How Long Should Coaching Take?
Most people get what they need out of Career and/or Leadership Coaching between 8-16 sessions. Of course, your goals, how many and the nature of you obstacles and how motivated and of an “active learner” you are will help determine the duration. There is no cookie-cutter answer that is most appropriate. However, I will share what has been typical in my experience both as a coach and a coachee here:
At the start of coaching it is helpful to meet weekly, at least for a few times, so that you can begin getting traction towards your goals. Once you’re making progress and keeping up your motivation, you can meet with your coach every two to three weeks so that you have plenty of time to work on your assignments between sessions.
Many people who are making good progress then cut back to coaching sessions monthly, or every six weeks, to maintain their gains. When the time is right, you and your coach will both know that your work together is done. You’ll be able to continue your journey towards success independently, and apply everything that you’ve learned in coaching to your new goals.
Getting Traction: Weekly Coaching Sessions
At the beginning of coaching, it is helpful to meet weekly, for a few times, in order to get traction. At this stage you and your coach are digging in to your inner and external obstacles, and you’re learning new and exciting things about yourself every week. This self-discovery process lays the foundation for the action-oriented work to come.
Building Momentum: Bi-Weekly Coaching Sessions
Once you begin to create self-awareness and movement through your homework assignments, it’s actually most helpful to cut back on weekly meetings so that you have more time and space to practice the skills, strategies, and ideas that you’re learning in coaching. During this phase clients usually meet with me every other week.
Making Things Happen: Monthly Coaching Sessions
Then, once you’re making good progress consistently, we’ll cut back to monthly meetings. This allows you to stand on your own, test your new skills, and determine where you’re good and where you need more support. Monthly coaching sessions help you stay on track long term.
Maintaining Your Gains: Quarterly Coaching Sessions
Once you’ve met your goal(s), most people choose to stay connected with their coach and meet for quarterly “check in” sessions. This allows them to review what strategies are working well and what needs to be tweaked in order to continue their forward progress. It also helps people maintain their progress and continue working towards long-term goals without concerns of backsliding.
Invest in yourself, and in your career, you are worth it!