Priming the Pump
I am road-testing a new pre-coaching practice, and I encourage you to try it and report back.
A day or two before a coaching session, send a simple e-mail or text to your coachee. The message could be your version of the following:
"Before our conversation tomorrow, please take a moment to think about your goal for coaching, which is to (state their goal). What steps have you taken since our last session that you are excited about, and what is slowing you down? How are you feeling about your goal and your progress? What do you most want to discuss or resolve when we are together?"
Your coachee does not have to reply to your message. The simple restating of their goal is a powerful focusing tool, especially if you veered off course in the last session. Just inviting them to think about their progress will put the goal on their radar screen, and help you to quickly get positive traction when you are together. This practice also serves to distinguish coaching from just another chat.