Coaching Session Structure
As a coach, your role is that of a thought partner and focuses on the learners’ topics, interests, and challenges. The learner brings the topic, questions, and content to the session. We have outlined the loose structure of a beginning, middle, and end of a coaching session, but the potential success of the session is ultimately up to you. You can see how important it is for coaches to be as clear in their profile as possible, including your areas of expertise, background, and professional experiences. You can even describe what a coaching session with you will feel or sound like.
Beginning (less than 5 minutes)
It’s important to quickly establish a connection with the learner and then ask a few basic questions to allow the learner to explain what s/he needs from the session. We want to empower the learner and let them describe their goals, intentions, and expectations for the session.
- The goal of our MiniPD community is to provide you with opportunities to grow as a learner and these 1:1 sessions are completely personalized.
- As you noticed in my profile, I (have information to share) about…
- Tell me more about what you hope to gain/ accomplish/ your goals from this session?
- What prompted you to seek out coaching on this subject/topic?
- We can use this time together for you to ask me questions, we can brainstorm together, or I can share some basic information on a specific topic.
After you understand their intentions and goals, you’ll use your questions and comments to guide them toward that goal. There is no one right or wrong question to ask and we’ve listed several to choose from below.
- After hearing your goals/ideas… I think we can make some progress in (this area) today.
- It sounds like (insert) is the challenge you would like to focus on today.
Ending (less than 5 minutes)
It’s important you keep track of the time so you can facilitate a logical and meaningful conclusion to the conversation. With a solid summary of the session, including key points and next steps, a learner is more likely to remember the conversation and is more motivated to continue working toward their goals. Depending on the situation, feel free to mention that you are available for additional sessions to continue this conversation or address another item on their list. We’ve listed some helpful prompts and questions below.
- We have come to the end of our session today and to recap, we talked about…
- What are you taking away from this session today?
- I’m curious what (action, idea) you plan to put into practice next week/next unit?
In general, we suggest the following tips for a productive and enjoyable coaching session, but we’re sure you have lots of other great ideas.
- Have Fun, Be yourself, and Share your video: It is an expectation that you will share your video to better connect with learners
- We recommend testing your video prior to the session to ensure the lighting and background work well. Lighting is especially important, and simply adding a desk lamp in front of your computer can make a large impact
- Tone: We aim for a tone that is conversational, professional, and fun!
- Questions: Ask thoughtful and open-ended questions and give the learner time to reflect and talk through their ideas with you.
- Tell me more about…
- When have you seen…
- What are we uncertain about?
- If _______ continues, what is the impact? What If nothing changes?
- On a scale of 1-10, how close are you to your ideal situation? (Steve Barkley)
- What impact would ______have? (Steve Barkley)
- What are some other ways to look at this/that?
- Technical Requirements: High speed and stable internet is a must. Please refer to your contract for specific details.
- Communicating with MiniPD in case of a cancelation: reach out via Support on the site, add here
We encourage you to create, offer, and promote other professional learning options (cohorts, webinars, asynchronous courses) as a way to increase your visibility as a 1:1 coach!