Coaching is More Than the Coaching Sessions
By Cathy Liska
During coach training, the focus is on how to prepare as a coach and how to manage coaching sessions. Coaches learn to be a sounding board and to support client planning. Coaches practice checking in on progress and affirming the client.
What a coach does during a coaching session is also a modeling of communication and people skills. For clients, the experience of these skills and the observations of the coach means enhancing their own skills. Experiencing the effective communication creates awareness and leads to the application of the skills. The way a coach listens, rephrases, asks questions, maintains focus, empowers exploration and planning, and partners for accountability demonstrates a positive, proactive approach. In addition to being the client and going through the process, which itself provides tremendous value, the client is also learning skills.
An added element to explore is what happens between coaching sessions. There is the obvious, the use of the action plan. There is more too – client awareness of how they approach their conversations, interactions with people, and follow-through is an additional learning and growth opportunity. Clients experiment with different approaches based on what they observed during coaching sessions. Reflecting back on this with a coach during a coaching session adds value. The benefits continue with client reflection and a different way of thinking.
Coaching certification prepares a coach as a professional. Coach preparation empowers a client during coaching sessions and also in between coaching sessions.