How long should a coaching program last?
The average coaching relationship lasts one year. Some coaching relationships consist of just a few sessions, and others last several years. For internal coaching programs, specify parameters for the duration of the coaching engagement in the program guide. A large proportion of trainers prefer sessions within this time range.
There are several reasons why such sessions are popular. First, most people’s attention spans cannot be maintained beyond this period, so the session takes full advantage of this time window before the client is exhausted and their attention weakens. Second, this session allows you and your client to dive deep into topics while considering everything that comes up during your discussion. Therefore, your discussion can usually occur without either of you having to feel rushed.
Every coaching situation is different. Therefore, try to adjust the duration of your coaching sessions to your client’s needs. Otherwise, the coach may be tempted to extend client engagement for the coach’s financial benefit, not the client’s personal development. These sessions may be appropriate for coaching relationships where behavioral issues need to be addressed to unlock the coaching client’s potential. The Water Cooler Forum is one of the “hidden benefits” of membership in the School of Coaching Mastery’s paid coach training programs.
The following post about how long coaching client relationships should last was inspired by a conversation on the School of Coaching Mastery’s Water Cooler Forum, which is only accessible to members. Some coaches, particularly those less well-developed, assume that all coaches lead to addictions in long-term coaching engagements, but that’s not necessarily the case. As you may know, many potential customers may not have an unlimited budget. How much they can afford to spend on coaching therefore affects the structure of the coaching process. For example, it may be unnecessary to have long coaching sessions if you interact with your coaching client weekly.