Have you ever taken time to look down a fence 100 yard fence line you put in by hand? It is a wonderful experience. When moving to the NW Indiana countryside I learned how to do many things. In Memphis I never had to handle 3-6 foot drifts of snow. I never planted 200 trees. I definitely had not build a system of pasture fencing for five acres. While I would never have imagined myself doing these things when I was young, I am very grateful for what I have gained.
After completing big projects, it is always meaningful to take a step back and see what has been accomplished. This holds true just as much for coaching sessions as it does for work around a farm. A client or student puts in a great deal of creative thought into a session. Also, clients may spend weeks or months working with a coach and then come to the realization that the coaching alliance, or relationship, has been successful. These are significant moments for the client to step back and review what has been gained from the coaching process.
Reviewing Successful Coaching Sessions and Alliances
There are plenty of reasons for taking a moment to celebrate successful coaching sessions and alliances with students and clients:
- Serve the Client – The goal of coaching is not to solve problems, but to help clients to become better people who are able to create their own solutions. Taking a moment to ask what a client has learned through a coaching session or what they are taking away from an entire coaching arrangement is a great way to help them to recognize and remember their own excellence. It is a great time for a coach to use some direct communication to acknowledge what personal character qualities were demonstrated in the session or alliances too.
- Build the Business – While this may sound like a poor reason for reviewing coaching agendas and alliances, it is still a reality. If a coach allows a client to grow through a final review and celebration at the end of a session or arrangement, that client is more likely to remember the benefits the coaching provided as a whole. The memory of a great story creates a contagious experience spreading from the client to his or her family and friends with whom they share their growth. Coaches build their business on the success of their clients. Simply put, celebrating the client’s success leads to word of mouth marketing.
- Grow the Coach – One benefit of the client reviewing sessions and coaching arrangements is easy to overlook: When a client does this type of review, the coach is able to hear how they have served the client well. This isn’t a moment to pat oneself on the back. It is a moment to recognize that the work of the coach is valuable, that the approached used in one session had a particularly strong impact or that the coach has helped a person develop a more significant legacy. All of this is an encouragement to the coach’s mission and passion, and when coaches are mission-driven and passionate they are better coaches for their other clients.
How to Celebrate Coaching Success
Coaches can use a variety of questions to help a client reflect on the value of a session. Experienced coaches stay in the role of a coach during this part of a session. It was a great agenda! That was such deep exploration! We had clear and meaningful action steps! After all that great coaching, it is easy for new coaches to step into the role of a reviewing robot. A robotic review dumps information back onto the client. Good coaches avoid doing the robot.
Below are some simple ways to review a coaching session or coaching alliance with a student or client:
- How well did we address your agenda for today?
- What are you taking away from our session?
- How have you seen yourself grow through this process?
- At the beginning of working together, you wanted _______ from our coaching alliance. How have you done in reaching for this goal?
- What have been the biggest highlights from our coaching arrangement these past few months?
- What do you want to celebrate most because of this experience?
These celebrations are helpful for a coach’s bottom-line. More importantly celebration gives a client an opportunity to lean on the fence posts. They get to enjoy what they have built with you knowing their life has changed for the better.