David, the client, asked his coach Andrea to use a coaching session for focusing on financial statements. Previously they had worked on a personal budget and then on a departmental budget. Now David wanted to enhance his understanding of the financial statements he was expected to review and discuss in meetings. David shared that he usually did not say much because he felt his knowledge was too limited.
For the coaching session, David shared the financial statements. Andrea went through each with David asking him to explain what they meant. David said the budgeted versus actual report made sense to him simply because he dealt with that when doing his departmental budget and reports. Andrea asked him some questions and his thoughts about the variances. As David considered these and discussed them, he discovered he did have intelligent questions to ask and he built his own confidence in having the conversation. Next they looked at accrual accounting reports. David said these confused him. Andrea asked David about expenses for his department and when the expense was logged. David said he liked to plan ahead and would list an expense as soon as he knew he was going to have it. As he stated this, he realized that he was using an accrual process (wherein income is listed when earned instead of received and expenses are listed when incurred instead of when paid). Next Andrea and David looked at the balance sheet. David said it seemed like a silly document. Andrea asked David how it could be useful. David considered possibilities. He talked through how it gave a quick overview of organizational assets and liquidity. It did the same thing for debts. David reflected that it was the big picture whereas the budget versus actual report provided detail.
As they were wrapping up the coaching session focused on the financial statements, Coach Andrea asked David about his comfort level now; together David and Andrea co-created the conversation that built David’s awareness and confidence.