How to Make the Most of Your Coaching Sessions
Whether you’re new to Guild or have been in a program for a while, you’ve no doubt had some kind of interaction with a coach. Guild coaches are here to support you with anything from discussing your employer’s education benefit to talking study strategies for a course. Coaches are here to guide you as you move through your program, but your coaching sessions are only as good as the effort you put into them. Here are some tips for making the most of your time with your coach:
1. Come prepared
First and foremost, come to your coaching session prepared. Be sure you know the reason for your call. Is it a check-in call or a kick-off call? Are you speaking to a coach about enrolling in a new program or discussing options if you’re falling behind? This will help you prepare the questions you’ll ask your coach during your session. If you need to do any work to get ready for the call (like reading through program recommendations the coach sent you or reviewing the orientation for the program you’re about to start), make sure to do so to ensure you’re fully prepared to address the goal of the session. This also means paying attention to the communications your coach or program sends you prior to your scheduled call. Finally, having something to take notes with — whether that’s good old-fashioned pen and paper or your laptop — will help you keep track of what you and your coach discussed so you can refer back to it later if necessary.
2. Be an active participant
One of the best ways that you can benefit from conversations with your coach is by being an active participant. What do we mean by that? We want you to come prepared to share your life experience and be able to actively reflect with your coach about how you can continue to grow as a student. One of the best ways to do this is to be in a space where you don’t have a lot of distractions, if possible, in order to be fully present to the conversation. Know that your coach is going to ask you some personal questions with the intention of delving deeper with you into your own experiences, motivations, and goals. Be prepared to be honest and even a bit vulnerable — your coach is here to help you grow but YOU are the one who determines what and how that growth looks in your own life. Feel free to ask your coach follow-up questions. Know that your coach has your best interest at heart, and their job is to help you explore where you are, where you want to go, and how you can get there!
3. Keep your motivations and goals in mind
A big part of your coach’s role is to help you identify your goals and identify strategies and techniques that will help you reach them. If you can, start brainstorming about your goals and motivations before getting on the phone with your coach. Why are you going back to school? Why now? Who or what is a motivation in your life? Where do you envision yourself in five years — personally and professionally? Your coach will help you dig into your motivations and clarify some achievable goals and how to reach them. Remember — these are YOUR goals and YOUR dreams. By naming them with your coach, you are taking the first step towards making them a reality.
4. Be ready to make change
Pursuing your education goals is a journey. Know that you will most likely have to adjust your thinking and your habits to successfully accomplish those goals. Your coach is here to help you along the way, which means they might challenge you and push you during your sessions in ways you hadn’t considered. Be open to the coaching experience and to the growth that may come from it. Don’t hesitate to seek clarification about what you discussed or to ask questions that help you better understand how to move forward following your session. Also, at the end of your session, consider setting up another call with your coach in the not-too-distant future to help hold yourself accountable for any action items you discussed.
In short, we want you to know that your coach is here to support you as you work towards making your dreams a reality. They are ready and available to assist you in navigating this work-school-life balancing act and care about your success. Take advantage of this resource as you head back to school and know that your coach is waiting to connect and journey with you towards your future.
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