A little while back we conducted a survey about the biggest coaching issues people are facing, and we received some amazing feedback. The issues included time, listening to the Holy Spirit, moving the coaching process forward, finding clients, and much more. In this blog I’d like to give you a few great tips on moving the coaching process forward.


“I struggle turning clarity into action steps.”

“I get stuck helping people find a way forward.”

“Moving tough clients who want to hang onto their self-limiting beliefs.”

This is a sample of what people said. Here are three steps to help you move the coaching process forward.

Preparation: My friend Kim sends her clients an email a few days before the coaching, and it reads something like this. “Hey Bob; looking forward to our coaching session next Wednesday. Please ensure you have something you’d like to work on and have thought about it. Talk Wednesday.” Preparation like this by the coach puts the onus on the client to pre-think and thus prepare for their coaching session. They’re ready to go with something.

Prayer: Prayer before the coaching session is great preparation for the coach. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you listening ears, spiritual discernment, and a deep respectful love for the client. Check your previous client notes, and if you know their MBTI type, check out how they prefer to be coached. Take a few prayerful moments to get into their world.

Tweet: Prayer before the coaching session is great preparation for the coach @Arrow Coaching+Australia

Outcomes: The “O” in the COACH model is for Outcomes. Here is why it’s important never to rush the first part of the coaching conversation; the more thorough your work at the front end of coaching, the easier the back end will be. In fact it almost happens all by itself. I generally use two or three front end questions.

The COACH Model

  • “What would you like to talk about today?” That’s the big picture question that enables the coach to listen to the client context, their feelings, and what they deem to be their key issues. It’s a broad brush question that canvasses the client’s world. The coach can chunk down from here.
  • After a summary and feedback, I check in with question two. “So what’s the main issue for you?” or “What will benefit you most?” This gives the client the opportunity to focus on what’s important for them. It also allows them to expand one or some of their key issues with more detail, and prioritise them. We’re chunking down with sharp focus. We now have a specific issue to work with.
  • Now is the place to hone in with the outcomes question. “What would be a good outcome for you regarding “X” today?” This enables the client to think future, to begin to sketch out what they would like “X” to look like. Sometimes it is important to stay here for a while, and let the client do some creative thinking. To help them come to clarity, try:
  • “What would “working well” look like?”
  • “Who do you know who does it well?”
  • “What would an improved “X” look like?”
  • “How would “X” function in your ideal world?”

Don’t move on till you have a clear outcome. In this outcome space it is important to move the client from the problem they see, the feelings they feel, or the thing that’s not working properly. They need to articulate a positive picture of what they would like to see happening. Why? Because if they can’t see it, they can’t go there.

The work done at outcome is to understand client context and feelings, to specify key issues, and work with them to articulate precisely what they do want.

Here’s the good news. It is almost invariably the case that a good clear outcome at the beginning will make the work of awareness and course of action fall out easily at the back end. When you get a good outcome, so does your client!

– Author John Rietveld. Director Training and Coaching, Novo Coaching