Top 16 Coaching Forms & Templates for Your Sessions

Coaching formsA critical element of every coaching practice is guiding clients toward their goals, rather than instructing them on the steps they need to take to get to where they need to go.

Coaches do this using a combination of guidance and activities to give their clients opportunities to reflect on their needs and achieve their goals.

This article will provide you with coaching templates so you can give your clients an optimal coaching experience. In addition, we provide tools to help you organize your sessions for different types of clients, as their needs may change as their lives evolve.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology, including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

Coaching Forms: 2 Templates & Samples

Although creating a template may seem overly methodical or unnecessary for more experienced coaches, I strongly recommend that all coaches write a plan for each of their clients prior to starting your sessions with them.

Successful coaching is based on appealing to your client’s drive to succeed. Intentional change theory states that “engaging a person’s ideal self or personal vision is an essential driver of sustained, desired change” (Boyatzis & Jack, 2018, p. 12).

A good exercise to get your clients to map out long-term, sustainable, and achievable change is to have them consider their ideal situation with no roadblocks and work toward meeting that vision as closely as possible. This 3-Month Vision Board helps your clients examine different aspects of their life and identify the best-case scenario in each.

If you are a coach looking for a breakdown on what your sessions will look like, Considerations for Coaches: A Session-by-Session Breakdown provides ideas regarding questions and elements to incorporate into sessions. This is a good starting point for coaches to determine what things they should consider before their sessions with clients.

 

2 Intake Forms for Your Coaching Sessions

Coaching intake formsPart of developing a healthy reciprocally beneficial relationship between coaches and their clients is to ensure that there is a good fit between both parties.

A quality coaching relationship is a critical factor in achieving the desired outcomes for clients and coaches (Boyce, Jackson, & Neal, 2010).

When terminating client–coach relationships, the most commonly cited issue is that there is a lack of compatibility between the coach and client (Boyce et al., 2010).

Therefore, engaging in a matching process by using a structured intake procedure is a good first step to determine if a client is a good fit for your personal coaching style and practice.

One of the first documents we recommend you send to your clients is the Is Coaching Right for Me? template. This activity aims to explore whether coaching is the right approach for clients, and it briefly examines if they are looking to be guided rather than told to take on a specific approach.

Another document that could be used to attain more detailed background knowledge is this Coaching Intake Form. Filling out this intake form is an excellent way to get to know what your clients want to get out of their sessions and assess how motivated they are to change their ways of thinking or behaving.

 

1 Evaluation Form for Coaches

Another part of ensuring that you achieve the best results possible with your clients is to provide opportunities for clients to evaluate your sessions together. Kirkpatrick’s (1994) model has been widely adapted for use in the coaching setting.

It considers the responses from the beginning to the end of the training or coaching sessions. There is an emphasis on ongoing learning and evaluation so that individuals who are taking part and administering the program can make adjustments as needed.

Kirkpatrick’s (1994) model includes four levels of learning evaluation:

  1. Reaction:
    What was learned in the sessions? How did clients feel after completing their session and activities?
  2. Learning:
    What new attitudes or skills have been adopted as a result of these sessions?
  3. Transfer:
    Is the learning being applied? What evidence is available to support this?
  4. Results:
    What is the final product from these sessions? How has the individual’s mindset changed?

Typically, when coaches are looking for feedback on their sessions, they are looking for something immediate that follows their progress throughout the time they spend with their clients.

If you want to look further into the long-term trajectory and benefits that are occurring as a result of your sessions, this Session Feedback Form allows coaches to explore the impact of their methods and approach on their client’s long-term success.

It is recommended that this evaluation be delivered as clients are approaching the conclusion of their sessions or a few months after so you can gain an idea of the results clients are seeing.

 

5 Samples of Life & Health Coaching Forms

Health coaching formsEven though health and life coaching are often associated with each other, they are separate disciplines.

While health coaching typically focuses on health-related issues (e.g., breaking unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking, overeating), life coaching is focused on whatever issues the client wants to address.

More specifically, life coaching aims to help clients break down distortions in thinking and find alternative ways to approach difficult situations. In short, life coaching is focused on wellness that is determined by the client, rather than pathology, which addresses situations that are the most harmful to one’s physical or mental health (Ammentorp et al., 2013).

Since health coaching focuses on pathology, it assumes that people are biological organisms motivated by neurochemical responses. These modalities are summarized in the acronym BASIC-ID (Lazarus, 1981; Palmer, 2012):

  • Behavior:
    What is the behavior that is central to the problem? What are you doing?
  • Affect:
    What are the feelings/emotions that you experience when engaging in the behavior?
  • Sensation:
    What happens when you are engaging in the behavior? How does your body respond?
  • Imagery:
    What do you typically picture when you think about this behavior?
  • Cognitive:
    What thoughts do you associate with this behavior? Are they intrusive?
  • Interpersonal:
    Are there any social actions associated with this behavior?
  • Drugs/Biology:
    What are the conditions you are at risk of as a result of this behavior? Are any drugs or other substances involved? If so, how often do you engage in them?

The BASIC-ID Template for Multi-Modal Coaching worksheet provides clients with an introduction and sample for working through this framework specifically for a health-related problem.

This is a good introduction to individuals who are engaging in health coaching for a specific health-related issue such as quitting drinking. It breaks down the process into workable steps and helps clients identify the triggers that might lead to them reengage in harmful behaviors.

This Action Brainstorming worksheet aims to help your clients identify specific behaviors that they want to change, limit, or increase. Completing this activity will allow your clients to identify smaller things in their lives that may limit them from achieving their goals and gives coaches a benchmark of when to intervene to provide reinforcement.

In contrast, if your client slips up and starts engaging in behaviors that they want to limit or eliminate, coaches can engage in non-punitive strategies (i.e., extinction) to discourage the client from engaging in unwanted behaviors.

When clients seek life or health coaching, one of their primary focuses is often improving their mental health. Ensuring that they are engaging in appropriate self-care activities is an essential piece in making sure the client’s mental health is maintained.

Our Self-Care Wheel article provides a few ideas on what self-care is and how your clients can integrate it into their daily routine. We have also provided resources that may be beneficial to integrate into your life or health coaching practice.

This worksheet on Nurturing vs. Depleting Activities is an excellent resource to help introduce your clients to the concept of self-care, as it aims to help them differentiate between activities that refresh them and activities that deplete their energy.

This Self-Care Check-In worksheet provides your clients with different self-care domains, allowing them to view the areas where they may lack self-care practices. Additionally, if your clients are struggling to come up with ways to engage in self-care, it provides them with ideas.

An excellent companion to this worksheet is our My Self-Care Promise agreement, which allows clients to further commit to practicing self-care. This worksheet is formatted like a contract so clients feel more committed to the goals they are setting for themselves. It can be displayed somewhere visible (e.g., office, bedroom) so they do not forget the commitment they are making to improve their self-care practice.

 

2 Best Coaching Application & Agreement Forms

Understanding the impact that coaching has on clients’ daily behaviors and emotions is key to ensuring that they are committed to the coaching process.

Providing your clients with a Self-Contract where they can commit to engaging in ongoing personal reconstruction is a good way to hold them accountable for how they respond to specific situations.

Building New Habits further aims to help clients break habits or mindsets that are impeding their ability to achieve their goals and encourages them to view difficult situations more positively.

 

2 Templates for Instructional Coaching

Instructional coaching templatesIn contrast to traditional coaching methods, instructional coaching employs a more direct framework.

Typically, other types of coaching try to draw out responses from clients by asking a series of open-ended questions and guiding the client along a pathway that they determine (Knight, 2007).

Our Educational Coaching article provides more insight into the specific theories surrounding instructional coaching and how they apply to teaching and learning.

Instructional coaching is mainly used in an educational setting, such as classroom teaching, and it requires more specific and targeted feedback to ensure that individuals being coached are receiving guidance on how to improve.

This method assumes that the coachee has less experience and knowledge than the coach. The coach can provide specific insights and feedback about how an instructor can improve their practice and methods, while still maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with their client.

One of the biggest challenges instructional coaches faces is getting potential coachees (in most, cases, other teachers) on board during the feedback and evaluation process. Instructors are constantly faced with a strong sense of pressing immediacy.

Pressing immediacy refers to the constant need to address more immediately pressing concerns, such as grading papers, planning for the next day, and maintaining an organized workspace for students (Knight, 2007).

Instructors are also constantly inundated with a multitude of interventions and barraged with constant requests to engage in further professional development that is often not applicable to the everyday reality of teaching.

The primary concern in instructional coaching is to get the coachees to buy into the program. Being open to instructional coaching is one of the key components of ensuring meaningful change. This exercise centered on Teaching a Growth Mindset helps guide individuals who are being coached to be more open to change, as opposed to having a fixed mindset, which is more averse to being coached.

The instructional coaching methodology requires a structured approach, and this Instructor Feedback Form provides a process for instructional coaches to follow when an evaluation is underway.

The primary goal of instructional coaching is to improve the coachee’s teaching and introduce new strategies to facilitate classroom success. To assist in this process, this exercise is structured around evaluating coachees while they are delivering a lesson or in the classroom.

 

PositivePsychology.com’s Helpful Resources

PositivePsychology.com has several resources available to help enhance your coaching practice.

Ensuring that your clients can set measurable goals is one of the key components of coaching. One of the most popular tools for goal setting is the SMART framework.

The SMART goal framework is the most widely advocated for and practiced within the instructional coaching industry (Muller & Kotte, 2020). This SMART Goals Worksheet and this worksheet on Setting SMART+R Goals are great resources in helping your clients become familiar with the SMART framework and get used to engaging in goal-setting processes.

Helping your clients reframe their mindset and mute the part of themselves that is motivated by negative emotional processes is an important part of coaching. The From Inner Critic to Inner Coach exercise brings clients through the process of reframing their thoughts and encouraging their mind to coach them through difficult situations, rather than criticize how they are handling it.

Facilitating a growth mindset in your clients, as well as yourself, can help ensure that progress is made toward self-improvement.

 

A Take-Home Message

Ultimately, the most important thing to do in coaching is to be your most authentic self and bring forth positivity when working with your clients.

By engaging and encouraging your clients to bring out their true aspirations and explore the real reasons for seeking coaching, you are well on your way to developing a genuine connection.

We hope you enjoyed this article and gain new ideas to further enhance your coaching practice or reframe current exercises that you are using in sessions with your clients.

Having a positive relationship with your clients and giving them a space where they can explore what and who they want to become are important elements of facilitating success.

Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free.

If you wish for more exercises and tools, our Positive Psychology Toolkit© contains over 350 science-based positive psychology exercises, interventions, questionnaires, and assessments for practitioners to use in their therapy, coaching, or workplace.

  • Ammentorp, J., Uhrenfeldt, L., Flemming, A., Ehrensvard, M., Carlsen, E. B., & Kofoed, P. E. (2013). Can life coaching improve health outcomes? A systematic review of intervention studies. BMC Health Services Research, 13(428), 1–11.
  • Boyatzis, R., & Jack, A. (2018). The neuroscience of coaching. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 70(1), 11–27.
  • Boyce, L. A., Jackson, R. J., & Neal, L. J. (2010). Building success leadership coaching relationships: Examining impact of matching criteria in a leadership coaching program. Journal of Management Development, 29(10), 2–34.
  • Knight, J. (2007). Instructional coaching: A partnership approach to improving instruction. Corwin.
  • Kirkpatrick, D. L. (1994). Evaluating training programs: The four levels. Berrett-Koehler.
  • Lazarus, A. (1981). The practice of multimodal therapy. McGraw Hill.
  • Muller, A. A., & Kotte, S. (2020). Of SMART, GROW, and goals gone wild: A systematic literature review on the relevance of goal activities in workplace coaching. International Coaching Psychology Review, 15(2), 69–94.
  • Palmer, S. (2012). Multimodal coaching and its application to workplace, life and health coaching. The Danish Journal of Coaching Psychology, 2(1), 91–98.

About the Author

Dr. Gabriella obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto (OISE) in Developmental Psychology and Education where her research is centered around emotions, instruction, and online learning. She currently works as a psychological consultant with children, adolescents, and adults in Toronto, Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys building her writing portfolio, spending time with her family, and walking her dog.

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