How do you prepare for your client sessions?

I was in a session with a client last week and she mentioned she had been feeling unprepared going into her coaching sessions. As a solution she had started blocking off a few hours on Monday to prepare for all of her sessions for the week and it wasn’t working as efficiently as she would like to.

“How do you prepare for your coaching sessions?”, she asked me. And rather than keeping it between me and her I decided to share my process more widely in the hopes it will serve you as well.

Firstly, being adequately prepared is one of the reasons my sessions are 50 minutes rather than an hour long. This gives me 10 minutes in between sessions to take care of my needs and to prepare for my upcoming client.

My clients are very understanding of the ‘shorter’ sessions because they understand that the 10 minutes that they are ‘missing’ on the back end of our sessions is gained on the front end of the session when I am using the 10 minutes before their session to prepare for them.

What specifically do I do to prepare?

Firstly I review my client notes from previous sessions. While I am looking over the notes I am asking myself questions such as:

  • Is there anything important from prior sessions that I would like to bring up in this upcoming session?
  • What is the larger outcome or outcomes that they contracted me to support them to achieve and are we on track for that?
  • If yes, what can we celebrate and if no, what are my thoughts on how to proceed?
  • Did they email me anything in between the session that I would like to add to their notes, celebrate with them, or ask followup questions around?
  • Did I have any insights about them and our work together that I would like to bring up in this upcoming session?
  • Did they have any homework, tasking, assignments, or action items I need to hold them accountable for?

I also take a few moments to use the restroom, get a glass of water, and to get myself into my best mental-emotional state for the upcoming session. This includes making sure to ‘leave my own stuff at the door’ so I can show up cleanly for my client and I get myself into a state of curiosity and ‘being of service’ amongst other mental-emotional states.

Because I have been professionally coaching for over a decade I very rarely (and I mean very very rarely) do any specific study or practice for a particular client session. That being said, if you are earlier in your development it is probably wise to schedule some time every week for training, practice, and skill development for any upcoming sessions.

My only caveat regarding studying is to beware of spending too much time preparing or studying for a particular session unless you believe that study will be useful in many of your future client sessions. If the studying won’t deliver a long term return on investment then I would question if it is truly necessary, or perhaps if this client is a good fit for you.

So there you have it — a fairly thorough description of my process for preparing for client sessions that I have honed in on after over a decade of professional coaching from reviewing notes, taking care of my needs, and getting into my best coaching state.

If you want to deliver high-quality coaching and the quality of results that your clients can’t help but spread the word about, being well-prepared for your client sessions is a necessity and I trust this article has given you valuable insights for setting up your own systems for being proactively prepared.

On a side note, preparing for sessions is one of the sub-topics I cover in my coach mentoring programs that help coaches who are already generating revenue from their coaching business to increase their recurring business and to generate a steady flow of new clients through word of mouth every single month. We also work on the marketing, business, and sales systems as well as coaching supervision sessions to deliver consistent transformational results session after session.

If you’re interested DM me and we can schedule a quick chat to see if it’s a good fit, and regardless, I trust this article will positively impact your self, skills, and business far out into the future.

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Jason Schneider

Jason Schneider

Master Trainer of NLP, Neuro-Semantics, president of the US Institute of Neuro-Semantics & my passion is to unleash self-actualization in people & organizations