The Last Five Minutes

Every coach knows that the last five minutes encapsulate some of the most important – if not the most important – moments of a coaching session. This time offers the coach an opportunity to review the client’s breakthroughs and lock in their learning, while helping the client synthesize the content of the session and design how they want to carry their insights forward.

Blogger Peter Bregman suggests a summative questioning exercise that applies equally well to the end of a coaching session as to the end of an executive’s day (as he had originally envisioned it*). He advises comparing what actually happened in your day with your plan for what you wanted to happen.

Once you’ve collected this information, he recommends asking yourself the following:

  • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
  • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do – differently or the same – tomorrow?
  • Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?

Just substitute “session” for “day,” and you can use these same questions as you wrap with each client, to help them integrate what they learned from your time together.

Don’t forget: you could create “last 5 minutes” exercises to keep any number of your own goals moving forward, including the growth of your business, your client relationships or your professional development. By investing just a few moments of each session, and a few at the end of each day, both you and your clients could be moving forward with newfound momentum!

* You can find Peter Bregman’s original article, The Best Way to Use the Last Five Minutes of Your Day, here.

Posted in: branching out