In-company coaching sessions often take place on the basis of a trilateral agreement set out between the coach, the company and the employee. Training to become a coach and be helping other people does not stop at getting your Coaching degree and completing all the required training programs: first and foremost you will need to learn how to prepare each individual coaching session. According to an Odoxa study conducted in May 2017, it appears that 85% of people feel it is good to change jobs at least once in your working life. In addition, 50% of respondents have already made a career transition to a new profession. In this article, Superprof looks at how to prepare a session to help clients achieve their business goals?

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Making a list of all your skills and goals are one of the first step of professional coaching (Source:

Coaching Worker: The Exploratory Session

Before even meeting for a first individual interview, the coachee and the coaching firm must lay the foundations on which a trusting relationship can be built. In other words, the coach and coachee need to get to know each other. This is what coaches often call the exploratory session. At this stage of the process, the professional coach initiates an exchange - face-to-face, on skype or on the telephone - during which they will ask what are the objectives, the nature of the work to be done and the motivations of their future clients. Therefore, the goal is to question "what brought you to seek the help of a professional coach". These exploratory sessions can unveil a number of different reasons:

  • Switch professional path,
  • Career Management,
  • Gain specific skills to climb the ladder,
  • Earn self-esteem,
  • Improve self-awareness,
  • Practical exercises to learn how to better manage stress,
  • Public speaking coaching,
  • Learn nonviolent communication,
  • Conflict management,
  • Human Resources Management, etc.

High stake roles and the economic, geopolitical, environmental, social and financial issues of a large conglomerate can put senior executives managers in very complex, uncomfortable situations. For example, you need to know how to manage your stress and behave properly with foreign investors, know the key elements of a market to gain competitiveness or have confidence in your decision-making process, etc. You may want to be coached to be able to perform a function at a high level, to question yourself or to simply change your professional life. In short, there are as many reasons to solicit a personal coach that there are issues to overcome. In the second phase of the interview, the professional coach validates the action plan focusing on the problem or problems put forward by their client, in order to build a storyline to follow. On this basis, it will be possible to propose a tailored coaching cycle by agreeing on the modalities of the sessions: rhythm, frequency and duration of the sessions, location and schedules, as well as fees. At this stage, coaching tools will be explained to the client. Caution: it should be noted that the coach is not here to do all the work, it is essential that the coachee is fully involved in this personal support plan, otherwise it will be difficult to see concrete results. It is common practice that the first session is free and that it does not constitute the beginning of a full coaching program. The first session is here to establish the first contact and assess the feasibility of the client's goals.

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Get organised well in advance and use a planner to put key dates into.
Make sure to have all the details of your coaching session ready beforehand. (by Irene Bonacchi)

How To Get Ready For A Session?

Whatever speciality you are thinking of practising, individual worker coaching, executive mentoring or non-violent communication seminars, your role in the work life of the employees you will help is never to be underestimated. At the beginning you will have to go through the agreed path and coaching methods you think will work best for individual clients. You will need to review the progress done at the beginning of each session and assess how your client managed a given situation with the tools you gave them. Not unlike music students who are asked to repeat a piece they learnt during the previous lesson, this will ensure that your client has understood and practised what you taught them. In professional coaching, it's the same: after having reviewed positive points learnt and possibly after drawing a lesson from possible failures, the coach will advance a new strategy. Every new session will need to be prepared in advance in accord with your clients' progress and pace of learning. Coaching requires a great deal of flexibility and creative thinking to find the perfect solution for any given problem your client may be facing. It might happen, that your clients need will shift altogether after a few sessions in which cases you will have to improvise altogether. Even if we have scrupulously prepared the session and we have every coaching tools available, there are always unexpected obstacles that disrupt the session. An unplanned situation, a drop in the motivation of the person being coached, is all it takes for your preparations to go out of the window. You must know how to deal with the moods or temperaments of each of your clients. When solicited at the initiative of a particular customer, individual coaching takes place in the form of face-to-face interviews (most often), or video conferencing on Skype. The number of sessions can vary between 3 and 20 depending on the nature and purpose of the coaching and the goals to be achieved. Of course, it is easier to help take a step back or to draw a summary of skills than to coach leaders, this will require much more time and sessions. The sessions should be no more than two weeks apart, to allow time to work on the advice provided at the previous session: and each session should include an analysis of the progress made in order to set up a new course of actions. The coachee will be invited between each session to evaluate the progress made and implement the methods suggested by the coach in their professional routine. But during this time, what does the personal coach do? In line with the progress of the coaching program, the coach must prepare a number of practical exercises to submit to his client-student, including scenarios:

  • Organizational coaching: new ways of organizing,
  • Think out of the box to resolve obstacles,
  • Other ways of perceiving oneself: to help assert oneself,
  • Crisis situation: to manage and resolve conflicts,
  • Learn how to head up meetings and conferences

Professional coaching is all about helping employees being the best version of themselves: to achieve such results, coach and coachee need to trust each other in knowing that they both working towards the same goals and it is expected that coaching session is completely private and that coaches will keep anything said during sessions for themselves! When financed by the company, the coaching takes the form of a tripartite contract in relation with the coach, the employee and their human resources department. In fact, the coaching within a company will follow substantially the same protocol of preparation than individual coaching session but the stakes will often be higher.

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Get your very own coach who can design a program based on you and you alone
A coach is here to tell you what to do and how to do it to improve your success at work, but they're not here to do it for you!

What Is The Role Of A Coach?

The first session is always, the queen of all apprehensions. The primary role of the personal coach is to create a relationship of trust in which the coached client can disclose all the information needed to resolve their problems. There may be problems related to the emotional realm, referring to trauma or family pain or psychological barriers. So the coach must be empathetic, actively listening to their client and above all, never judge them on anything. To get your client out of their comfort zone and help them achieve their goals, you, as a coach, must be able to ask the right questions: asking the right questions helps to clarify, to widen a field of vision, to change perspective, etc. Check out the average price for a coaching session! This is skill is rarely innate but it can be learnt in schools such as the ICF, the International Coach Federation. It's about making keys moments emerge allowing the customer to find the solutions themselves. Secondly, the coach plays a leading role in assessing the validity and feasibility of the strategies envisioned: learning to speak out more at work or acting as a conciliator, are tools that could prove helpful to the development of someone's career, much more so than confronting colleagues. Coaches have a wide range of coaching techniques and tools at their disposal to effectively supervise their clients progress: facilitating awakenings, using neuro-linguistic programming, the systemic approach, or transactional analysis approach, ...

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A student by trade, Daniel spends most of his time working on that essay that's due in a couple of days' time. When he's not working, he can be found working on his salsa steps, or in bed.