I've been asked this question a few times so here is a chance to find out!
First though there is the consultation. This lasts about half an hour and is a chance for you to talk about what is on your mind and what you are looking to gain from coaching. It is also a good opportunity to see if the coaching relationship will work (on both sides!) Coaching is a very personal thing and you need to feel comfortable and confident with my style of coaching.
The first session. We start with the contract - if we are to work together there are things you would expect from me as a coach and also things I expect from you in order for this to work.
You decide on a topic for the session - perhaps there is something you are looking to do in the near future or perhaps you are working towards a longer term goal?
Then you talk and I ask questions - sometimes for clarity, and I often ask deep questions that require you to reflect and think. It's a good idea to take notes in the session. It helps fix things into your mind and if you have a good idea, committing it to paper greatly increases the chance of it getting done. However writing is not for everyone during this time, so you decide.
Often I will use a technique or tool. It may involve you standing up and moving to different parts of the room to look at the situation in a new way. I will always ask your permission and explain what the tool or technique may do.
At the end of the session I will summarise what has been discussed. Then you can leave with a plan -if appropriate. Sometimes it's thinking that's required after a coaching session. Noticing the way you do things and finding a different approach. Sometimes there are actions to be taken. Everyone is unique.
Coaching is more than just a nice, 'feel good' chat, it's about you shifting thoughts and behaviours for change. It is not usually an upsetting process, however on occasions it is possible we may touch on a ' raw nerve'. If this happens, I will not allow you to dwell too long in an unhappy place. Coaching will acknowledge the past but does not ask you to relive unhappy and painful memories.
Silence. Moments of silence and stillness often occur. That can mean things are being consolidated and are filtering through.
It is possible you may leave the session with a desire to punch the air! That does not always happen though and it may be that you leave feeling quite tired, or with a lot to think through and mull over. It is usually these moments where the biggest insights happen...
So hopefully that has demystified the process a little. If you have any further questions or would like to know more do get in touch!