This seems like a simple question, but the answer is complex and complicated. “Coaching” is not a one-and-done event like running a race, getting married or birthing a child. Rather, it’s an ongoing process that varies in length depending on:
- Your business and life goals
- What you need coaching around
- The type of coaching program you enroll in
- Other factors
When doing your research on coaches and coaching programs, I recommend you focus on those “other factors.” I’ve found that there are four main factors to consider when looking at the length and time of an individual, one-on-one coaching program: number of sessions, frequency of sessions, length of time for each session and the overall length of the entire program.
How Coaching Programs Are Designed
Most coaches today follow a specific coaching program or model, one they were trained in either by another coach or a coaching school. These coaching models usually have a built-in timeframe, however coaches can adjust the programs as needed. This means that while two coaches might use the same coaching model, the timeframe could still be different.
Some coaches have developed their own unique and completely custom program models. Often these coaches are industry- or goal-specific, where the end result is the same or at least similar among all clients. These programs often have a set time-frame but can be customized to fit each client.
There are also coaches who co-create a custom coaching program for each individual client. With this model, there’s usually an initial session where the focus is on designing the program plan.
How Program Length Works
The vast majority of coaches who work individually with clients start with an initial 90-day program with weekly coaching sessions. However, this can vary depending on the topic you’re focusing on during coaching. In business coaching, you may also see programs up to six months long while in life or relationship coaching, programs usually range from 30 days to three months.
There’s a trend among corporate coaches to hold bi-weekly coaching sessions with longer programs, seemingly to allow more flexibility in schedules. And to confuse things even more, many coaches also offer maintenance-style programs where they meet once per month with clients over the course of a year or two.
The most consistent part of program length and style among coaches is probably the length of the sessions. Most individual program have sessions that run 60 minutes, while some coaches offer 30- or 90-minute sessions. But just like other aspects of searching for that perfect program, there are other variations. It’s become popular to offer half-day VIP sessions to clients who want to make big pivots in a short amount of time.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated when looking for a coach, because how do you know what type of program is best for you? That’s where we go back to the four things you need to consider when looking for a coaching program. Stay tuned as I walk you through how to choose the right coaching program.