How to use a coaching journal to increase coaching impact
Journaling is an incredibly powerful tool for improving clarity of thought, reducing stress, and facilitating personal growth. At some point in your time coaching, you might have encouraged your coachees to practice journaling between sessions.
But by its very nature, coaching is a collaborative process.
So why not use technology to make coaching journals a 2-way conversation? This can help enhance and maintain high standards of the coaching experience in many ways:
1. Build trust in the coaching relationship
Journaling is a vulnerable act.
It gives people an avenue to express thoughts, feelings, and desires that they might not have shared during the coaching session.
Making journalling collaborative means that you share this vulnerability, which helps build trust and an even deeper connection between you and your clients.
2. Bridge the gap between coaching sessions
As a coach, you're probably all too familiar with "the gap" between coaching sessions.
Your coachee walks out of a session feeling energized and ready to work on what was discussed. You're dying to hear about how things are going. But the only time you'll hear about it is at the next session which is 1-2 weeks (sometimes more) later, if they remember everything.
Collaborative journaling closes this gap in several ways. Coachees update the journal throughout the week as they go about their daily lives. This allows coaches to see the entries, giving you more "real-time" insights into your coachee's daily wins, struggles, or thoughts.
At the same time, you'll also be able to provide feedback and ask more questions as life happens rather than wait for the next session for updates — serving as a perfect way to "coach on the go".
3. Build up a shared view of the coaching journey
Continuous evaluation forms an important part of every coaching journey.
But stories of triumphs, improving skills, performance, and learning can often get lost or forgotten, if they are not documented properly. Adopting a collaborative coaching journal solves this issue by serving as a visual record of your coachee's progress over time.
This not only gives both the coach and client an overview snapshot of achievements and areas to work on, but also creates a stronger shared understanding of the experience.
4. Encourage more self-reflection
There is a lot of research and scientific literature supporting the value of self-reflection through journaling. It's been shown to promote continuous learning, management of negative emotions, critical thinking, and agency.
But sometimes, your coachee might be caught up "doing the work" that they forget to pause and reflect on what's been implemented or achieved.
A collaborative journal encourages more self-reflection, and creates space for personalised prompts tailored to the individuals' unique focus areas.
5. Easily capture and share insights
Insights do not occur to us on a schedule. Rather, they occur as we practice and learn new skills, and see how their effect on our quality of life.
Having an always accessible collaborative space to capture insights makes it easy to write down insights as they happen. Never lose another insight, bring them all into the context of the development journey using your journal and help facilitate deeper understanding and growth.
The collaborative coaching journal in Medoo
Wondering what a collaborative journal could actually look like applied to a coaching practice?
That's what we were thinking too. We wanted to see how we could apply the results of research on journalling and self-reflection to coaching and personal growth.
Medoo gives users the freedom to direct the purpose of their collaborative journal. For instance, as a coach, you might want to give coachees a blank slate for writing down whatever they desire.
Alternatively, you may want to influence the direction a bit more by providing structure or following a format that targets specific goals that were discussed in session. Coaches can input various customizable prompts that encourage coaches to log their personal thoughts, feelings, or action points.
Here's an example of what this looks in Medoo
Since we launched our beta, our data shows that this works well for a variety of coaching relationships, whether you are (or you are working with) a career, executive, business, or life coach; or a manager who wishes to apply coaching principles to developing your people.
Medoo also has other features in beta:
Setting goals and actions together
Visualizing progress over time
Creating a coaching journal template prompts for coachees
Join our beta to explore these features and try out collaborative journaling with your coachees by clicking on the button below.
At Medoo, our mission is to help people design and live their best lives. We seek to create a deep connection between coaches and their clients by bringing to life a purpose-built, collaborative coaching companion tool.
Author: Dawn Teh, Content Writer