Lately I’ve been spending some time beta-testing a new online coaching tool. When I first started experimenting with online coaching back in the late 90’s I thought it would be helpful, but I had no idea it would be as helpful as it is. The use of an online tool to track the relationship and help prepare for session doubles, sometimes even triples, the effectiveness of coaching. That finding really surprised me. I expected some improvement by having clients prepare for sessions beforehand, but not this much.

Sometimes I used to spend 80% of the coaching session trying to help the client identify the key issues to focus on, then we’d only have 10 minutes left to work on them. Once I began asking clients to prepare for sessions online, they came in with the key issues already identified. Sometimes we’d need to sharpen or clarify those, but we’d have the majority of the session to work on them.

By using an online tool, you can have your clients identify where they want to focus before the session and how you might best help them with that. The most fruitful coaching relationships are those where the client is putting in the work beforehand.