How you prepare for your coaching session makes a significant difference in the success you will achieve during the session. There are two levels at which you can and should prepare: (1) Physically, or environmentally; and (2) Energetically, or spiritually. This lesson will address environmental preparation.
Your Coaching Space
The area in which you meet your client, whether you are meeting in person or on the telephone, affects both your attitude and the client’s. So take care to create a space that will nurture your coaching session.The ideal coaching space is one in which only coaching or other kinds of healing work are conducted. A separate office space away from your home is optimal. If your coaching office is in your home, set off the space from other personal activities in the house. While clients understand that many coaches offer their services in home offices, they should not be distracted by family traffic, noises like television or music, or the needs of children or pets.
Your coaching space should be clean and free of clutter or objects that represent activities or energies that distract from coaching, such as business papers or personal items unrelated to coaching. If you have a computer in your coaching space, turn it off during the session. Decorate the area with pictures, photos, or quotations aligned with peace, empowerment, and upliftment.
Post your coaching certificate or any other certificates or diplomas, as this will enhance your credibility and build your clients’ confidence. (But don’t overwhelm clients with a bunch of sheepskins, which might intimidate them.) Keep the area well lighted, preferable with natural light from windows, and well ventilated. Plants and/or flowers add a lovely touch, as well as a small feng shui fountain.
You may want to light some incense or smudge the room with sage before the client comes (but be sure that any smoke or obvious aromas have dissipated before the client enters, since some people do not like such aromas or may be allergic to them).
Add elements to your coaching space that remind you of your purpose. My mentor Carla Gordan taped a piece of paper on the handset of her telephone, with the printed phrase, “How can I help?”
Build the vibration of your coaching space by meditating, praying, or reading uplifting books or listening to inspirational audios in the space. If you feel it may be appropriate, light a candle while coaching. Do not pollute the space by watching television, reading the news, or having family or business arguments in the space.
Don’t hold your coaching session in a public place like a restaurant or bar. Never coach over a meal. Never coach over the phone while driving. If necessary or appropriate, you might meet a client outside in nature, as long as you have privacy and will not be distracted by other people or activities.
Once you establish the energy of your coaching space, the moment you step into it you will rise into an empowering vibration. As you conduct more and more sessions in your dedicated space, the accumulated positive experience will make your sessions easier and more successful.
Your clothing sends a signal your client, as well as to yourself. Choose garb in which you feel comfortable yet alert and sharp. If you are meeting your client in person, think about what messages you are communicating via your appearance. Appear professional yet relaxed. When you wear what you feel best in, you are encouraging your client to make self-supporting choices for herself. Even if your client does not see you over the telephone, you will empower yourself by dressing in ways that uplift you. Do not wear clothing that may be distracting in any way.
For your telephone sessions, use a good quality telephone that will enable you and your client to hear each other clearly. A headset is far more comfortable than a handset and relieves you of having to hold the receiver to your ear for a long period of time.
I use a Sennheiser handsfree headset I highly recommend. (“Essential Bundle”) purchased it from www.headsets.com, a company I highly recommend for its extraordinary customer service. This headset costs about $300. If you do not wish to spend that much, there are many other good options. I like this headset because it is wireless with significant range, has excellent sound quality, a comfortable headpiece, long battery life, and can be used either for telephone calls or plugged into your computer via USB for Skype.
You can also coach via Skype video. This marvelous technology allows you and your client to see each other—and it’s free! Visual coaching will enhance your experience vs. audio only. Take care of your appearance and set up your background so it is attractive, professional, and not distracting. Skype audio quality is sometimes inferior to the telephone, but if you use a Skype-appropriate headset you can get good sound. You also stand the chance of calls dropping, an annoying interruption when you have to reconnect. But the technology is improving and you can generally experience call quality equivalent to the telephone.
To enhance your clients’ experience, you can offer recordings of the sessions. I recommend www.instantteleseminar.com. This company offers high quality recordings at a small per-month price, lots of amenities, and great customer service. Clients can benefit from reviewing their session, since they might be nervous during the call or they might overlook a key element of the conversation. Clients can listen to their coaching session online or download an mp3 recording. You might want to listen to the recordings of your sessions for your own review and training purposes.
Anything you can to do create a professional, clean, focused environment for your session will contribute significantly toward the quality of your coaching sessions, client satisfaction, and your reward as coach.
1. Where do you envision doing your coaching sessions?
Describe the physical environment you intend to create:
2. If you are already doing coaching, how does your physical environment match or not match the criteria suggested above?
How might you improve your coaching environment to maximize success?
3. How much of your coaching do you intend to do via telephone?
How much in person?
How much via Skype?
4. What kind of attire would make you feel best as a coach, balancing professionalism and comfort?
5. Do you have a good telephone system?
If not, how might you improve it?
6. What other ideas do you have to create a positive environment for yourself and client?
I offer my clients an optimum environment for success.
I create a space that nurtures and uplifts me and my clients.
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.