If the first session, Values, is about creating a compass for all future work, the second session on Strategy is about creating the map that marks their desired destination across several key areas.

This session is about getting clear on what the coachee would like to achieve in their role in the next six months to one year, and what they specifically hope to accomplish through coaching.

This section is all about defining success, and challenging the person to think as big as possible about what they want to pursue and achieve. Many people find meaning in challenge, so this session is about encouraging your client to select resonant goals based on their values, not settle for “shoulds.” Encourage the coachee not to focus on what they don’t want, or what is merely realistic, but what would be wildly resonant. You can always narrow down later.

By setting strategy together, though you may not be solving tactical problems yet, you are helping your clients make more progress than you realize. Many clients, once they are clear on resonant one-year goals, make quick work of going after them. Trust that even if you do not get into “nitty gritty” problem solving in this session, that just by setting a compelling vision you are creating a shortcut for the rest of your coaching. Cutting through confusion by asking follow-up questions about each focus area will help you stay focused and on track in subsequent sessions.

Coach Preparation

  • Review their values homework before you talk

  • Review their focus areas from the discovery doc

  • During the session, spend about 15 minutes on each focus area, asking follow-up questions and painting the clearest picture possible about what success looks like for each one.

Questions to ask for each focus area:

  • What are their desired outcomes? What does success look like one year from now?
  • What is important to you about that?

  • What would have to happen to get there? How will you know when you have achieved it?

  • What are the current barriers or unknowns preventing you from moving forward in this area?

  • What is your current satisfaction rating in this area, on a scale of one to ten?

  • What would a 10 look like?

  • What would a 10 look like in terms of progress in the next 3 months?

CR: Primary Focus Areas Session Homework

Hi {Name},


Great talking with you! I am so impressed by your vision for the future. Below is the homework. 


{Your Name}

These are just examples; pull out concrete action items based on specific things they said

HW1: Review Primary Focus areas; anything we missed?

HW2: Note one to two key next steps to move each area forward

HW3: Sample ideal average day/week/month schedule (template here if that’s helpful)

HW—Optional: Do a journaling free-write about the TED talk you would give a year from now. What message would you send? What story would you tell about where you came from, and how that informed your life now?