Coaches are always in a state of becoming, perfecting their craft, learning, and deepening their foundation. This checklist helps identify areas where you might focus future training, coursework, or personal development. Of course, depending on your specific coaching niche, there are other potential development areas that do not pertain directly to coaching. In the checklist, there are no right or wrong answers. However, your answers reveal areas where it would benefit you to focus time and energy. Commit to one or two development areas. Consider creating a SMART goal for each area.
Do you believe your knowledge, appreciation, or engagement in this area or topic is sufficient to support your practice as a coach?
Personal foundation: current status assessment
I have engaged in activities or processes to develop my . . .
Understanding of my values, beliefs, and worldview
Understanding of my lifestyle, stressors, and stress management capacities
Awareness of my spiritual side, including my purpose in life and the variety of spiritual practices that are available to me
Artistic side through readings, workshops, and courses in poetry, fine arts, and so on
Knowledge of modern and classical literature
Appreciation of life by reading inspirational biographies
Comprehension of how we grow and develop as human beings through lectures, readings, or podcasts about personal growth
Understanding of different forms of bodywork and their potential benefits for me and others
Knowledge about my physical body, its needs, and what I have to do based on medical evaluations or physical assessments
Comprehension of individual differences and diversity—including cultural awareness—through readings, discussions, and other means
Sense of the world through travel, reading, and other means of experiencing life in different areas of the globe
Historical understanding through various sources of knowledge about local, regional, national, international, and world history
Emotional intelligence through experience-based workshops, lectures, readings, and other means
Social or interpersonal intelligence through experience-based workshops, lectures, readings, and other means
Personal foundation: current practices
I presently have a regular practice involving . . .
Personal foundation-related reading
Lifestyle management, or life-balancing
Relationship enhancement (e.g., scheduled dialogues)
Personal values reviews
Professional education and development: coach-specific
I consider my training and knowledge base adequate in the coaching-specific domain of . . .
Ethical guidelines about boundaries and practice
Contracting for individual and third-party coaching work
Building client trust and intimacy within coaching parameters
Offering appropriate advice, suggestions, and information
Challenging or confronting
Use of immediacy
Approaches to reframing and the use of metaphor
Planning and goal setting
Managing progress and accountability
Professional education and development: general
I consider my training and knowledge base adequate in the coaching-related domain of . . .
Behavior change and management
Theories of personality
Psychosocial assessment methods
Theories of consciousness
Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics
Group and team dynamics
Professional mentoring, supervisory and reflective experiences, and participation in the coaching community
As an integral part of my ongoing practice, I . . .
Personally review my work related to each of my clients at least once a month
Personally reflect on what I am noticing about my coaching work at least once a month
Participate in a peer coaching group at least once a month to discuss coaching issues, and some of my material regarding my clients and my work
Participate in a session with a mentor coach at least quarterly
Participate in a session with a supervisor either individually or in a group format at least quarterly
Attend meetings of my local coaching association at least semiannually
Attend meetings of my regional or national coaching association annually
Attend meetings of international conferences related to coaching at least biannually
Based on your answers and what you assessed as being most important, list one or two key development areas you are willing to undertake in the next 6 to 12 months.
Goal 1: Select your top priority and go through the following process.
Exploring your developmental intention: Consider whether you need to investigate, explore, clarify, or find resources to move this intention to action. You might need to read about it, take online courses, or talk to colleagues. Give good thought to these matters, and investigate!
Describe your intention: As in a coaching process, use laser language and articulate your intention in 10 to 15 words.
SMART goal: Just as when you are working with a client, identify what must be done to move you closer to bringing this intention to realization. You may be so clear that what you describe here becomes a plan for doing what is required to develop in your priority area. However, you may need to do a bit of homework first, in which case your goal would be to outline your plan for moving your agenda forward.
Specific goal: In a sentence, define the targeted action you must engage in to move toward your developmental intention.
Measurement: What concrete indicator reflects your engagement in the required actions?
Adjustability: If you run into some roadblock or other unanticipated snag in your plan to take this step, what’s your fallback option? What else will you do? Or how will you accomplish your goal differently?
Realistic nature: What tells you that what you intend to do is achievable? In a sentence, provide a rationale for why this is attainable.
Time specificity: What’s the time frame for this plan? When will you commence? When will you complete it? Or what’s your implementation schedule?
Goal 2: Go through the same process for a second developmental intention.
Have fun with these new opportunities in your life and work!