The 6 Expectations of a Leadership Coaching Session
Your leadership coaching sessions will be done over the phone.
Hang on to your parasols …. The most effective sessions are over the phone?
It’s true, but let me tell you I started out as a critic in thinking that the phone approach would be workable. Now, every certified coach I know conducts his or her sessions telephonically.
How in the world can you pick up on all those non-verbal messages when on a phone?
Actually, you don’t. But you do sense many verbal indicators and you can hear those loud and clear. And consider this…a typical part of leadership coaching is improved communication skills. If you are saying something with your body, but not being forward about it in your words, you are not communicating effectively. Coaching clients learn to pick up on their feelings and mannerisms and articulate them into words. A terrific leadership skill.
Granted – I very much enjoy meeting my coaching clients face-to-face at least once during the initial coaching series. This can often be done if the client is local.
Then is there an overwhelming advantage to telephonic coaching?
And the Answer:
You bet! Think how much easier it is to schedule a phone call versus a face-to-face call. All you have to do is be near a phone, in a comfortable quiet place. Sitting in your car is great – convenient, quiet. (preferably not moving…)
And…if you are concerned with others observing seeing someone entering your office, no need for anxiety there. You are on a telecon.
And what I find to be a marvelous advantage, lack of non-verbals. There is something more casual and relaxed about a phone call. I don’t have to worry about my business suit looking up-to-snuff, and you can have unpolished shoes. You could even be wearing those fuzzy slippers that you love. Now in our tranquil state, we can really hone in on what you are saying. Really really listening to you. You will find that your listening skills advance.
Expect your coach to talk less than you.
A coaching session is largely a question-driven interaction, and the coach is asking the focusing questions. You are in self-discovery mode or in problem-solving mode. You should be contributing to the progress of your development by talking through situations and outlining needs.
If this is not the case, you may be getting a consultant not a coach.
Be prepared to do at least a little of the prep work.
The coaching session is for you and about you. (This is actually the best part…time dedicated to yourself, like a personal respite). To make it time best-spent for you, have your agenda lined out. Identify something you want for yourself. See the next note though…
If you do not have a focused topic or two to bring up in your coaching sessions, do not expect the world to change for you.
But know also that you can begin a coaching session without a clearcut idea of where to start. It is not unusual to start a session without specifically articulating the heart of the topic or the outcome you need. Often you can get there in the first ten minutes of discussion, especially if the coach is adept at inquiry.
Expect your coaching sessions to evolve over time.
They may have a natural ebb and flow to them, based on what you have hoppin’ at that time. Some sessions may be about tactical matters, while others may project far into the future.
Expect to learn about yourself.
Much of it you may have known, at some obscure level, but when you start working through it vocally, it cultivates into something with an intended direction.
A quick sense of how you may grow with coaching…
As a litmus test, look back 10 years ago at what you thought you knew about yourself at the time. Compare that to where you are now. You may call your past-self naive or less-refined.
Now look to the future and imagine what you could become, with the same growth curve you have experienced in the past. Then, envision coaching accelerating that growth curve, and arriving at that next-level in half the time.
YES! That’s what you can accomplish.
Most coaches will offer a free initial session to get comfortable with the process.