Session Time Variances
Moderator (Linda): How much time do you spend working with an individual executive? Are you with that person for an hour, for a day? What’s your model for working with individual executives?
Klaus: I don’t believe in rigid 50 or 60-minute time slots. Usually a coaching session with me ranges between an hour and a half and three hours. We meet every two or three weeks in the beginning and then the time in-between stretches out. With a rigid 60-minute session, I might not be able to cover the topic I am concentrating on and then I’m not delivering full value. I’m not saying rigid session times might not work for others, but it has never worked for me. My clients never seem to have a problem booking a three-hour time slot.
Val: I’m happy to hear Klaus say that. I would like to transition to longer sessions myself. I’m still in a traditional model. I coach executives in 40-60 minute sessions because it seems like I attract people that demand brief coaching exposures. I do a lot of laser coaching and they often don’t have more than an hour at a time to give me. So I’m still coaching an hour once every two weeks or an hour a few times a month if it’s an individual. I’ll spend more time with groups of executives.
Bob: Typically for us, we are onsite as well as using the telephone. We tell our executives for the onsite coaching to plan on 90 minutes—we usually like to try to leave some space open after that in case it stretches. Telephone coaching sessions last for 45 minutes and are scheduled for once a week. We find, on average, that one of these sessions every month is canceled for whatever reason. So, we average three sessions a month and their initial commitment for the coaching relationship is six months.
Bill: I represent the other extreme. I would rarely work for less than two hours at a time. Recently I have been doing something quite different and I invite you to try it. In recent years, when people want me to coach I say I’m sorry I need more time at home and am a bit tired of traveling. A few months ago, one of the people said: “Well why don’t I come up to your home” I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful area–right on the Atlantic Ocean in the state of Maine. There’s a lovely inn near my home. My client traveled to Maine and met with me at this inn for three days. I am now rather frequently offering this type of coaching. I coach my client for two hours and then they go out for three or four hours to ponder, reflect, and even write a bit. We then come back together and I coach them for another two hours. We do that over a period of three days and it’s been amazing. Sometimes we’re sitting on the rocks down by the ocean or we are walking through the woods. Remarkably, the clients I engage in this manner are usually the busiest. They have absolutely no time for anything like this and they’re all saying: “Sure I’ll come up for three days.” It’s really quite remarkable. I’m still trying to figure out what is attracting them to this coaching option. I think it has something to do with finding a bit of sanctuary in their busy lives. We’re scheduling about six sessions and my clients do an enormous amount of work between sessions.
Klaus: Listening to what you just said, Bill, reminds me of what I sometimes do. I go with my clients for a walk and when you ask top executives to go with you for a walk, they kind of give you a strange look first–what’s that about? This is business—it has to be in an office behind a desk or at a table, but once they went through the experience and probably all of you guys know, we sometimes have the best conversations when we go for walks. Because the body is moving, the thoughts are moving and this is what I’m just using. I just tried it a few times last year and it has worked and since then I have done it more often and got very positive feedback from the clients. First of all, there’s resistance, so just try it, go for walks.
- Posted by Bill Bergquist
- On November 17, 2021
- 0 Comment