Follow-up Coaching Meetings
What happens after the first discussion? What should the next meeting involve and what do coaches do in follow up meetings?
Here are some different types of follow-up discussions that take place after the initial coaching discussion:
- Review of the last discussion and determining the progress that was made
- Discussing a current business or personal challenge that has emerged since the last meeting
- Dealing with a problem, issue, or concern
- New opportunity for career advancement
- Lack of progress or improvement
- Lost focus and using avoidance
One of the most important steps in conducting a follow-up coaching meeting is planning. Review the notes from the last coaching session and identify what was discussed and what are the expectations, agreements, and commitments by both parties. Next, create an agenda for the follow-up meeting. Define the purpose of the meeting, identify what are the expected outcomes, resources needed, when you will meet, and how much time is needed. Define what actions will take place, define what questions you will ask, determine how you will provide guidance, what follow-up was completed and with who, how was progress measured, and what feedback is needed. Identify the key points that will be covered in the session, how you will summarize the session, and gain their commitment to next steps. Finally, identify how you will close the session to plan the next meeting, provide encouragement and confidence, and discuss how you will follow up.
In addition to planning before the meeting, you’ll need to prepare yourself to determine what the client needs from you. How will you open the conversation, ask discovery questions, be present when the person is talking and provide space for them to open up? How will you show authenticity and genuineness, know when to take the conversation deeper? To help the client go deeper, you have to discover what you already know about what the client is saying – pay attention to their tone of voice, their experience, thoughts, feelings, statements, facts, patterns, a challenge word they shared that informs you what is on their mind.
The key to effective coaching in follow-up discussions is giving clients the space to open up. By being curious, and using effective listening you will be to discover what you already know and capture their words – “I hear what you are saying” or “What are you feeling right now?” To take the conversation deeper – “You feel this way and wish you could change it or make it different. What would that look like for you?” Then pause and let them reflect and process.
Look for the listening moments – “I heard what you said, what was that experience like for you?”
“Why” is a research question. “What” shows curiosity. Here’s an example: “I’m curious, what did you do to solve that problem?” “What,” asks what do we want to discover? “What is your relationship with your VP?” “What do you think you are really good at?”, “What do others think you are good at?”.
Here’s a tool you can use to plan your coaching discussion:
Coaching Discussion Guideline
|Steps in the Discussion||Questions||Notes|
|Open the discussion, build rapport, set expectations, norms||Thank them for their time, ask a personal interest question or share a personal story, ask what they’d like to get out of the meeting and how you can help. Determine what you both need to do to make this a productive meeting.|
|Summarize what happened since the last meeting||Review your notes and ask them to share their progress or current challenge|
|Identify the need – What is the focus question that needs to be answered||Ask them what their concerns and needs are at the present time. Review their progress and determine what they would like to focus on.|
|Check assumptions – what are their beliefs about the situation||Explore their rationale for what is happening and the reasons|
|Define the real issues -Take the conversation deeper by asking What questions||Determine what barriers or constraints, or fears might stand in the way|
|Clarify their concerns||Ask if they have any concerns or questions|
|Identify what actions will be taken||Ask what actions they will take and what they’d like to change|
|Summarize what was discussed and seek agreement||Review the discussion, progress, provide feedback, ask for feedback, ask if they agree|
|Close for the next meeting and follow-up||Build confidence and show faith in their ability to be successful|
The key to success in conducting a follow-up coaching session is to review what happened the last time and create an agenda to plan for the coaching session. Makes sure to prepare yourself as the coach and be interested in what the client is saying. Listen carefully to capture the words they are saying and be present. Help them take the conversation deeper by asking focus questions – What would you like to talk about today? What prevents you from addressing that issue? What would you like to change?
Finally, use a template to guide the conversation so you can focus on what the client is saying and effectively capture their words. Ask effective coaching questions to get the client to go deeper.
Dr. Nancy Zentis is the Chief Strategist and CEO of Institute of Organization Development. IOD offers online certification programs in Organization Development, Talent Management, HR Business Partner, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, and Professional Development workshops for ongoing learning. As a consultant in the field of OD for many years, Dr. Zentis has developed Talent Management and Leadership Development Strategies for many leading organizations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about our certification programs and short courses, please visit our website www.instituteod.com.
IOD offers an online Executive Coaching Certification Program (ECCP) to help coaches advance in their career and build their reputation as an effective coach. This program provides participants with the tools and skills needed to develop an integrated executive coaching strategy.
The Executive Coaching Certification Program (ECCP) is offered online over 8 months, meeting 3 hours per month to maximize your development as an Executive Coach. Each session is delivered live through Go-to-training. Our expert faculty provides interactive discussions, examples, tools, guidelines, and resources to enrich your learning. For more information, visit our website www.instituteod.com.