Preparing & Planning for Coaching – 2


What are the factors you need to consider when preparing for running a coaching session or series of coaching sessions with a direct report? Unless it’s a coaching on demand session, coaching doesn’t just happen. This means there is preparation for both of you to do ahead of the coaching session. This article covers the preparation you can ask your Coachee to do. An earlier article – ‘Preparing & Planning for Coaching’ from May – covered your preparation as the Coach.

The coaching session may be part of your monthly one-to-one with a direct report. Or it may be part of a series of coaching session you have scheduled with your direct report. I call this a coaching journey.

The coaching journey will most likely be on a chunky performance or development subject. You will have committed your time based on an expected return on coaching investment. Your direct report will also have committed their time and agreed to implement the coaching session outcomes in their daily work. Formally or informally, you have struck a coaching contract. Now you both need to work hard on adding the maximum value to the business.

What can you ask your Coachee to do to prepare for a coaching session?

Here are some ideas. It’s not an exhaustive list. Please post your comments to add to the list.

  • Goals – Tell the Coachee what your Goal is for the forthcoming coaching session. Within this framework, ask them to prepare some notes on want they want to achieve from the session. This will ensure your Coachee has thought about, and is committed to, their own Goal for the session. ¨
  • Stakeholders – Ask your Coachee to consult their stakeholders in relation to the coaching subject. You might prompt them with questions they can ask, such as “What do you expect from me/us? “How am I/we doing?” “What can we do more of or do better?” “What concerns / complaints / compliments do you have?” “What else should I/we be doing for you?” This information will prepare your Coachee to contribute comprehensively to the Reality stage of the coaching session. ¨
  • Insights – Ask your Coachee to analyse performance data relating to the coaching subject. You might prompt them with topics such as year-on-year comparisons, trends, anomalies, correlations to other factors, good news, bad news, etc. Don’t ask them to bring a mass of data to the coaching session or send it to you in advance. Ask them to come to the coaching session with their opinions and insights arising from the analysis, and what ideas they have for the future. These insights will prepare your Coachee to contribute to the Reality, Options and Way-forward stages of the coaching session. ¨
  • Business Priorities – Ask your Coachee to be ready to explain to you how the coaching subject, the team’s battle plan and the business priorities all tie together. This will enable your Coachee to connect to the bigger picture and see the context for the coaching session. ¨

Think of this list as a set of key principles rather than rules or guidelines. Lists like this work best when you use the material for inspiration and take what you want from it. The magic bit is when you come up with your own ideas and experiences and build on my list. When you do, please post your comments and share your ideas using the ‘Leave a Reply to this Post’ box below. You will need to be logged in to do this.

There is further reading in the Coaches Toolkit – see Templates / Coaching Contract and Templates / Coaching Preparation.

To comment about this article please use the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below.