda is implied or clearly understood without a clear yes or no. The client should say “yes" without any other qualifiers. If your client hesitates, adds, subtracts, or launches in a different direction, you’ll need to work to reestablish a clear agenda.
Does the coach help the client create a measurable session agenda?
This is especially necessary when a client wants to pursue something difficult to measure, like exploring their emotions around a particular relationship. Measurability is a big deal when it comes to passing the coaching standards. Creating a measurable agenda helps the client see the value of coaching and provides more accountability and structure to a coaching call. A measurable goal could take the form of coming up with a new perspective on work or a project. It could be coming away with two action steps to take during the week regarding health and exercise or creating a new study plan that involves talking to professors or instructors. Whatever the measure is, it’s helpful to use numerical factors or some other specific tool such as a new perspective or new form of evaluation. Something that you can write down on a piece of paper that says, “This is what we got out of the coaching session.”
Does the coach explore why this agenda is essential to the client or what impact this agenda will have on the client’s life?
Asking a question or two about the importance of the agenda helps provide exploration and depth to the session. Suggested questions could be along the lines of “What impact would focusing on this have on other areas of your life?”
Does the coach help the client define what needs to be addressed or resolved to achieve what the client wants from the coaching session?
Coaches should avoid advising their clients according to what they think is best. After an agenda is set, the way forward would be to ask the client, “What area do you think we need to address first to accomplish this session agenda?”
Does the coach continue the conversation in the direction of the client's desires?
This marker checks whether or not the coach follows the client’s lead in the beginning stages, exploring the client’s agenda for the session.
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