7 Reasons You Should Document Your Coaching Conversations

Do you document your coaching conversations?

As part of The Coach Microcredential, every time I have a coaching conversation with one of my participants, I take notes on a shared Google Doc. After just one session, my coachees can see how powerful it is to have those notes. They can spend the time having an in depth conversation & then look back at what was discussed when they need it. 

When I ask if they are documenting coaching conversations with their coachees, very often it’s not quite in their routine yet. If you’re leaving coaching conversations up to your memory, you are missing out on so many opportunities to #coachbetter and genuinely support your coachees!

I have a standard template I use every time I have a coaching session (grab it here). It helps me:

1️⃣ Pre-think key questions I might want to ask (but I don’t have to use them all),

2️⃣ Structure the time for each session consistently so coachees know what to expect,

3️⃣ Make sure I follow up on previous issues that we talked about, especially when my coachee has asked for accountability,

4️⃣ Track decisions and goals that are set in each meeting,

5️⃣ Gather feedback about what’s working and what’s not, in terms of my coaching practice,

6️⃣ Share relevant resources with my coachee,

7️⃣ Reflect on growth over time (for both my coachee and myself, as a coach).

Create Your Own Documentation Template

Today we’re sharing a 5 Min Fri episode from our YouTube playlist where Diana and I discuss the things we consider when we’re creating documentation templates.

Ready to create your own coaching conversation template? Here are some things you might want to consider:

What’s the purpose of this document?

Keep it focused so that you can actually make use of the data at a later date. Although it’s tempting to make room for everything you can possibly think of, you need to be able to go back through and scan for important elements, so they need to be findable within the document format. This is when you will be deciding what kind of format to use in creating this template (document, form, spreadsheet, etc).

How will this document support your follow through?

It may be worth tracking even the incidental hallway conversations that you have, so you have a record of the follow up tasks you agreed to. This way you can not only be better prepared for your next meeting, but you’re also ensuring that you’re coming through on your promises to your colleagues. In this case, you might want to use a spreadsheet to easily be able to scan your recent conversations and agreements.

Will this document serve as data collection?

We all need to ensure that we are documenting where we spend our time. This documentation can help you ensure that you are spending the right amount of time in the right places. In this case, you might want to create a survey or form to easily track your visits and conversations.

How will this document guide your future practice?

When we track the conversations and actions we take, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on our progress, to set goals for ourselves, and ultimately help us re-prioritize and structure what we do. In this case, you might want to create a private document for yourself to track your progress.

Will this document be useful for others?

When you’re creating an agenda, will you share it with the teacher you’re working with as well? This documentation of the planned conversation helps teachers know what’s going to happen in this meeting, and then becomes a documentation of what happened, and a great place to share resources. In this case, you might want to create a shared document with your teaching colleague.

❓Do you document your coaching conversations?

❓How do you make that work for both you & your coachees?

❓If you’re not documenting your coaching conversations, what’s holding you back?

Are you working towards better documenting your coaching conversations? Learn more about The Coach Microcredential below, or send us a DM on Instagram or Twitter and we’ll help you out!