A Blue Print for Being An Amazing Coaching Client – Want to know how to get the best from coaching? Read my short case study…
Jane was highly stressed, losing sleep and hair. When I met her first, she was pale, had tired grey rings around her eyes and looked visibly hunched. Whilst her managers were very happy with her work, I heard that she felt she was really struggling with her workload, taking a lot of responsibility onto her shoulders, finding it difficult to be visible, to speak up and have courage in her own worth and opinions. At our intake session, she opened up in a way that she told me she had never experienced before. Her initial focus for coaching was very clear – work/life balance, if it was one thing that she wanted to achieve in her programme, that was it – other areas for growth were secondary.
Right from the word go, Jane had an extremely positive attitude to her coaching. She took every single resource offered, books, articles, websites, videos and ran with them. She even found her own resources – podcasts, apps and websites that spoke to her agenda. Time and energy were invested in coaching assignments, she reflected on resources and gleaned her own insights which she brought to each session. We remained connected by email between sessions and so her growth was continually on her agenda.
Work life balance was sorted very early on – Jane set better boundaries, was leaving work on time, doing regular exercise, eating better and had better sleep hygiene. These seemed simple things and yet they created the foundation of resilience needed to also grow in other areas, in visibility and courage. She found ongoing ways to monitor and maintain her sense of well-being.
As the programme progressed, Jane had reached a view that she had many possibilities open to her, she didn’t need to be stuck at all. It became clear the type of future work that aligned most with her values, interests and strengths as well as her financial needs. She got to know all of who she was as a person and revived parts of herself that seem to have been lost – parts of her that were more positive, open and outgoing.
At the end of the programme she was positively radiating energy, standing tall with a noticeable and striking presence. Her hair loss had stopped, she was sleeping better and she has a plan to sustain the changes. Her whole way of experiencing the world and relating to others has changed. Colleagues, managers and direct reports have calibrated these changes by offering unsolicited feedback. She was given a spot bonus too for her performance at work.
Now at this stage, I’d love to bathe in the reflected glory of her progress. But the truth is a good coach is a vessel for personal and professional growth. From this experience, I’d like to offer a list of real reasons that this client achieved such amazing results, so that future clients can get a sense of how to get achieve maximum value through working with a coach. Here’s a blue print of best practice for the coaching client:
- Be ready for and open to coaching
- Take clear ownership of the coaching programme
- Mutually agree a clear focus for coaching and expectations
- Meet often – bi weekly sessions are a good option to keep momentum up and accelerate progress
- Be brave – transformational coaching requires courage – it isn’t always comfortable
- Invest time and energy in the process habitually– a lot of work happens between as well as during sessions including:
- Preparing for sessions and reflecting on them to harvest insights
- Working on assignments, using, absorbing and reflecting on resources
- Capture thoughts and insights in writing
- Experimenting with and reflecting on new approaches, adapting to ensure congruency
- Keeping in touch with your coach, updating them with your insights and experiences
- Creating an onward plan at the end of the programme which keeps you focused and accountable to sustain changes.
Coaching is an input:output equation, you get back what you put in. So if you are thinking about coaching, or just starting a programme and want to get the best from it. Ask yourself one question – what can I do to get the most from it?