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30 Nov, 2011

Top 5 tips to help you prepare and carry out your observed sessions successfully

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Academy Info|Coaching Academy News|Coaching Articles

Top 5 tips to help you prepare and carry out your observed sessions successfully

Jan Lonnen, The Coaching Academy Qualifications Manager carries out the practical assessments as part of her role and has put together her top 5 tips on preparing for these assessments.

Here are Jan’s top tips to help you prepare for and carry out your observed coaching sessions successfully:-

After carrying out nearly 2000 observed coaching sessions I have noticed the odd thing or two that I thought I would share with you to help you with this part of your qualification journey.

I am aware that some of you maybe a little nervous about being listened to, which I think is a good thing. It shows to me that your coaching skills are important to you and you want to hone these skills.

The observed sessions are part of your journey to become a fabulous coach in whatever niche area you have chosen.

At The Coaching Academy we encourage you to stage these observed sessions throughout your studies so you can really benefit from the feedback that you receive and make the tweaks in your approach to make your sessions even more impactful for your clients.

Here are my top 5 tips to help you prepare and carry out your observed sessions successfully

1. Get familiar with technology

Whether you intend to use the telephone or SKYPE, practice, practice, practice with setting up a 3 way call. You want to make sure that your focus is on the coaching session and not whether you can figure out how to get everyone connected.

2. Ground the session

Spend a few moments at the start of the session doing a bit of housekeeping. Making sure distractions are minimised and that everyone has the relevant note taking facilities to hand.

This will settle both parties for the session and increase the flow of conversation.

3. Take your time

30 minutes is plenty of time to run an effective coaching session. I strongly advise delivering a couple of 30 minute sessions prior to the assessment so nothing is totally new during this time. 30 minutes is longer than you may first think so don’t feel the need to jump to actions earlier than necessary.

Trust the process, it will work for you.

4. Keep listening

Listen to your client – sounds obvious doesn’t it? There can be a temptation when being observed to over analyse your performance and become critical during the session with the impact being losing your attention towards your client and what they are telling you.

5. Enjoy the coaching session

This is you doing what you are passionate about, enjoy it! You are supporting your client to develop, enhance and reach their potential. How amazing is that?

I feel privileged to be part of your coaching journey and will very much look forward to listen to more great coaching from you.

Contacting me to arrange your assessments or ask any questions couldn’t be easier – just pop me an email, my ears are ready!

You don’t just have to take my word for it; here is what others have said:

“I wish I had done one or even two of these assessments much earlier on in my training as I have learned a lot from them. Many thanks for your feedback.”J. Watt

“I found the practical assessment both encouraging – in that I felt it went quite well… and insightful – in terms of the very valuable feedback I received.”G. James

“I found the feedback from the practical assessment most useful and it’s all been rewarding.”R. Fuglesten

“My favourite moment on the course was completing the assessed calls and getting live feedback.” - V. Baldwin

5 Responses to "Top 5 tips to help you prepare and carry out your observed sessions successfully"

1 | Greta Bratovs

November 30th, 2011 at 12:51 pm


I agree that the live feedback from Jan was very helpful in preparing my next observed sessions and also in my overall coaching practice. It helped me become aware of what I hadn’t been aware before. Thank you, Jan.

2 | Ann Skidmore

December 1st, 2011 at 1:11 pm


I hope lots of coaches read these excellent top tips from Jan. Jan has such a lot of experience (2000 observed coaching sessions now and counting!). Take some tips from her and your coaching assessments will be both enjoyable and professionally conducted. Jan never goes over board with loads of tips – she gives you the key ones so you can do well when you get to the point of going for assessment. Why wouldn’t you want to get that feedback?! It all helps you to be a fantastic and fabulous coach.

3 | Jan Lonnen

December 2nd, 2011 at 12:48 pm


Thank you both Greta and Ann for your lovely comments and encouragment to others about approaching the practical assessments. It’s a great job to have and I really want to enhance the experiences people receive to make the time as purposeful as possible. As you say Ann, leading to being fantastic and fabulous coaches!

4 | Making the most of your mentor here at The Coaching Academy | The Coaching Academy Blog

December 13th, 2011 at 5:02 pm


[...] the same way that learners book time with an assessor for their Practical Assessments – students can also book time with a Mentor/Supervisor to discuss any challenges they are [...]

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February 23rd, 2012 at 3:07 pm


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