Creating a Step by Step Coaching Plan

Before effective coaching can take place, a step by step coaching plan must be established. Rather than you writing a plan, both you and the person you’re coaching need to jointly identify a set of goals and activities. This ensures that both parties will be invested in the plan’s success and move you away from the coach/client relationship and towards the peer-to-peer relationship of coaching.

Creating a Step by Step Coaching Plan

Understanding Your Client’s Coaching Needs

Coaching focuses on developing, not “fixing” the person being coached. It is a fluid relationship that can be initiated by either the person who sees an opportunity to help (the coach) or by the person looking for help (the coachee). 

One of the keys to successful coaching is the ability to foster self-motivation. This requires a coach who understands the elements of motivation and de-motivation in their coachees and their impact on behaviours. Creating a coaching plan can help establish clear expectations that are communicated well and supported with timely oversight.

A Step by Step Coaching Plan

Regardless of whether you’re coaching an executive who aims to excel at work or an individual who is facing a midlife crisis, formalizing a step by step coaching plan is useful. When goals and expectations are clearly defined in the coaching plan, your coachees are given the tools to perform above their previous potential. Here’s how you can develop your step by step coaching plan:

  1. Set the tone. If you’re initiating the relationship, know that coaching isn’t a sign that the coachee is lacking in some skill or doing something wrong. In fact, coaching means that you see hidden potential in the coachee and are invested in their success.
  2. Establish the goals. You and your coachee must set the goals for the relationship. As the coach in the relationship, you have two responsibilities in goal setting. One is to identify the goals you would like to see the coachee achieve. The other responsibility is to solicit from the coachee what goals they want to work toward. Without your active solicitation, you may end up being the only person setting the goals, which moves you back to the coach/client relationship.
  3. Set responsibilities. The two of you must then decide how you can help each other develop. As a coach, you have an additional responsibility beyond what you agree to in this part of the plan. You must also model the desired behaviors you want to see—you must “walk your talk.” If you don’t model the behaviour you want to help develop, then your credibility and your effectiveness as a coach are diminished.
  4. Define the process. At a minimum, the two of you must decide when, where and how often you’ll meet to check in with each other. One caveat: coaching isn’t about friendship. You can be friendly, but coaching is about improving performance. As part of deciding how you’ll work together, you must also decide how you’ll address conflict or disagreement.
  5. Acknowledge the results you will get. You’ll probably learn a great deal from the coaching relationship. Make sure that you acknowledge the benefits that you expect to get. For instance, being able to have “difficult” conversations (conversations that include constructive criticism) is an invaluable skill. If you intend to develop that skill as part of this coaching relationship, point out that you will be using this opportunity to practice in a safe environment.
  6. Establish benchmarks. The plan must include clear “measures of progress” or benchmarks and a schedule of when those measures will be met. Benchmarks provide both of you with markers to determine how well things are progressing. However, be aware that not reaching the benchmarks isn’t a sign of failure—it just means that things might need to be adjusted or course correction may be needed.
  7. Review the relationship. When looking at a course correction or a major achievement, take the time to assess if the coaching relationship should continue. If you decide to discontinue the formal coaching relationship, be sure to debrief both the work you did together and how the coaching experience played out for each of you.

As successful coaching collaborations grow and thrive, your work becomes more productive and less stressful—knowing that all your coachees are being given the tools and following your step by step coaching plan to take things to the next level. Ultimately, your role as a coach is to create individuals with improved skills who can thrive in life or at work.

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Jeannie Cotter
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

The Right Business Plan For Coaching is One You Create

Finding a business plan for coaching is not that difficult. There are many sites online where you can download a business plan template or find examples of good coaching business plans. However, you may not find one that exactly matches your coaching business.

Business Plan for Coaching

Make Your Own Business Plan for Coaching

The plan that may work the best for you is one you develop yourself. You can use a template of a sample business plan for coaching as an example and a guide when creating your own plan. This will help you start one, give you some guidance on what to include, and also offer some insight on how to construct it in a logical and readable manner.

A Sample Business Plan is Only a Sample Business Plan

When using samples, it is important to keep in mind that they are only samples and shouldn’t be used to cut and paste into your own business plan. Shortcuts like that won’t be the best thing for your business!

However, on most sights that have business plan samples, you can find something close to what you need.

Let’s say you are starting a life coaching business – you can probably find dozens of sample life coaching business plans. Many will almost fit exactly what you need. But, don’t take a shortcut and just cut and paste – figure out the differences (location, fee structure, education, marketing plans, competitive advantages, etc.), and make sure to create your own unique business plan for coaching.

It becomes even more important when you are starting a niche coaching business. Let’s say you plan to start a career coaching business for single mothers. You may not find any sample plans for this exact type of business. However, there will be many business plans for coaching – find a few that most closely matches your business and use them as guides to develop your own unique plan.

Why Do You Need a Business Plan?

A good business plan serves as a handbook for your coaching business. It details various tasks needed to get the business started and keep it running. It outlines the set-up, functions, services, fee structure, target market, and promotional plans for the business. It provides a purpose and encapsulates the vision – your vision!

However, having a printed document that details your coaching business is not the only reason for having a business plan. One of the most important reasons for creating a business is not the final product, but the process. By creating a plan (and not just cutting and pasting one from a sample), you will learn more about what you want and are expecting from your business. The process of writing a plan will get you thinking critically about your business and provide you with insight, and possibly even greater inspiration.
So – don’t just download a sample from the Internet. Don’t cut and paste from a template. Create your own business plan for coaching. It’s a great way to get your business off to a successful start!