Being a professional coach is a great achievement, and having a coach to advise or tutor you is also a huge investment. A professional coach can help people achieve their goals and get to the next level of their professional career.

The next levels differ from one person to another. To some, it may be succession or retirement planning, while to another, it might be how to perform well in a new role and acclimatize to a new company.

The possibilities of a professional career coach and career advisor are endless.

A study conducted by the Institute of Mentoring and Career Coaching Nigeria (IMCCN) shows that over 65% of new graduates and high-tech executive managers look forward to engaging with life coaches, career planners, career consultants, or business coaches for a one-on-one vocational counselling time or career counselling.

This meeting is important in making the right career choices. This is because it helps you to stand on individuals' shoulders with the requisite experience, knowledge, and degree.

Training to become a professional coach in Nigeria does not stop in bagging a degree, but it also requires one to acquire more certification required for specialization to a part of the coaching world.

We would look at ways to follow when preparing for a coaching session with clients and the roles of career coaches in helping clients achieve their goals.

International Coaching Federation
A Lecture Slide of International Coaching Federation, Nigeria. Source: Coachfederationng Image

Introduction to Coaching Session

In starting a coaching session with a client, it is important to set up a good foundation between you and the client. These are essential in other to build a good and working relationship with your partners.

This stage is known as the exploratory session. These involve an exchange of meeting either by face-to-face, telephone, or through other call connectivity mediums, such as Skype, Web, or Zoom.

The goal for this exploratory session is to determine what brought the client to your doorstep. These motivations for seeking a professional coach by a client might be dependent on the following reasons.

  • Need for personal development
  • Negotiation skills
  • Professional development
  • Career advancement or career change
  • Public speaking skills
  • Gaining self-esteem and self-awareness
  • Development of good communication skills
  • Stress management skill
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Conflict management skill

The second stage of the exploratory session is the interview session. The interview session helps you to structure other modalities that the coaching session will take and this includes

  • Modality of each session
  • Duration of each session.
  • Coaching cycle or sessions
  • Rhythm and frequency of each session
  • Time and location for each session
  • Setup for the coaching session (formal or informal)
  • Professional fees

After which, the coaching tools and strategies are explained to the client. You must reach a tangible conclusion before proceeding further.

A common practice with most professional coaches and platforms such as Superprof is a free session for the first contact. This is to establish a relationship and communication between you and the client to ascertain the client's goals, challenges, and motivation within the time-frame.

Corporate Institute of Mentoring Nigeria
Members of Chartered Institute of Corporate Mentoring, Nigeria. Source: CICMCN Images

Getting Ready For A Coaching Session

In preparing for a coaching session in Nigeria, you must agree on a particular plan and coaching method to use as a professional life and career coach.

Different methods should be dependent on your clients to enable you to regularly review their progress.

These assessments help you determine their present progress related to when they started the coaching session.

As a professional coach, you need to understand that every new session comes with advanced preparation. Professional life coaches and career coaches require flexibility and critical thinking to proffer solutions to the problems that the client faces.

Most times, even the best-prepared session comes with some unexpected issues and obstacles that may impair the coaching session.

To prepare well as a career coach, life coach, or business coach, you need to take cognizance of the following.

First thing first, make preparation on where the coaching session will take place. This involves you working on your logistics. Are you meeting in your office or less formal locations like a coffee shop, fast food, a ranch, an open venue or through virtual communication medium?

All of these should be arranged before the meeting.

As a professional coach, you’re expected to arrive at the meeting venue early and get a comfortable and private area with little or no distractions.

Ensure that your kids and other family members are not in the vicinity if you would be working remotely to prevent interruption during the meeting.

Professional Coaches and Business Coaches
Group of Business Coaches. Source: Freepik Images

Next is to confirm or remind the client the time, date, and venue as clients often forget that they booked an appointment with their coach due to work and other engagements.

Therefore, it is important to send out a reminder or call a week before and a day ahead of the meeting. You can also get in touch with the client some hours before the time.

With the logistics properly ironed out and taken out of the way, it is now necessary that you prepare yourself for the session. This involves having some mental exercise that can help to put you in the mood.

These may include deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, or a light workout. These help to relieve stress and get the endorphins pumping.

You can now review your notes after the mental exercise by going through the client's needs, objectives and goals.

Remember to remain positive and open-minded throughout this period

Create a schedule after going through the notes, and be sure that your client is fully aware of topics and items to be tackled. It is better to co-create the plan with them as this will help them stay on track.

A good life coach or business advisor should understand the importance of having the right tools around.

Keep the tools handy and fully set up before the session. Keep the clients writing material, notes, and handbook ready. Remember to keep your iPad or tablet fully charged or plugged in beforehand. Pre-check on your Mic and devices before the session commences to ensure a seamless transmission.

With the client around, start by setting the ground rules. If there is a need for them to put off their mobile phones during the session, let them know before time.

You can now help the client get into the right mindset by asking them to take a deep breathing exercise. This helps them to clear their mental and emotional space.

Once there are done with that, you can begin with some small talk. Avoid generic questions like how is the family is or how is your day is going? Since the whole idea for the session is to get the client to focus on something positive while commencing the discussion.

Finally, you can now begin the coaching session fully following the initial schedule and plan that you have mapped out.

If you have met the client before, you can start by going over some of the positive changes that your client has implemented since the last meeting. Discuss their progress thus far towards achieving the pre-stated goals

After this, you develop a new action plan for them to work on before the next meeting.

                        Remember that in the art of coaching, you can never be too prepared.

Coaching session
Getting the best out of your coaching session: Forbes Images

What Is The Role Of A Coach?

One of the major benefits of working with life coaches, business coaches, and personal development coaches is the ability to gain a fresh and informed perspective on issues facing them. Professional career coaches also offer new insight into challenges and difficult situations.

A life coach can help you to zero in on negative patterns that might be acting as a barrier to one's success.

There bridge the gap between the client's current situation and the future they envisage. Other roles of a professional coach include

  • Help to eliminate long-held fear and anxieties.
  • Help to better work/life balance
  • Help in improving good communication skills
  • To build a stronger relationship with family and friends.
  • Help to enhance creativity.
  • Creating a more satisfying work-life
  • To help in identifying clients' passion and carving out their ideal career path.
  • Life coaches help to ensure that clients are implementing what is necessary to experience significant change.
  • Life coaches help to offer motivation and support.
  • Helps to observe when a client needs to recalibrate their goals
  • There help their clients to plan future tasks.

To carry out all these roles by a life coach or career coach, he/she needs to exude warmth, be empathetic, a good listener, and not judgmental to the clients.

Criticism should be made constructively and objectively to enable the client to open up and become confident.

To support these roles, the coach is expected to work with a wide range of strategies, techniques, and tools such as

  • Neuro-linguistic programming
  • Systemic approach
  • Transactional analysis approach

Superprof offers you a great tool and platform to meet new clients in different parts of Nigeria and the world in general.

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I am a professional Freelance Content writer with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Strategic Management. I am a member of several international organizations, including ISMN and NIM. I have a strong flair for writing as a lecturer. I utilize these skills to ensure my contents meet the global standard.