How do I get the most out of coaching?

I had a real shock last week when a client confessed she felt she wasn’t ‘good at coaching’ – by which she meant she wasn’t living up to her version of being a model coachee. It hadn’t occurred to me that clients might feel like this. 


“M” is a professional woman with a high-powered job, working long hours. There are extra demands on her time in terms of further qualifications to pursue. She’s a perfectionist and sets herself really high standards.


After seven sessions and with five more to go, she was annoyed with herself for not always committing to some of the assignments or employing the tools I’ve shared.


But the beauty of coaching is that although commitment and accountability undoubtedly help you make progress towards change and transformation, there are no rules about what you must do. You are in charge! You may choose to deviate from the original issue which you brought to your sessions. You can select the tools and resources which you most closely resonate with and reject the others. 


I am merely here to challenge you on your thinking, to draw out your underlying beliefs and to help you discover what might be holding you back. 


I am here to reflect back the wisdom and the answers that you already have deep within you. They may be so deeply buried that you can’t access them without my powerful questioning. 


I am here to keep you moving forwards even when (in fact, especially when) you feel the most resistance. But I can promise there will never be force or duress.


In the case of my client, we started to reflect on what changes have taken place so far. She realised that the main benefit of coaching for her is that she is now far more aware of her thoughts, beliefs and behaviours. This awareness is helping to determine the choices she makes and the actions she takes. She is now speaking up for herself in work, allocating time for fun with friends and getting much clearer about the direction she wants her life to take in the future. 


She has noticed an increased confidence when presenting cases to her peers and superiors. She now embodies that in her posture and demeanour. As she walked to the auditorium recently, she was listening to music she has selected which helps get her into the ‘Queen’ energy and she realised it was really working! She stood powerfully in her Queen energy and gave a flawless presentation. So she snapped a selfie to send to me! I always encourage my clients to ‘brag’ about their wins, no matter how small. I believe it’s so important to celebrate every tiny achievement and milestone along the way. 


So what advice can I give to help you get the most out of coaching?  It doesn’t really matter what your reasons are for taking up coaching, all of these will apply: 


  1. Respect the investment you’ve made in your personal development – you’ve taken the brave step of deciding to focus on yourself, so commit to that belief that you are worth it.

    2. Identify your goals or the intentions you wish to set – also be prepared for each session, otherwise we’re just chatting!

    3. Be open and honest – don’t tell me what you think I want to hear! There is no judgement from me, so please be prepared to speak truthfully – you’re only fooling yourself otherwise. Also, be reassured that strict confidentiality applies to everything you say.

    4. Be prepared to be challenged and accept any emotions which may come up – yes I will take our conversations into depths you may never have gone to before and this may make you feel uncomfortable. But long-term suppression of emotions is often the root cause of the issues we’re facing now. Be reassured that your coaching session is a safe, non-judgemental space.

    5. Be open to suggestions, but know that you have the power to choose – don’t be a people pleaser! Don’t think you have to say yes to all my suggestions. We work in partnership to create the best experience for you.

    6. Keep a journal – notice what triggers different emotions, record your wins and challenges each week, monitor progress and track change.

    7. Don’t make excuses – if you agreed to an assignment, I’ll hold you accountable. Excuses are for people who aren’t committed and they don’t achieve the same level of transformation.


    8.  If you don’t like the sound of an assignment – say so. I’ve always got something else up my sleeve that you might relate to more readily.


Hopefully this has been informative and reassuring for you if you’ve ever wondered about coaching, but just weren’t sure. If you’d like to explore how coaching might benefit you and have questions, just book a call for a no-obligation chat: here.


You may not know what you need from coaching. Perhaps you just know things aren’t right at the moment. I’d love to help. I can guide you from a place of dissatisfaction to contentment and fulfilment.



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© Dr Jo Baldwin   |   Website by The Good Alliance