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15 Ways for Coachees to Get the Most From Coaching Sessions

The nature of coaching is that it is a two-way process involving coach and client as equals; the more active a part you take in the process the better the outcomes are likely to be for you. Here are 15 practical ideas and suggestions to help you get the most from your coaching.

1. Remember it’s not the coach’s responsibility to solve your problems or achieve your goals for you 

The coach is there to support, challenge, listen, stimulate, encourage, share feedback and offer anything else they have in their tool kit to help you think better and plan well to make the changes that are important to you. Ultimately you are the one that has responsibility for your own work and life. This is why we encourage a model of active, adult-adult partnership in coaching rather than anything that suggests you are dependent on your coach.

2. It’s up to you to ask your coach to change the way they are coaching you if you feel they could coach you in a better way

Coaches are of course only human, and as such have their own distinct personalities: yet a good coach will be able to flex their style in many ways to suit you, e.g. by being more or less direct/challenging, by moving at a faster/slower pace or by sharing more or less of their thinking and ideas with you. They will be happy for you to make such requests because their aim is to coach as effectively as possible.

3. The coach’s job is to ask you for even more than you might normally ask of yourself

Your coach wants the best for you and for this reason will be looking to offer and encourage ‘stretch’ wherever possible. Your coach may well question the limits you set for yourself and encourage the setting of challenging goals and targets. Coaching should not be a ‘cosy club.’

4. The coach is your success partner, not an accountability service

Coaching will work best for you when you are actively seeking to get the best from yourself and when you take responsibility for your own growth and development.

5. The value of coaching isn’t based on how much time is spent coaching

The value of coaching depends on quality rather than quantity: when both you and your coach are fully engaged in the task and working hard then success should follow – it is a bit like going to the gym and really working at it, rather than thinking you will get results just by being there.

6. The coaching session in itself is not what gets you results

Ultimately this is down to what you do and how you act after the coaching – what you put into practice. Coaching is there to help you to plan and prepare to get the best out of what you are doing.

7. Talk about what matters most to you

You are not there to conform to any expectation you feel your coach may have on you – least of all are you there to please the coach in any way. Yours is the only agenda that counts and if it is important to you, your coach will work on it with you.

8. Focus on yourself

Sometimes clients worry that coaching is somewhat self-indulgent – even a selfish luxury. We offer the view that you can only effectively do your job or serve others well if you are yourself fulfilled, purposeful and operating to your fullest potential. When you succeed, others should benefit too: if you are unhappy, unfulfilled or frustrated in your work or blocked in some other way it is likely that others will not get the best from you. You can look at your coaching as a positive boost to the communities of which you are a part.

9. Be open to seeing things differently

Very frequently, the issues you face are not in themselves the real issues! Often it is the way we see issues and how we think about them that needs to change. Even when some of the issues we face are objectively daunting or difficult challenges, we can use coaching to open ourselves up to new ways of responding to them. Opening your thinking up will open up new possibilities for choice. Your coach can help you identify ways of seeing, thinking and responding that may offer you very different options and approaches.

10. You can develop and evolve with coaching

Coaching is both a developmental process and an evolutionary one. It helps clients accomplish more with less effort – the developmental aspect – and can also lead to different thinking and possibilities for growth and change – which we call evolving. Evolving is a skill worth building because life itself is about evolving, not just developing.

11. Use your coaching to help you think about – and design – the kinds of environments and systems you want to work in – you can go beyond yourself

We can all exercise some choice and responsibility in creating the kind of environment to allow ourselves to flourish. Even when your organisation places apparent restrictions in your way we can often exercise at least some discretion in the physical, social, professional and cultural contexts in which we work and live. Coaching encourages a whole-system approach and links personal change to the contexts we inhabit.

12. Take charge

You are invited to take charge of the coaching process, to get it focused on what you most want and need. We encourage you to come to each session with a direction in mind, perhaps a list of issues or questions you want to address. Ultimately the more you know what you want out of your coaching the better. Your coach can then work with you to craft really specific and relevant goals for the coaching.

13. Be Real – say what you think

When what we say does not reflect what we are really thinking, we are incongruent. Coaching is not an abstract exercise or an intellectual joust but an opportunity to work together with your coach in a climate of shared honesty and truth. When you are authentic it really helps to get the best out of your coach.

14. Promise what you can deliver

Whilst we encourage stretch and boldness in coaching we also ask you to be mindful of what is realist and doable in the context of everything you are trying to do. Overextension causes great anxiety, guilt and suffering. We encourage you to remain mindful of what you are realistically able to take on as a result of your coaching.

15. Share what you are doing with your coaching

People close to you will see and feel the effect your coaching is having, either directly or indirectly. For some people this will create questions and even anxieties about the changes you are making. We would suggest that where possible you are open to others about what you are trying to do via your coaching. This will have the double benefit of including them and reaffirming your commitment to developing as a person and a leader.

A Guide to Facilitating Remote Workshops and Virtual Meetings by SessionLab
March 27, 2020
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Running online meetings and workshops is something many of us are having to do in the wake of lockdowns and social distancing.

Remote workshops are great for keeping teams connected, being productive while working from home, though they present their own challenges too. 

SessionLab’s guide on facilitating and running online workshops and meetings is full of tips on design, planning and running workshops remotely, to help you make your online sessions more effective and collaborative.
Online Workshop Templates

Getting started is easier with a template. Whether you’re running an innovation workshop or a team alignment session, we have in-depth facilitation guides to help you create an effective session. We’re developing more agenda templates for remote workshops and have just added our first two.

Guide your team through a process of reflection and ideation on next steps in a fully online setting with this one-hour remote retrospective.  Looking for a full-day online workshop to tackle a complex challenge? Use this online problem-solving workshop template to engage a remote team in identifying challenges and developing appropriate solutions in a process inspired by design thinking and growth design.
Find Effective Techniques for your Next Online Workshop

Our library of 700+ facilitation methods, exercises and games is a resource we’re proud of and continue to develop. We’ve added a section of remote-friendly methods you can use in your next online workshop or meeting. These include tips or instructions for running them in a remote setting and we’ll be adding more soon!  Have a method you’d like to contribute or add? Reply to this email – we’d love to hear from you!
Tools to Run Your Sessions Online 

As far as videoconferencing goes, we’ve asked our SessionLab customers and Zoom clearly takes the lead with superior call quality, reliability, and facilitator-friendly features such as the ability to use breakout rooms for small group discussions. But how about tools for visual collaboration? See our tips and some examples of great collaboration tools below:
Mural is an online whiteboard tool that is great for teams wanting to collaborate visually and in real-time. It features heaps of templates to get you started and great remote-friendly features such as running a voting session inside the app and inviting anonymous users and guests without having to buy a short term license. Mural starts at $12, though you can now get Mural for free for 3 months if you and your organization have been affected by the current pandemic.
Miro is another great online whiteboard that features the ability to upload images, creating notes and draw on an infinite canvas, all in real time. The app also offers a great template library to conveniently find the right structure you need for your whiteboard. You can even integrate with third party apps using Zapier to connect your various tools easily. The free version offers up to 3 boards for your team to work with. 
Stormboard is great if you’re working on idea generation, organization and prioritization and want to collaborate remotely with ease. It also has great reporting and recording features which can make sharing the notes from a meeting simple and effective across your entire organization. The free version of Stormboard offers 5 boards with maximum 5 collaborators for each.
Axis aims to digitise workshop facilitation and participation: it allows you to build up a workshop from pre-defined blocks (such as brainstorming and decision making methods) and then effectively run that workshop with remote participants. Axis is a great way to speed up and simplify the online facilitation process. Our friends at Axis are offering extended trials to the SessionLab community now (enter the code SLABFREEMONTH at checkout!)
Stormz, the online workshop delivery platform focuses on professional facilitators: you can ask participants to give their input on questions you generate in the app, generate ideas and make collective decisions directly from their laptop, tablet or mobile phones. Stormz works great in combination with Zoom or other video conferencing software and can be a very effective way of helping engage your participants online. 
Mentimeter is a great tool to help engage and energize your participants in an online or remote setting. Interacting online can be tricky to handle – Mentimeter makes this simple and easy, allowing people to log-in from their mobile devices and contribute in real-time. Using a tool like this makes it easy to get feedback from a large number of participants without getting bogged down in crosstalk and you can show the results visually too!
Career Decision-Making Workbook
February 26, 2020
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Produced by The Canadian Career Development Foundation, this workbook has pages of questionnaires, activities and templates that you may be able to use or adapt to use with your own clients.

Career Decision-Making Workbook

Creative Industries & Burberry
February 21, 2020
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Working in partnership, Burberry and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership have brought together a creative industries toolkit.

The aim of which is to equip educators with resources, inspiration, pathways, employers and ideas to inspire young people from all backgrounds to make better informed choices.

They hope you find this toolkit useful for encouraging classroom discussion, lesson planning, PHSE, pastoral care, helping your students choose their options or giving careers advice.

Click on inspire, teach or promote to access the toolkit.

The Careers Week Guide To 2020
February 18, 2020
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Have a look at the brand new NCW 2020 pre-mag.

Advance warning, it is about 8 MB so might take a minute to download.

Download Here

8 Free Career Assessment Tools to Help Clients Find Their Fit
February 10, 2020
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Whether your client is just starting out in their career, or ready to make a career change, career assessments can be a helpful tool to spark ideas and identify strengths. Here are eight free career assessments to help get you started.  

Charity Village Career Assessment Questionnaire  

This multidimensional assessment offers guiding questions for clients around job/career satisfaction, career path/options, attitude/motivation and the role of their family in career change/job search. It also offers definitions for terminology used in the assessment, which could be helpful for clients who are using it independently. 

Motivational Appraisal Personal Potential (MAPP) Career Assessment 

The MAPP test comprises 71 questions exploring likes and dislikes and is meant to be done quickly, taking approximately 22 minutes to complete. Users must register to take the free sample assessment. Paid packages are also available, which offer different assessments and career matching opportunities.  Read more

Helping Clients to KickStart Their Career
January 30, 2020
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The two activities might be of value when working with clients who need help to kickstart their careers.

CAREER MANAGEMENT – SWOT

This activity will help individuals think about their careers by doing a SWOT analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Once they are fully aware of all these influencing issues/factors they will be better equipped to develop their careers.

 CAREER MANAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE 

This simple, twelve-point questionnaire is designed to help individuals analyse how well they are managing their career development and identify the areas they need to work on. 

Seven Safeguarding Habits of Highly Effective Leaders
January 22, 2020
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Commitment, expertise and time is needed for successful safeguarding

Even with the best academic outcomes, when safeguarding arrangements aren’t judged to be effective it’s likely to lead to an inadequate leadership and management judgement.

The significance of online safety within this bigger picture cannot be under-estimated, given that young people are living their lives seamlessly on and offline. Digital behaviour in schools has to be monitored in the way physical behaviour and conduct is monitored: staff can be trained to look for the early warning signs of a young person at risk in the physical environment – but who’s looking at student behaviour in the digital environment, where they spend so much time? And who is trained to recognise the markers of risky behaviour?

In a special digital safeguarding report, the team at eSafe has identified the 7 defining habits of the leadership teams in those establishments with outstanding safeguarding arrangements.

Click Here To Download The Full Report

Free Resources from DMH Associates
December 20, 2019
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International Careers Development conference delegates were provided with access to our unique conference resources toolkit which contained copies of all presentation materials on the day and additional information provided by the many speakers and contributors.

This now available for you to download as your Christmas present from DMH Associates and gain the same material as the delegates.
Access your DMH Associates Toolkit Here
Careers Advice Toolkit
October 25, 2019
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WorldSkills UK and Youth Employment UK have published a new digital Careers Advice Toolkit. The comprehensive guide supports young people with employability and careers information they need for their futures. 

There are 19 lesson plans in total, covering Key Stage 3 and 4 all mapped against the Careers Development Institute and Gatsby Benchmark Frameworks.

Learners will be coached through their career journey, helped to identify their own motivators and skills, understand their career options and also the developmental tools and pathways available to them. 

The lessons can be delivered as bitesize pieces of content or as a whole career curriculum with video’s, quizzes and engaging activities to support the learner along their career journey.

It’s completely free to use. To access the Careers Advice Toolkit you need to complete a form giving your details – it can be accessed using the link below.

Click here