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How to Prepare for a Coaching Session

Thinking about looking into coaching? Coaching is a multi-million-dollar business, and it seems like there is a coach for everything these days. Without the coaches I’ve worked with I would not be on the path I am today. So, for those of you who haven’t yet worked with a coach you might be wondering what you need to bring to the table when working with a coach. Below I will go over what coaching is, what it is not, what you as the coachee needs to bring with them, and how to prepare for a coaching session.

It is important to understand what coaching is and is not, so you come into a coaching relationship with the proper expectations. First coaching is not the same as counseling or therapy. Where counseling and therapy often deal more with past life issues and trauma and how to heal the patient, coaching works with the coachee to help bring clarity to their life as it is now and helps them to get laser focused on their goals for the future and the steps they will take to succeed. Whether that be to be a better parent, a thought leader in your industry, or even just to like themselves more coaching spends more time in the present and the future than the past.

Though coaching may well touch on your past wounds or habits and reasons for those habits, a coach is not trained to help someone through past trauma or mental illness. In fact, coaches are trained in when they should stop their coaching relationship and refer their coaches to more of a therapy-based approach if the need arises.

So, now that we know what coaching is and is not, let’s get into the particulars. What does a potential coachee need to consider before they search for their perfect coach? First and foremost are you ready for positive change in your life, and are you ready to put in the work to get there?

See, when I think of coaching, I see two people walking down a beach side by side. If the

two people at the top of a mountain celebrating the journey

person on the right turns toward the surf, so does the person on the left. If the person on the right heads toward the boardwalk, so does the person on the left. At no time will the person on the left (the coach) take the lead or direct the person on the right as to where to go.

A coach’s job is not to tell you what you must do to change. A coach will guide you in your journey to bring clarity to you about where you are at and where you want to go. Sure, a coach will have activities and possibly homework, but it is not their job to tell you what comes next in your life. It is their job to lead you to the answers and outcomes that you and the coach decide upon when you begin your journey.

If you are not ready to do the work and answer the hard questions it isn’t yet time for you to find a coach. If I am working with a client and they have excuse after excuse for why they “can’t” change something, then that client may not yet be ready to give up their old habits, mindsets, and patterns to take the leap to change. Change is hard. And because change is hard the coachee or client must be prepared for hard work.

Once you feel that you are in a place where you want to make positive change in an aspect of your life, but you may not be sure what is holding you back, but you are ready

to do the work, then it is time to search for your perfect coach.

In 2021, I see my clients through whatever technology platform works for them. Also, given ideal client is a writer who wants to work on their mindset, they are often not in my backyard. Through the internet I can connect with writers all over the world which has changed my life as a coach. However, that also means that as a coach I have little control over the environment on the other end of the camera. I can’t guarantee a quiet space for my client, or a regulated temperature, etc. So, what I do is give my clients a list of things they must

Frenchie puppy with a rain hat, rain boots, and an umbrella. Ready for anything

do to come to a coaching session ready to do the work. The following is a list of things I request of all my clients:

1. Make sure they are in a quiet space free from outside noise and distractions as much as possible. This means that your dining room table when you have a span of two hours that you will be the only person home is fine, but that same dining room table after the kids get home, and your husband is due home at any moment may not be appropriate.

2. Leave your other devices and computers tabs shut down for ten minutes before to ten minutes after the session time. This is to respect the coaches time and to respect the time you have set aside to do this deep work to benefit your future self. A coaching session is not a time to multi-task.

3. Guarantee your own comfort. To abide by rule one, are you hiding in your closet? On a hard floor, with no air? Or are you sitting in a coat shivering on the back porch in the winter? You cannot concentrate on your goals when your physical needs are not being met. Before your session setup the area around you with those things to keep you comfortable. Do you need fan? A sweater or blanket? Is your chair comfortable? Maybe a pillow would be nice. Make certain you have your space set up so that you will be able to give everything to the session.

4. This one is a double-edged sword if you are a middle-aged woman, but you will have to find your own balance. Make sure you are hydrated. When your body experiences even a slight dehydration your brain will not function as it should. Make sure you have water or the beverage of your choice at hand. Deep work can make you thirsty. On the flip side, make sure you have gone to the bathroom before you sit down for your session as well.

5. Your coach no doubt will instruct you to what you need for materials, but I would assume at the least you will need a pen and paper or journal. If you had homework from the previous session, make sure that gets to the coach when they requested it. For me I always ask for the homework and your reflection of it get to me at least three days before a session so that I can go over it and have an idea of what to focus the session on that is coming up. If a client does not follow through, then the coach is left to try and catch-up taking time from the session to move forward. This goes back to being ready to do the work. You are still paying for the coach’s time regardless if you are doing the work or not.

6. Also, if meeting with a coach is something that you will do regularly, know what days you will be available to schedule the next coaching session. Know your appts. Events, and other dates so that the scheduling is efficient and less apt to be canceled.

7. Take some time before your session begins to get in the right frame of mind. Leave some room to light a candle, maybe do some deep breathing and let the worries of the day, and everything else fall away and open you up getting clarity. I suggest to my clients that they get settled at least fifteen minutes before their session and go over your notes, or goals that you and the coaching are working on. Look over your homework to become familiar again with your outcomes. A session will have a much different vibe than if you had to hurry into the room and throw on the camera, just as you sluff off your coat from grocery shopping.

8. Last, but the most important, make sure you bring an open mind to your session. A coaching session has no room for words like Can’t. Remember why you are there and what you want to accomplish and ask yourself before every session; Am I going to get

where I want to by holding onto those things that have not worked for me in the past?

A gold fish ready to leap into a bigger bowl

Coaching can be life changing and transformational, but the coachee/client must be ready to accept ownership of the change they want to see and allow the coach to guide them into better habits, mindsets, or routines.

Do you work with a coach already? What are your suggestions for preparing before a session? Tell me in the comments.

If you are a writer or anyone working in a creative field and you are stuck, not writing, or have lost the joy you once had, I’d love to chat with you about how to get you back into that joy mode and producing again like you never have before! Let’s chat!

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