- The coach should create a safe environment where you feel comfortable talking.
- You should decide what the agenda of the session will be. The coach should not come with its own agenda.
- The coach should ask powerful questions offering new perspectives.
- At the end of the session, the coach and you should agree on concrete actions you will take after the session.
One of the coach’s most important attributes is empathy: making you feel in a safe and confidential environment. This allows people to open up about themselves and progress. While after a few sessions the coach may have ideas about the important points to cover, a coaching session should not be led by the coach. You bring on the table what is important for you at this precise time. A good coach will be able to connect the dots and understand your triggers, fears and blind spots. The coach will be able to hear what is not said.
The coach should also gently help you move forward from where you are to where you want to be. Sometimes the coach will let you cover present issues, other times the coach may help you to focus on what matters deeply for you. A balance must emerge; each coaching relationship is different.
Action and Accountability are also at the heart of coaching. A coaching session is a simple conversation; this conversation’s purpose is to initiate decisions. The skill of the coach is to generate change, which depends on your decision making – and making a decision can take years… Once a decision emerges, action can be taken.
A decision can create external or internal changes. An internal decision could be deciding to have a more positive outlook on life. An external decision could be to wake up earlier and meditate.
The coach also supports the coachee with accountability. Your mind will likely reproduce what you have learned and done again and again. The coach aims to change the hardware; this means creating conscious repetitions of new habits. This will in time become the new you. Checking that you remain accountable for your decision is an important role for the coach. The coach will validate that you stick to what you said you would do.