Coaching: The Wrap Up


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This coaching 101 series has covered:

  • Top three positive messages about coaching.
  • Top three uncomfortable components of coaching.
  • How goal setting is different in coaching.
  • What really happens in a coaching session.

This fifth and final article about when and how coaching concludes.

When: The duration of a coaching engagement

Coaching comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and time spans.

1. The jumpstart: 3-6 Months
  • To get “un-stuck,” to get traction or acceleration.
  • To assess values and align priorities.
  • To maximize motivation and accountability.
  • To jump back in as needed; former clients revisit with new goals, new roles, new challenges.
2. The corporate investment: 6-12 months

Contractually the company is the “sponsor” and the “client” is the individual being coached. In accordance with ICF coaching ethics and as defined by contract confidentiality with the “client” is maintained. These engagements are highly prized with a wait list of candidates in the internal L&D pipeline to replace those who complete coaching.

3. The corporate special project: 1-2 sessions

Senior executives sponsor an issue driven group session with a mini-coaching package for each attendee. This combines economy of scale in a group setting with the experience and possibilities of 1:1 coaching.

4. The partnership: Years

Growth is a never ending journey. Clients engage across multiple roles and organizations, through new seasons of life.

How: The wrap-up meeting

Whatever the duration of the engagement, this is the final meeting agenda:

1. How do accomplishments map to engagement goals?

2. What changed because of coaching?

3. What remains in progress and/or what next?

4. What is the plan for achieving “next” post coaching?

* In corporate programs the client’s manager participates in the final meeting. Ideally coaching continues in new forms. a) The client will utilize their manager as a coach. b) Clients inevitably become better leaders of their own teams, incorporating coaching methodologies into their own management style.

* Long term clients reset goals each year. Some pick a “theme” for the year to illuminate purpose and passion.

The meeting wrap is a value assessment. In some cases there is a clear ROI calculation, or measurable outcome. But often energized intentions and unleashed possibilities are less clearly captured on a financial spreadsheet. I was once told by a CEO that the single measure of engagement success was retention of a valued employee careening toward burnout. Whatever the case, though engagements “end” personal growth is never complete. Clients go forth with a posture of curiosity and an “opportunity lens.”

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