Whether you're a new coach excited at the prospect of booking in your first client or a coach with many, many client hours logged and reams of notes and accolades – all coaches need a training regime to keep them match fit. It's part of their professional life and routine. To be at the peak of your game you need routine training and you need a coach or coaching mechanism to help you improve your game.
A review can reveal if tactics are sufficient to go to the next level. And that could be from your point of view or from the client's point of view. Similarly something that's been working ok but not great may need more practice and attention to get the best results.
A coach builds time to reflect into their professional routine. Taking note of what went well, what seemed to stall, possible areas to explore in the next session. As well as questions to raise at the next peer group or supervisory session.
So how do you review your coaching skills? What mechanism or programmes do you have in place? A professional coach will review notes or consolidate observations from the client session almost immediately afterwards. These same coaches will review progress with clients on a regular basis as part of the client session. As your coaching practice grows you will also find yourself reviewing your client practice as a whole - reviewing, on your own or with a supervisor, progress with all your clients as a single entity.
This type of regular audit is an excellent way to do a health and fitness check of your coaching skills. You will find yourself observing perhaps that a particular intervention seems to get better results with some clients than others. Without the review or audit you might not make this observation or be in a position to address it. Having noted what appears to be an anomaly gives you the opportunity to reflect on what the critical factors could be; and then put into practice systematic changes to the way you work.
Over time you may find that the clients coming to you have the same or similar issues. This is usually a demonstration of your competency as a coach and a credit to your professional coaching skills. And because you are regularly using these skills, they consistently get good results.
As a conscientious practitioner you will also want to revisit skills you may not be using that often. You could choose to include targeted sessions with your supervisor, working formally or informally with your coaching peers and self-reflection. It’s worth exploring where you get the best results from these three in various combinations or on their own.
There are many ways to review and refresh your coaching skills – the important bit is that you have a framework that works for you. And you use it regularly.