Even though coaching is a flexible means of learning, the actual coaching sessions need to be clearly structured if objectives are to be met.
By revisiting the action plan at the beginning of the coaching session, the coachee can be motivated by their vision and goals. The specific objectives detailed in the plan become the coachee’s focus for the session and are used to ensure they understand what they will be doing, how they will do it and why.
The coach provides the coachee with a suitable environment, resources and the opportunity to learn. They support the coachee with strategies for learning and, where appropriate, demonstrations of skills or techniques. A good coach uses this time to extend and challenge the coachee, as well as keeping them on track to achieve the objectives of the session.
The coaching session is best concluded with a period of review where the coach helps the coachee summarise their understanding and the outcomes. This will enable the coach to determine the best course of action for the next session and adapt the action plan if necessary. It is also the time to set tasks for the coachee to perform between coaching sessions.
Throughout the coaching session, the coach provides the coachee with constructive feedback to reinforce desirable outcomes and help them modify their actions or responses where there is room for improvement.