Getting ready to be coached

For performance coaching to have impact, there are some basics that need to be in place first.

This tool is for the person who’s being coached and it will help make sure those foundations are laid down.

Reading time: 4 minutes

What will it do?

Use it at the start of any coaching to check in that your mindset is right, that you’re ready to start the coaching and to prompt you to do what’s necessary to make sure you’re in good shape.

It’ll take you 10 to 15 minutes to really do it justice, with potentially a bit of follow up action if you need it. There might be some stuff in here that you’d want to share with the person you’re coaching before you get going.

Three steps to take

Get focused on the things that will make the most impact for you

1. The reason for coaching and your mindset towards coaching is pretty important. Give a rating to each of the list of statements below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being “yes, that’s absolutely true”, 1 being “no, that’s not at all true”)

True or not?!
I’m doing this coaching to improve my performance so that I can get the results that I want. I have no other agenda (e.g. I don’t see it as career coaching, relationship counselling or stress management)
My mindset is that that the coaching is for me. That means I’ll be investing lots of time and effort in to getting better and using the coaching to do that. I’m responsible for my own improvement and development – not the coach
I’m clear about why I want to be coached – my goals for the coaching
I know what approach and style I’d like my coach to take – what gets the best out of me
There’s a shared understanding that coaching is taking place (i.e. my coach knows they’re my coach!) and we’re both clear on our roles in making this work

Great. Let’s check in with these scores. If you’ve put 7 or below for 1 and/or 2, you need to have a word with yourself! You’re looking for something different than performance coaching or you’re expecting stuff to happen or be done to you. Either you need to change your mindset or accept that performance coaching isn’t for you.

2. Whatever you’ve rated yourself for Item 3, it’s a super useful exercise to check in with your goals for coaching. In the space below, write down what you see the coaching will help you achieve. It might be useful to think about what you expect to be different in your performance at the end of coaching. Get as specific as you want here. Check in with the big picture too – why you want to improve and what the end goal is. All this will be a really useful discussion for your first coaching session.

What do I want to achieve?

3. Similarly, whatever score you’ve given yourself for Item 4, get clear on exactly what style works best for you. Think about what gets the best out of you. If you’ve had a great coach before (whether in work, sport, learning a musical instrument, or it’s even a teacher or lecturer), think about what they did that really helped you learn, improve and do things differently. Then jot that down below.

My preferred coaching style

Your plan

Get a plan Stan. The basics you need to have in your plan are set out below.

Plan basics

    1. What are you going to do? This bit is easy – it’s the stuff in no 2 and 3 (Hint: Something to add here might be to chat to the person you’re coaching about some of this!)

      My actions:

    2. When are you going to do these things? You don’t have to be great to get going, but you better get going if you want to be great.

      My start date:

    3. How often will you be doing it? You’ll probably be doing this as a one off, but it could be useful to do it more often.

      Check in frequency and dates:

Get serious

The difference between having a plan and making it work is about action. So get this in your diary now. Tell the people who need to know so that they can support you and won’t just think you’re being weird. Do it now.

Remember, it’s progress not perfection. You’re looking for gradual improvement, not for Rome to be built in a day.