What should you consider before embarking on your coaching journey?

When I’m engaged to coach someone, it’s very important to me that we have purposeful conversations and that when someone gets to the end of a coaching engagement they have made tangible, positive changes within their life.

The best way to ensure this is to start with the end in mind so the beginning of a coaching journey is always focused on defining what the ideal end state will be when the journey comes to a close.

When I work with a new coaching client who has been referred by their organisation I always start with a session which has all of the relevant stakeholders involved and we make a plan for measuring the impact of the coaching.

This is really important as too often there can be crossed purposes for why an organisation is supporting someone through coaching.

For example, the individual might be looking to improve their time management skills but the organisation is looking for them to improve their delegation skills. If the main purpose isn’t clear from the start then it will be difficult to view the coaching as impactful at the end.

To avoid these cross-purposes then I would advise all parties to think about:

  • What the organisation expects to gain?
  • What the individual being coached expects to gain?
  • What will have to happen for each stakeholder to feel that the coaching was a valuable investment?
  • How will you measure the impact?
  • How will you know if it’s working and how will you flex your approach if needed?
  • What information about the coaching will be shared within the organisation?

A mid-point review and an end-point evaluation can be used to ensure that the coaching remains on track and to measure at the endpoint if it achieved it’s aims.

The main benefit of the coaching will then be that both the individual and the organisation have achieved their aims.