Most coaches or consultants don’t generally consider recording their coaching sessions, but if you include this as part of your services, you are providing a value added service for your students or clients. They will be able to concentrate on the conversation and the coaching sessions rather than taking tedious notes, which will then have to be deciphered.
My coach taught me this. When he informed me that he would be recording our sessions, I was delighted. That way I could concentrate on what he was telling me, ask questions, and absorb more. Then when I wanted to refer back to something, I didn’t have to rely on incomplete, indecipherable or useless notes.
I also didn’t have to worry about my memory failing me. Months later I could use the recording to refer back to something that we had talked about. I also took advantage of listening to the recordings several times, always hearing more each time I listened to it.
Another time when I was taking a course on how to use Dreamweaver, I recorded the sessions myself and I have referred back to them many times over the months to refresh my memory. I found that those things which I used a lot came easier to me, but having the recording to refer back to for methods that I used less often, made it possible for me to retrieve that information even months later.
Listed below are six advantages for coaches to record their coaching sessions.
1. There is no need for the student or client (or the coach) to take notes. When I’m taking notes I find that my attention is distracted and I either lose my train of thought or I miss something that is being said.
2. I will also have a record of the questions or comments that I made. If I’m taking notes, I won’t usually write down my own comments or questions, taking for granted that I’ll remember them later. (Ha! That’s a joke).
3. Your recording can be referred back to so that information is not forgotten or distorted. Oftentimes when there is no recording and I do take notes, I find that my notes are either incomplete or completely incorrect. I may have learned shorthand in high school, but my use of it is very rusty now and it is hard to read at best. Also, when taking notes, my handwriting and abbreviations are difficult to decipher.
4. The coach has research material. If the coach is recording their sessions, they have research material to refer back to, or material for articles, downloadable books, or other information products. It is, of course, understood, that no confidential information will be disclosed, but much of what is relayed is advice or suggestions which can be used for someone else who may have the same issues. Oftentimes, when advising someone, a coach may wish they could recall what their advice had been in an earlier session so they could use that same sage advice.
5. The recipient of the advice will be able to recall 100% of the information. I don’t know about others, but my retention of material while learning is sometimes sketchy at best or non existent at worst.
I am delighted when I know the session is being recorded. So much so, in fact, that if the coach isn’t going to record it, I will record it myself. It is unquestionably a value-added feature and could result in your being able to charge more to your clients or students and give fewer sessions, freeing up your time to take on more clients.
Coaches/Consultants, if you aren’t now recording your sessions, I urge you to consider it. Here are some methods you can use.
o Small portable digital recorders if it’s a one-on-one session.
o Over the phone using a bridge line or a recording service.
o Telephone recording devices which can be purchased at your local electronic retail store or through the Internet.
Recoding coaching/consultant sessions is definitely a value-added service. One that you should consider. If you also get that audio transcribed, you have yet another information product to add to your collection.