Being a coach can be a challenging, creative job with lots of different tasks, clients, and objectives. Here are some tips which may help.
1. Avoid giving your clients advice. Your goal should be to facilitate your client figuring out their goals and their plans for themselves.
2. Be prepared for every coaching session. If you have staff, make sure they understand that it is important to be prepared, and to have material ready the day before. Have a back up plan, either a general, all purpose Plan B, or a specific back up plan for each session. This allows you to look and feel prepared even when things go wrong.
3. Try to be available to clients in their off times. This will allow your clients to see you as a part of their support system. Keep clear boundaries, however – if they call you during a family event, listen to what they say and them tell them when you will call them back about it. Make a physical note to yourself so that when you call them back, you remember their concerns. Obviously you cannot be expected to solve every problem for them instantaneously.
4. Make sure to accomplish specific goals during coaching sessions. Keep conversations and any activities focused on these goals, so that you and the client feel that something was accomplished during the session.
5. If you are coaching a group session, make sure to say hello to each person present and to invite everyone to participate. If people do not participate, avoid putting them on the spot, as this will make everyone uncomfortable.
6. Get to know a client before you begin coaching them. Find out what their goals are, and why they want to be coached. This time at the beginning will let you be more effective throughout the coaching.
7. After a coaching contract has ended, follow up with your client to see how they are doing. This will help you see your own progress as a coach as well as allow you to address any problems your client may have.
8. Avoid having unproductive sessions. If you or your client is angry or frustrated about something unrelated to your client’s goals, try to reschedule the session so as not to waste anybody’s time.
9. As with any business, it is important to be able to say no. If a client will be difficult or impossible to work for, or you know you cannot help them because it isn’t your area of expertise, or a client has not paid you, do not work for them. If the issue is simply that you are booked up, refer them to another coaching service or ask if they mind being put on a waitlist or scheduling their workshop for later in the year.