Module 10: Follow Up on a Coaching Session
Once your coaching sessions with a client are over, your client is far from finished. The goal of your coaching is not just to help them overcome a challenge or reach short-term goals. It should be to foster in them lifelong skills they can use for future success. There are concrete methods you can use to do this.
By your last session with the client, you should create a long-term action plan with them. Walk through it together during the last session. Their action plan should include agreed upon goals and deadlines, areas to focus on and how to improve these areas, strategies and plans, resources they can use in the future, and any other specific actions they need to take.
During the course of your coaching, teach your clients how to use the methods you’re using for themselves. Root Cause Analysis, SWOT analysis, high impact questions, and many of the other techniques coaches employ can be used by anyone. As long as you’re willing to be honest with yourself, you can use these tools to further your business or personal goals. Encourage your clients to continue the habit of self-analysis and point them toward resources that will make them more self-sufficient.
One of the most important things you’ve done for a client during your coaching sessions is to provide them with accountability. They have to do what they say because you’re going to be following up. When you’re no longer there, it helps them a great deal to have someone else to fulfill that role. This person is called an ‘accountability partner.’
An accountability partner can be absolutely anyone. Their job is simply to check in with their partner (you) periodically to see how they’re doing and whether or not they’re acting in accordance with the plan. They usually do quite little actually; simply being there helps. As their coach, you may choose to connect the client with former clients of yours or point them to other places where they can easily find accountability partners.
You may choose to create a place where all of your past clients can hang out and help each other. You could form a Facebook group or coaching forum where they can all support each other. It’s good to have a membership area in your website where present and past clients have access to resources in case they get stuck. This can be thrown in as an added bonus for your coaching service, allowing you to charge more for it.
At the end of your coaching sessions with a client, it’s important for both of you to review the process and decide how well the goal was attained. This reflection is important and will allow both of you to pursue future endeavors more successfully. It’s also good to occasionally follow up with clients from the past to see how they’re doing. Not only does this build your relationship, but there may be the opportunity to sign the client up for more sessions.