Take notes and track progress
Supporting the people we work with to become more self-sufficient is a key aim of coaching, so it can be really helpful to agree early on, on how the discussions that take place during a coaching session will be captured and tracked. But is it as simple as asking your clients to just bring a pen and take notes or do you have some other options?
It’s true that the super simple approach is to just ask your clients to bring a pen and paper to their session so they can quickly jot down some bullet points or take notes. This will help them record what was said, act as a reminder for key discussions that take place and can be a really helpful nudge so they remember what progress they agreed to make between sessions.
And if your clients do take notes, they can also be used as a helpful way to start the session as a way of reviewing what was discussed and agreed upon when you last talked. And then again at the end of each session so you both agree on what they will work on or try to achieve before you see them next.
However, we know that some clients may not be fully motivated to take notes or really invest goodwill and/or have the necessary energy required to succeed in this type of task. And you don’t want the coaching session to feel like an extension of the working day where your clients feel like they are being given tasks and constantly monitored as this can have a big impact on any success they are trying to make. So it’s important to think carefully about how you introduce the idea to take notes if this is something you think would work well alongside your current coaching style.
One approach could be to discuss it as a way of building autonomy and hopefully eliminating the need for ongoing or long-term external assistance. Another idea could be to discuss the benefits of writing things down during the session as a way of anchoring key information into their brain as an experience so they can recall it more easily. And don’t forget, many of your clients will be making full use of technology within their working day, so it can be helpful to explore how they would normally make notes or capture tasks at work and see if this could work for them as part of the coaching process.
But regardless of what approach you do take, see if asking a client to take notes will help them capture, track and complete any activities between your coaching sessions. As it may just help open up a much deeper discussion that enables you to explore a wider range of ideas and topics with your clients during your coaching sessions.
As a professional coach, it’s important for you to also take notes and ensure you are keeping track of any progress, completed tasks or the tasks they agreed to focus on to support them achieve their goals. However, your clients should not rely on you or any notes you take to remind them about the things they should be doing or any of the things discussed and agreed upon at previous coaching sessions.
And if empowering your clients to take control and learn to be autonomous is something you would like to support them to do, helping them to take notes in a more formal or structured way can be achieved by introducing something like a coaching logbook. They can be fully adapted and structured to fit alongside your coaching style and act as a guide as you work through different phases of the coaching process.
Benefits of a coaching logbook:
- Helps clarify the different stages within the coaching process
- Used at the start of a session to review past actions and for keeping track on progress
- Used at the end of the session to sum up the discussion and agree any follow up
- Permanent written document to help anchor information in the brain
- Professional record of their coaching experience
- Gives you additional content and a commercial advantage over your competition
To help you fully support your clients, we have created a kit that includes two different coaching logbooks. And they can be fully adapted to mirror your coaching style, help guide your clients through the coaching process and prompt deeper discussions:
- Kit : Coaching Logbooks – Fully support your clients with these coaching logbooks. Exclusively designed to help track progress during their coaching sessions. The kit has an executive coaching logbook and a general coaching logbook.
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