How Long Coaching Takes
I have experimented with many different seminar and coaching formats, including three-hour seminars with one-to-one coaching as part of the program; full day seminars; weekend retreats; and six-day retreats. I have conducted a one-year personal mentorship program including a one-hour coaching session each month, a weekly teleseminar, and two 6-day retreats. I have also used weekly 15- and 30-minute formats. All of these designs have had successful results, each in their own way.
I have learned the most, however, from coaching on my weekly radio show, Get Real, live on Hay House Radio. In this format listeners phone in for mini-coaching sessions related to a different topic each week. The average length of time for a coaching call in this format is about five to seven minutes. To my surprise, in most cases the clients receive results, value, and aha! insights, often commensurate to those of 15-, 30-, or 60-minute sessions. After observing these results, I have come to this conclusion:
Coaching takes as little or as much time as allotted for it.
Its success depends largely on the motivation and intention of the client.
A Course in Miracles underscores, “Healing is available to you now unless you believe that the will of God takes time.” Physicist John Wheeler suggested, “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” While this may sound like a joke, it is actually a profound metaphysical truth. Manifestation of results is not a matter of time. It proceeds from readiness and intention. Some spiritual masters report that they attained enlightenment when their guru said one sentence to them, or touched them on the forehead. Healing is not as complicated as many people have made it out to be.
I have occasionally experienced a significant illumination through hearing one sentence of truth. In college I was struggling with a relationship. Around that time I was walking past the college chapel when I saw a sign that a lecture by a Buddhist monk was going on inside. I entered the chapel and heard the monk say, “All problems exist within your mind, so it is only within your mind that they can be resolved.” Upon hearing those words I realized that all of my upsets with my girlfriend were due to the way I was thinking about her, myself, and our relationship. Instantly I was liberated.
In coaching you are not a guru, but you are in a position to make statements and ask key questions that can tap the client into his own enlightened being. One statement or question skillfully placed can lead the client to everything she needs in that moment. It doesn’t have to be harder than that.
Many clients are ripe and ready to recognize what the need to learn, and some are not. On my radio show I can feel the sincerity and willingness of most callers; they seem to simply be using me and the show as a vehicle to access the understanding they have chosen. A smaller percentage of callers have some resistance or “yes, but. . .” and they do not exhibit the same profound strides. I offer all callers the same knowledge base, attention, compassion, and my intention for them to succeed. Most callers take a healthy step and some don’t. All in about seven minutes.
In professional coaching you have an advantage over a radio call-in show in that clients have more of an investment in the coaching. If they have requested a session with you, they are showing up for it, and they are paying money for it, they are more likely to create results for themselves than if the session is free or they had less investment. In some cases some clients still may have resistance, but such situations represent a smaller portion of the client population.
There is a general principle that work takes as long as the time allotted for it. If you give yourself lots of time to do a project, that’s how long the project will take. If you have to get it done quickly, that’s how long it will take. This, too, applies to coaching. It’s an interesting phenomenon to observe.
I’m not suggesting that you limit your coaching sessions to seven minutes. Indeed there is value in being with a client for thirty or sixty minutes, or meeting them repeatedly over time. In a longer session or multiple sessions you have the opportunity to get to know your clients at depth, develop your relationship with them, savor your connection, and look at their life, questions, and issues from various angles. You can also demonstrate to them that what they believe to be unrelated issues are usually tied together with one theme they are in the process of learning. Additionally, you can enjoy observing their progress and growth over time.
Time is a valuable dimension to explore because it is an illusion created by the human intellect. As an illusion it can be molded to become whatever you make of it. Whatever time you and your client choose, make the most of it. You can and will succeed in any time allotted.
1. How much time do you believe is necessary for a successful coaching session?
2. Have you ever had a moment of insight that changed you at depth?
If so, how much time did it take you to gain the insight?
How did the insight change your life?
3. Are you open to believe that successful coaching can occur in a short time?
4. What do you believe might be the advantages of coaching a client in numerous sessions over a period of time?
I can achieve successful coaching in a short time.
I enjoy rapid results with my clients.
I allow Spirit to guide the length of time required for success
with each client.
The material in this lesson © by Alan Cohen is proprietary for the education of students enrolled in
Life Coach Training Program by the Foundation for Holistic Life Coaching.
Using for any other purpose without permission is strictly prohibited.