Friday, December 21, 2012

Top ten reasons to get your coaching clients to journal with you

Posted on Friday, December 21, 2012 by International Coach Federation

This post originally appeared on the ICA Blog.

It’s a simple fact. Asking your clients to journal and share their journal with you will completely transform your coaching business. Here’s why:

1. You Gain Access to Critical Information: Reading their journal gives you CRITICAL insight to their values, beliefs, and behaviors. This information is crucial for effective coaching and for helping your clients get past the barriers that stand in the way of their success. When you can read their stories, you can also clearly see how to help them. This source of information is vital for deep poignant coaching that has a long term impact.

2. Calls are RICH – no wasted time: Reading their journal in between calls keeps you up to date with what’s happening in their lives on an on-going basis. What that means is that when you are meeting on the phone or in person, there is no time being spent on just catching up. You are already caught up and can jump right into moving forward, delivering high value on each and every call.

3. Continuous Self-Reflection: Asking them to journal daily encourages them to self-reflect regularly. The effect is an increase in attention to the role they play in their own lives and a greater sense of ownership and responsibility for their relationships and their personal circumstances. They feel a greater sense of empowerment with every passing week.

4. No Loss of Momentum in Between Calls:  When you ask your clients to journal, you maintain contact, communication, and a consistent focus on personal development, especially in between calls. This means that there is no sliding backwards, but rather always forward movement. Some say the magic or the growth happens in between calls.  Journaling allows you to share that growth with your client. 

5. Increased trust and rapport in a shorter period of time: Journaling in a safe and secure on-line environment enables clients to share their fears, their insecurities, and even their past experiences with greater ease. Trust is built more rapidly, enabling you to move more quickly with your clients.

6. Faster results: Giving your clients the forum to express themselves in a journal means that you are getting more done with your clients in a shorter period of time. You are covering greater ground and getting to the meat of your coaching with greater speed.

7. Documentation of progress: When clients journal every day for the duration of their coaching period, they are literally documenting their progress and tracking their change over time. They can look back to the beginning of their journey and see how far they have travelled with you.

8. Proof of YOUR impact and influence:  As they are documenting their experience in their journal, they are also creating evidence of their evolution. This is extraordinarily powerful as a testimony of your impact on their success. Your comments are available for their review, and the value of your time together is tangible.

9. Safety Deposit Box for their Story: Their journal lives long after their coaching with you has concluded. This creates a long term bond with you that draws them back over and over again. They have a need to return to the story they created, and you are the holder of that story.

10. Coaching Groups means journaling together: When you coach a group of people, you can ask all the participants to share their journals with one another and spend some time reading and responding to each other’s journals. This adds infinite value to the coaching experience and establishes an online journaling community that stays together long after coaching is complete.

Kim Ades, MBA
Kim Ades, MBA, is president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine™ Software. She is one of North America’s foremost experts on performance through thought management. She works exclusively with highly driven, accomplished professionals in their field and uses the unique Frame of Mind Coaching process to ignite significant change and life transformation. Clients say that an hour with Kim has lifelong impact. She is internationally renowned for her innovation and passion in the coaching industry. With clients from Malaysia, to South Africa, Canada, and the US, Kim and her team of coaches have transformed the process of coaching and training through the creation of JournalEngine™ Software. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, and mother of 5, Kim has developed a thriving coaching business and implemented a simple idea into an industry leading company that now coaches leaders in their field worldwide. 


  1. While a coachee's journal could and would reveal some good information for a coaching session, I most likely would not read their journal. Instead, I would have them read out of their journal to me. In this way they get to maintain the privacy of their journal yet share with me what they feel willing to share. It is hoped that our coach-coachee relationship would grow in trust and professional intimacy. As such they would be more and more willing to share out of their journal. Even if they were willing to have me read it, I think I would have them read it out loud so that they could hear themselves. Sometimes that creates and awareness they may not have had.

  2. This is a very interesting idea - I have no doubt that there is probably a great deal of value in asking them to extract the most important parts of their journal. Having said that, an experienced and astute coach can pick up far more from the journal than the client and having complete access to the journal will dramatically accelerate the coaching process. Privacy options are available for the client when the client would rather not share a particular journal - complete control is in the hands of the client. The key here, is that it's a journal specifically designed to serve the coaching process and the most benefit is derived when the coach can read and respond to the journal.

  3. Coaching is a simple and effective from of personal development. Everyone is familiar with the concept of coaching in sport, and life coaching is similar in principle. Thanks for the information.
    Lifecoaching London


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