With all the freedom and flexibility of running your own coaching business, a dream can come crashing down into a nightmare without a plan.
So, if you feel stuck or uncomfortable running your own life coaching session, take a deep breath and know that nothing’s wrong with you. Our Life Coach Certification Program experts can help you craft a perfect plan for your business if you feel like you need extra support.
Today, we’re going to take your perfectly normal concerns and prevent them from ever crashing your coaching sessions again.
First, we’ll break down what a reliable life coaching session looks like and how you can set them up for success. Then we’ll get into the nitty-gritty from names and icebreakers to structure and follow-up. Make sure to keep this guide handy whenever you need to cruise through a life coaching session.
What is the Purpose of a Coaching Session?
The purpose of a coaching session is to meet clients where they are, identify where they want to be, and point out the gap between the two.
From there, you’d use whatever coaching model you have in place. You support them in navigating the middle ground and meeting their desired results.
Transformational life coaching, for instance, means more than goal-setting or personal development.
As part of a transformational life coaching session, you’ll guide your clients through these goals:
1. Becoming clear about their purpose and core desires.
2. Discovering the subconscious obstacles secretly holding them back (identifying blind spots).
3. Forming a concrete, actionable plan with tools to ensure success.
Each life coaching session will help your clients better connect with their true selves and tune into their inner wisdom and intuition. Most traditional coaches don’t get that far into spiritual coaching principles.
Develop Your Plan – Questions You Should Ask
When it comes to designing your own coach session action plan, I encourage you to steer clear of a cookie-cutter approach.
The first step is to get your head in the right space. This is your coaching practice. Your coaching style.
How would you love to run things?
Here are a few questions you should be asking to get the foundation set:
How long should a coaching session be?
Naturally, this can vary. Consider whether you’re doing one-on-one coaching, group, laser coaching, or virtual workshops. A safe start is one hour, but expect the unexpected. Discussions and questions may run longer, so keep that in mind when you’re setting up times.
How often will you meet?
If you’re doing group coaching over a set period of time, usually meeting once a week works out well. However, the frequency is totally up to you and what would serve the highest good of your clients. The most important thing to keep in mind is that every program has a set duration, and that time span (whether it’s 12 days or 12 weeks) should be communicated well and clear.
How do you interact between sessions?
Make it possible for your clients to engage with you outside of your life coaching sessions. You can use Skype, Slack, e-mail, Basecamp, Asana, or whatever works best for you. Let your clients know what communication channels you’re using and set boundaries.
How To Run Your Life Coaching Sessions
If you’re taking longer than usual preparing your coaching session, don’t sweat it.
Eventually, structures and coaching strategies become muscle memory. But that takes time and practice.
Let’s look at 5 things you can do to create a successful life coaching session:
Running Your First Coaching Session in 5 Simple Steps
1. Outline a Plan for Your Coaching Sessions and Your Process.
Writing things down is always a great practice. This counts for everything from dream building to coaching. You can design your coaching relationship however you’d like, but make sure to write it out beforehand.
A popular and easy format traditional coaches use looks like this:
- Ice Breaker (2 min)
- Some possible questions to ask:
- If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?
- Share 3 things about you that make you amazing!
- If money and time were no object, what would you do for the rest of your life?
- If you could be guaranteed one thing in life, what would it be?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
- Some possible questions to ask:
- Share Successes/Updates/Progress (2 min)
- Select a Topic (1 min)
- Explore Topic (45 min)
- Review & Direct Next Steps (10 min)
- Commit to action step
- Identify key outcomes
- Explain the plan for accountability
Parts of your outline may entirely change when you actually practice your plan. Get out a timer, consider the personalities of your clients (whether they are naturally chatty or if they take some coaxing to talk), and get to a point where you feel comfortable with the flow and timing.
However you design it, remember that as a heart-centered coach, your ultimate role is to help clients tap into their inner wisdom and take action to create the results they would love!
2. Make the Connection.
At the beginning of your session, congratulate your client and remind them that “this is what successful people do! They take time to invest in themselves.” To keep the life coaching session on track, give them an expected duration of the call.
From there, introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the session. It could be something along the lines of:
- Gaining clarity on their goals.
- Gaining clarity around what changes they would love to make in their life.
- Introduce action steps that will move them in the direction of their goals.
3. Prepare Possible Questions for the Start of Your Coaching Session.
Getting your life coaching session off to a great start relies on the quality of your listening and clearly identifying your client’s longing and discontent.
Here are some great starter questions to open the coaching conversation up:
- Would you be willing to tell me, in 2-3 minutes, what’s been going on in your life over the past 3-5 years?
- What brought you to this point in your life where you said “It’s time for me to work with a life coach?”
From there, you can open the floor to evocative coaching questions and help them create a vision for a life they love:
- Where are you experiencing longing and/or discontent in your life?
- What would you do if you had unlimited resources?
- What would you try now if you knew you could not fail?
- If you knew that this was your last year on the planet, what would you start doing that you haven’t been doing? Would you stop doing what you’re currently doing?
- What am I not asking you that you really want me to ask?
- If things did not change for 3 or more years, how would that feel?
4. Create the Vision and Reveal the Gap.
In order to make meaningful change in their lives, a clear vision is key. I invite you to use this exercise to help empower your clients to talk about a life they would love:
Tell your client to “Pretend it’s 3 years from today and you’ve created your dream life.” Ask them to describe their life to you in the present tense!”
Encourage your client to be specific.
Ask them about their health and wellness, their relationships, their career, and their time and money freedom. Then discuss how the vision itself makes them feel. Repeat the feelings back to them in acknowledgment. Continue to encourage them, to memorize their feelings and hold that high, energetic state.
Then, tell them to imagine their dream is sitting in the palm of their right hand. On their left hand: their current life. In between, the gap. Ask them what they think they’ll need to bridge the gap and write down their answers.
5. Accept the Invitation to Help
At this point, your clients will welcome your help. Break down how you will help them navigate through that gap. As you close out the life coaching session, go through expectations and how you’ll be communicating with them.
A traditional coach sums up the action plan, agrees on next steps, and finally reminds them about their next session.
Great Life Coaching Sessions are All About Your Clients
How do you know that your life sessions are going well?
Check out what your clients have to say about them!
Not only are testimonials great for identifying what you’re doing well, but they’ll also point out what you can improve on.
Whether they’re a fan or a flop, feedback is gold. No one expects you to be a perfect coach, and even the most ideal clients can turn out turning sideways.
But that doesn’t indicate failure – only opportunities for growth.
As a dating and relationship coach and active transformation coach, I get great feedback from my clients all the time!
In moments like these, I feel so grateful that I answered the calling to coach and it reminds me how much I love what I do!
Successful sessions get people excited to grow, set on fire for their dreams, and confident in their progress. You help make that possible.
A smooth life coaching session makes it easier.
Looking for More Help on Crafting Your Coaching Sessions?
If you’re looking for more help on creating the best coaching sessions possible for your clients, I invite you to connect with one of our team members. They would be happy to discuss your calling in this highly profitable, high-impact career, and show you how Brave Thinking Institute’s Life Coach Certification can help!
Their specialty is in helping you explore what it takes to become a transformational life coach, determine if it’s the right path for you, and identify the easiest way to get started! Schedule a call with our team here.
To your calling,