As coaches, our main priority is to attend to the client’s agenda, not our own. During a typical 60 minute coaching session, it is relatively easy for both the client and the coach to waver off course. The coaching session twists, turns and unfolds in unexpected ways making it essential to touch base regularly to ensure you and your client are on the same page.

“Checking in” is an underutilized skill that has many benefits for coach and client. It’s worthwhile for coaches striving to deliver their best, to experiment with checking in and find the language or questions that work best for you. The Health Coaches International Check Point Coaching™ model provides a strong foundation for exposing opportunistic check-in points. The Check Point Coaching™ Model has four check in points, providing coaches with a framework to ensure the coach attends to the client’s agenda. Here we explain each one:

Check point 1:

This first check point happens near the beginning of the coaching session and is about accountability between coach and client and the client’s continued progress towards their goals for the coaching program.

The coach will explore with the client how they went with the actions that they wanted to take between the previous session and now. This check in is helpful for highlighting the client’s successes as well as exploring what may have potentially got in the way of them taking action. If the topic is still relevant for the client, this may be explored further in the session.

Check point 2:

This check point is about establishing the focus for the session. More importantly, it’s about clarifying exactly what the client would like to have as a result of the coaching.

This check in is helpful because it allows your client the opportunity to choose what is most important for them to discuss in the coaching and the outcome that they would like to achieve in the session. This sets the bearing on the compass for coach and client as you begin to explore together.

Check point 3:

This check point isn’t used often enough by coaches and it’s so vital. We suggest checking in about half way through the session to make sure that the session is on track for what your client wanted from it. Checking in with your client, you might ask something like “How are we progressing with what you wanted from the session?”

Often the client will tell you how great the coaching has been, the awareness that has emerged for them and the actions that they want to take as a result of the great work that you’ve done together to date. Alternatively, if the conversation has veered off track, now is the perfect time to re-set your bearing.

Check point 4:

The final check point. Towards the end of the session you might ask a simple question such as “How did we go with what you wanted from today’s session?”

This check point is an opportunity for the client to reflect on: (a) what you’ve explored together; (b) their new awareness and learning about the topic they brought to coaching; (c) their new awareness and learning about the themselves and; (d) the actions that they will take as a result of your wonderful coaching.

So, you can see here how the Health Coaches International Check Point Coaching™ Model provides the perfect framework for keeping you on the ball with your client. Going in to your next coaching session, ask yourself, “how will I know this session has gone well?”. If you commit to checking in with your client, the question will be answered!

By Sam Patterson, MCC, Director of Training, Health Coaches International. Sam’s pure coaching style allows him to meet any client ‘where they are’. Sam can help you achieve coaching excellence – find out more by viewing our courses page at: