I’ve mentioned before that many things can influence the content of each post, including requests from you either via the contact form or when signing up to get the free “What to put in your coaching welcome pack” e-course. Today’s post is in response to a request about information about the best locations for coaching.
As this is all the information the individual gave I will be writing generally for reasons that I will explain in a moment. If you are the person who made this request and we need to go more detailed to be of assistance to you by all means get in touch with more details.
I’m going to start by saying that, for me, the best locations are the ones that work for you and your clients.
There are several variables that can influence where you choose to hold a coaching conversation and session. These are some of the questions I consider when choosing where to hold a coaching session.
What medium are you planning on using for your coaching?
A coaching session via the phone can have different practical requirements to a face-to-face coaching session. To start with to coach via the phone you physically need to be able to make a call. This will mean either a landline or ensuring that you have a strong enough mobile signal.
Who are you coaching? and What state do you want your client to be in?
Some clients will feel more relaxed in different settings so it’s possible that the location you pick can influence the work that you do together.
For example, some clients may prefer a setting of a corporate office meeting room. Others may find that environment intimidating to meet in. Some may prefer a room in an educational setting – others may have negative connections to such a setting.
What is the purpose of your coaching? What outcome does your client want to get from your coaching work together?
This may place practical implications about where you want your coaching to happen.
For example, imagine that you are in a business setting coaching call centre agents concerning performance skills. It could be beneficial to have a coaching conversation “on the floor” about how the last call had gone. This has the benefit of the call being fresh in the agents mind and memory. It also allows for any action agreed upon to be immediately put into action.
Perhaps you suspect that physically having that coaching conversation in a different setting will make a difference. A client may be more relaxed/less distracted in a neutral setting giving them the space to see things from a new perspective.
This may be in a public setting, your own/independent office or perhaps even in an outside location.
What are your preferences as a coach?
Where will assist you to fully focus on your client without distractions and allow you to be in the most useful state for your coaching?
What other practical aspects/implications are there?
I know that overhead costs can affect coaches decisions about where they coach. Not only with potential room hire/lease but other costs such as travelling can also influence either your pricing or where you coach.
Coaching from your own home. I’m certainly no regulatory and legal expert, especially as that will vary depending upon which country you are living in. Do be aware that there may be certain clauses in renting agreements, building and content insurance policies etc that apply if you have clients physically coming into your own home. Do check out how you will be affected and seek appropriate advice if needed.
Geography How much travel are you (and/or potentially your client) prepared to do?
Time This may also influence your decision. Is the location you are thinking off available when you want to coach? If there is travelling involved to the venue does it fit with your other commitments and if not are you willing to make it a priority?
A word of warning
I’ll also add that I’ve spoken to many want-to-be/trainee coaches who are not yet coaching giving the reason that they have nowhere to coach. I know that this can seem a big first step.
Please don’t let this get in your way of starting coaching. Personally I have had coaching conversations either as a client or a coach in coffee shops, hotel bars/reception, train stations, impromptu coaching conversations in stairwells etc.
As part of a big long-term picture – yes a location may play a part in making an impression, potentially make a coaching session easier and if you are running a coaching business could have overhead implications.
However, when starting out I personally think that not having a room can be used as a practical excuse for not starting just yet but appearing busy. In my opinion, one of the best ways to develop your coaching is by actually coaching real people.