April 11, 2014


Becoming a Coaching Leader Step 3 – Develop Coaching Tools

The third step in becoming a coaching leader is to develop your coaching tools. The purpose of coaching tools is two-fold. First, they should help bring clarity and action to your client’s thinking, priorities, and goals. Second, they should also help you set expectations and provide a framework from which to deliver a great coaching experience.

In our first year of marriage, my wife bought me my first tool box and tool belt. When I opened the toolbox there was a basic set of tools that allowed me to do most projects around the house. Over time the need for new and specific tools arose and I would go and buy them but it was wonderful to have a basic set of tools that helped me do 90% of the projects around the house. Today, I want to share with you a basic set of tools that I believe will help you deliver a great coaching experience.


The 10 essential tools for becoming a coaching leader are as follows:

Coaching Agreement: This basic agreement should include how long you will coach the team member, if there is any cost involved and how to pay, how you will deliver coaching services (phone, in-person, video conference), and any expectations from both parties.

Client Questionnaire: This questionnaire should focus on basic information about the client, their goals, priorities, and areas for personal and professional growth. The desired end result from a questionnaire is to provide you with insight into your client’s business, mindset, and priorities. 

Commitments Statement: This statement should outline the commitments each person is making to the coaching relationship. These are like your coaching vows and should be signed by both parties acknowledging they are committed to the coaching relationship. See the example under the resources heading at the bottom of this post.

Behavioral and Communication Analysis: There are so many wonderful tools you can use to assess someone’s behavioral style. At Building Champions, we prefer the DISC behavioral assessment. I’m also a fan of Marcus Buckingham’s StandOut Assessment.

Coaching Session Update: This tool is completed by the client prior to each session. It should be a simple form with questions that provide you with insight into your client’s greatest victory and challenge since you last spoke, and what they would like to focus on in the upcoming session.

Action Plan Record: This tool is also completed by the client prior to each session and allows them to update you on their progress towards completing action items from the previous sessions.

Personal and Professional Priorities Worksheet: This tool is completed during the initial on-boarding of the client and should result in a list of 3-5 top priorities to focus on in coaching. These are generally areas that need to see growth or improvement.

Planning Tools: This set of tools should include at minimum a life planning, business planning, and business vision tool for your clients. Depending on your industry there may be specific plans already available for you to use. Make sure each of these plans is simple, meaningful, and measurable.

Priority Management Tools: This tool should provide your client with the ability to take all of their priorities and high-payoff activities identified from your planning tools and put them into a schedule or routine. I like to have my clients develop an ideal week or a thematic time block to bring clarity and focus to their daily routine.

Review Tools: My favorite tool to use for reviewing plans or periods of time is the Keep-Start-Stop tool. The goal of this tool or any review tool should be to have your client spend time reflecting on their past performance and evaluating what they need to keep doing, start doing or stop doing to improve results/relationships in the future.

I highly recommend two books to help you create your coaching tools. Both of these books come with sample tools for you start using immediately:

Here are a few other resources to help you get started:

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan


April 8, 2014


My Life Plan and Coaching Story

Last year at the Building Champions Experience I had the privilege of speaking from the main stage about my experience with life planning and my story of becoming a coaching leader. In my message I discussed the life changing experiences that led me to Life Planning and the impact it has had on my personal life and key relationships. In today’s post I want to share a video of me delivering this message.

I also had the pleasure of introducing author and speaker, Donald Miller. His book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years and his Storyline Conference both had a tremendous influence on me becoming a coaching leader and eventually an executive coach at Building Champions.

To setup the video you’ll need to know that the day before I spoke I twisted my ankle and was forced to wear a very bulky and uncomfortable walking cast on stage. I begin by sharing that experience. I hope you enjoy hearing my story. Perhaps you have a similar one. If so, I’d love to hear yours. 

If you do not see the video in your reader, please click here.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

April 4, 2014


Taking Time To Reflect

I can’t believe we are already through the first quarter of 2014. For my business and me personally it has been a very fast paced 90 days filled with both blessings and trials. Today, I want to encourage each of you to spend time reflecting and completing a KEEP, STOP, START exercise. It is a great exercise to help you reflect, adjust, and recommit to disciplines and goals that you may have set earlier in the year or in your Life Plan.
Here are three questions to ask yourself as you reflect back on the last 90 days…
  • What do I need to KEEP doing that has helped me grow and achieve success?
  • What do I need to STOP doing that is preventing me from achieving success and growing?
  • What do I need START doing that will help me grow and achieve greater success?
When you’ve answered those questions, take some time to ask a similar version of these questions to the most important people in your life. I’m going to ask my wife and my children the following:
  • What do I need to KEEP doing that serves you and lets you know I love you?
  • What do I need to STOP doing that frustrates you or hurts you?
  • What do I need to START doing that would fill your love tank and allow me to serve you better?
Taking a few minutes to ask these questions and sharing your answers together will help you grow in your relationship. Have the courage to be authentic and transparent with each other!
Make it a great day!
Coach Dan

April 2, 2014

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Becoming a Coaching Leader Step 2 – Create Your Coaching Systems

The second step in becoming a coaching leader is to create your coaching systems. These systems should help you deliver coaching with excellence while supporting your efforts to provide a great coaching experience. Without the right systems in place, you may find yourself distracted, disorganized, and unprepared for your coaching sessions.  Before you adopt a system in your coaching it must meet certain criteria:

  • It must be easy to use.
  • It must be quickly accessible.
  • It must create efficiencies in your coaching.
  • It must help you stay focused during sessions.

Coaching Systems

Today I want to share with you five systems that I believe meet these criteria and are essential to helping you become a coaching leader. A coaching leader must have a system for:

Conducting Coaching Sessions: This system provides a framework for how standard coaching sessions will be delivered. This system acts as a guide for you to follow and should include general categories to discuss, time frames for each category and the opportunity to create action out of the coaching session.

Recording Action Plans: Driving to action is one of the key skills of a coaching leader. You must have a system for recording actions steps to be taken within a specified period of time, generally before the next coaching session. The ability to review previously completed action plans is also essential to this system.

Taking Session Notes: Taking notes while actively listening during the coaching session is both an art and a skill. Session notes should serve as a reminder of successes, challenges, proposed solutions, and hot topics discussed in the sessions. Your session notes will help you stay connected to your clients needs and progress.

Tracking Goals: Recording and tracking the progress of your client’s goals is essential for discussing return on investment and monitoring the benefit of coaching. These goals should be reviewed in each coaching session and updated as needed.

Sharing Thought Leadership: As a coach you must have a system for storing and sharing thought leadership articles, tools, posts and quotes with your clients. Many clients need this additional thought leadership to help them gain clarity and understanding of opportunities and challenges they are facing. You don’t want to have to do a Google search for articles or tools every time a clients needs additional assistance.

A quick reminder: Having all the right systems does not make you a successful coach. 

At Building Champions we have proprietary software which provides us with a suite of coaching systems. However, when I first became a coaching leader I had to create my own. Today, there are wonderful web-based solutions that I believe provide wonderful options for you. I am currently recommending both Evernote and Microsoft OneNote for creating your coaching platform of systems.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan

March 24, 2014

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Becoming A Coaching Leader Step 1 – Write Your Coaching Vision

The first step in becoming a coaching leader is to cast your coaching vision. A coaching vision is different than your team or organization’s vision in that it is much more personal and is a deeper explanation of your leadership style and philosophy.

Business Man Vision

When I decided to make coaching the cornerstone of my leadership style I wanted to jump right in and start coaching my team. Thankfully, my coach, Barry Engelman, cautioned me on this approach and encouraged me to cast my vision before executing a strategy that may or may not be successful.

It was some of the best advice I ever received and helped me gain clarity around who I wanted to become as a coach, what I wanted to achieve through coaching, and how I wanted to serve others through coaching.

As I sat down to write out my coaching vision I outlined six sections for me to articulate my thoughts and beliefs about what it meant to be a coaching leader. These sections would become the framework for my coaching vision and I want to recommend this same framework to you. The six sections, in order, are as follows:

1. Coaching Vision Overview – In this section you will articulate why you want to be a coaching leader. What is drawing you to adopt this leadership philosophy? What do you believe about coaching and about yourself as a coach? Describe your passion for coaching others.

2. Coaching Purpose Statement – This is a short one sentence statement that summarizes your coaching vision overview. When I went through this exercise I created my purpose statement and it has remained the same for almost ten years now, “Helping professionals to be purposeful in business and life.”

3. Core Coaching Convictions – In this section you will identify the convictions (values) that will guide you as you become a coaching leader. These convictions must stand the test of time because they will become the filter through which you make future decisions about how to execute on your coaching leadership style. I recommend 4-6 core convictions.

4. Envisioned Future – Here you will write what you hope to achieve through adopting a coaching leadership style. This should be a brief paragraph or two where you describe what the future is like now that you are coaching your team and have created a culture of accountability through coaching. If I were to walk through your office doors what would I see and experience as a result of you becoming a coaching leader?

5. Key Areas of Development – Out of your envisioned future you will identify key areas of your coaching leadership style that need to be developed over time. These are areas you want to become proficient in, and perhaps even reach a mastery level, so that you can have the greatest impact on the lives of those you lead. As you identify each area, write out a short description of what your desired end result is for each area of development.

6. Compelling Ambitions – In this final section you will outline what you are going to achieve by becoming a coaching a leader for your organization. What are the tangible results you and your organization will experience? How will you measure these results? By when will you have achieved each of these results?

If you are serious about becoming a coaching leader, I want to encourage you to spend a full-day out of your office writing your coaching vision. Break away from all the emails, voicemails, and meetings so you can have focused intentional time to articulate your vision. This is the first and most critical step in your journey to becoming a coaching leader.

If you would like feedback on your coaching vision, please feel free to email me a copy of your vision.

Make it a great day!

Coach Dan