Free Coaching Template For A Productive Session
Make your coaching sessions matter. Use our interactive and intuitive coaching templates to help run effective sessions and support your clients.
Whether it’s in the realm of career coaching or life coaching, coaches play a powerful role in their clients’ lives. As a coach, you’re in a unique position to help your clients achieve their most ambitious professional and personal goals. That’s why it’s so important for you to be equipped with the right coaching tools to help you thoughtfully plan out your coaching sessions.
Benjamin Franklin had it right when he said that failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and a little bit of preparation can go a long way in making sure you and your clients are on the same page. That’s why we’ve prepared this digital coaching template to make it easier than ever to map out sessions, objectives, and outcomes without the headache of traditional PDFs.
This article will explain:
- How to create a coaching plan
- How to use the coaching plan template
- How to structure a coaching session
- What are the key elements of coaching
- How to kick off your coaching session
- What makes a good coaching session
How to create a coaching plan
Coaching plans are the foundation of your relationship with your client—whether you’re a life coach, personal or professional development coach, or leadership and business coach. All of the work you do together must be built on a solid foundation with an end goal in mind in order to be meaningful and productive.
You wouldn’t start building a dream house without pouring a solid foundation first, so why would you start working towards your clients’ dreams without an action plan? But it doesn’t need to be as labor-intensive as building a house. It’s just a matter of having the right coaching tools.
What is a coaching plan?
Your coaching plan is a framework for your client, giving you space to discuss and decide on goals together. It’s your way of saying ‘here’s what I can help you achieve, how I’ll help you do it, and the work you’ll have to do on your own to get to the finish line.’ They’re just as important for professional development or leadership coaching as they are for life coaching and personal growth.
Coaching plans encourage you to think about each new client’s journey, and which techniques you’re going to use to support them along the way. It also offers space for you to communicate with your client about their thoughts on how you can best help them. Beyond establishing goals and expectations, they also help you keep track of client progress during their sessions and across the span of your time together.
What needs to be in your coaching plan
You’ll likely have different preferences about how your plans are organized or expressed, but most coaching plans share five common elements:
Goals are the cornerstone of a coaching practice. This is where you learn what your clients want in their lives and careers, and how you can do your part to help unleash their potential. Goals are as unique as the people who dream them up, but within a coaching program, they must follow the SMART structure:
- Specific - Hone in on the details
- Measurable - How will you know if this goal has been achieved?
- Achievable - Challenging goals are great, but they still need to be something you can realistically accomplish.
- Relevant - Think about the big picture. Why are you setting the goal that you’re setting?
- Time-bound - Deadlines make a difference.
Your coaching plan should outline how many sessions you’ll have and how often you’ll meet for the duration of your relationship. Beyond setting parameters and avoiding confusion with your client, this will also help you set realistic goals and timelines together.
Once you’ve agreed upon the desired big picture outcome of your coaching engagement, you should set incremental objectives for each individual session.
Coaching isn’t a solo performance. It’s a duet that depends on your client’s voice as much as yours. Much of the meaningful progress is made in the moments when you’re not present in their day-to-day life.
Your coaching plan should cover the client’s responsibilities for any work that you expect them to do between your sessions. Use your individual session goals in section two to assign homework. Give your client a clear breakdown of what they need to do prior between the sessions in order to be successful.
Are there really any wins if we can’t identify and celebrate them? That’s why your coaching plan should include a way to track the progress being made. Including a progress tracker to specifically monitor client’s progress in terms of goals set for each individual session and the bigger goals helps to maintain motivation, flag momentum concerns, and celebrate the milestones along the journey.
How to use the coaching plan template
Our coaching template is designed to provide enough structure to successfully guide your sessions while also being flexible enough to accommodate your unique coaching practice and your client’s goals. It’s an interactive tool built with continuity in mind, letting you pick up where you left off after the last session, which is key to long-term coaching engagements. It’s more intuitive than a fillable PDF and allows more visibility into your client’s goals and learnings.
The first section is designed to help you outline your coaching plan. What do you and your client hope to accomplish over the course of your time together? How are you going to help them achieve their goals?
The second section is a template that you can use to outline all of your individual sessions with your client. Fill in the blanks with your target objectives, commitments, and meeting notes, and track your progress from session to session.
As you work together using this template in a Wobo digital workbook, you can see your client’s updates in real time, meaning no more emails back and forth of dated documents. When you finish the coaching engagement, your client can then download the workbook PDF in full to keep and reflect on.
Supercharge your coaching today. Take our Business Leadership template for a spin to get started.
How do you structure a coaching session?
Establishing a defined coaching session structure will not only help keep you on track, it also helps your clients feel comfortable. A solid framework will help your clients find their flow because they’ll know what to expect.
More pragmatically, following a framework for your coaching sessions means you’ll never miss an important breakthrough opportunity. Frameworks remind you of the need-to-ask questions while also making you and your service consistent, reliable, and professional.
Don’t worry–session planning isn’t about sucking the spontaneity out of your coaching. It’s about mapping out the non-negotiable elements. There’s plenty of space to tweak your template to fit the needs of your practice and your individual clients.
What are the key elements of coaching?
There are five key elements to a productive coaching session. Your session should follow a logical flow that starts with a warm up that leads into goal setting. Then you get into the meat of your core coaching conversation before defining commitments and next steps on the client’s side, and a moment for reflection.
How these elements play out in your sessions will depend on the subject area of your coaching practice, your coaching style, and what the client is trying to achieve, but this generic framework is a great starting point for all life and business coaching.
1. The warm up
This is how you set the tone and create a safe space for your client to open up to you.
How to kick off your coaching session
Just because you’re easing into the session, doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to start the work. There are two open ended questions that many coaches rely on to get the ball rolling.
“What’s on your mind?”
This seemingly innocuous question will get your client to highlight the purpose of the coaching session, whether they’re fully switched on to that or not.
“And what else?”
This keeps the conversation going and will help you move towards the nut of the conversation. It will help you uncover deeper insight while buying time when you’re discussing complex issues.
2. Goal setting
Your warm up should have indicated some areas to work on during the session. Set goals for your time together and make sure that you’re both aligned on the issue that requires work, and what the desired outcome is.
It’s game time! This is where you leverage your techniques and strategies to help your client get to the ‘aha!’ moment. Depending on your coaching style, this might be where you incorporate anecdotes, examples, role playing, roadmaps, or other resources into the session.
4. Defining commitments
The work doesn’t stop when your meeting ends. Identify the action items your client will commit to taking to help change their habits or work toward their desired goals.
It’s important to keep the session success vibes going beyond your time together. Once all the tough stuff is done, reflect on the breakthroughs you achieved together. Summarize the wins to reinforce the learnings and maintain the forward momentum.
Wobo is built with reflection and engagement in mind. Leverage Wobo’s advanced functionality to ask open ended questions for the client to add their reflections and learnings into their digital workbook. And because coaching is about continuous learning, Wobo has the unbeatable ability to pick up where you’ve left off to keep the reflection party going over long periods of time.
What makes a good coaching session?
Defining success is just as important for you as a coach as it is for your client. Not unlike during your coaching interactions, this will come down to how you answer some big questions.
Are your clients learning or moving towards achieving their goals? Do they leave the sessions feeling motivated? Are you equipping them with the tools they need to move forward? Do you have the coaching tools in place to facilitate and track the next stage of their growth?
Now that you have the coaching templates to set your coaching practice up for success, you can use your whole crayon box to color in the lines with personalization and your own signature style.
Start your free trial today with Wobo and take your coaching practice to the next level.