The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for Client Notes

Introducing Whiteboards

I can’t speak to other professions,  but in programming crafts the whiteboard is the ubiquitous wall-mounted display of a collaborative work in progress.  Marked with a few of the standard dry erase colors (red, blue, green and black), the whiteboard contains lo-res drawing of high-impact ideas, priority lists of things to do, and hastily scribbled notes capturing the key takeaways of recent collaborative pow-wows.

It is often a crude yet to-the-point map detailing the state of affairs, proudly displaying the what’s so for all parties who should gaze upon it.

For example, here’s my whiteboard for CA:

Here's my whiteboard for CA.  My wife tells me CA Land looks a lot like Europe.

My wife tells me CA Land looks a lot like Europe.

For the sort of ongoing, collaborative work that coaching relationships entail, the whiteboard is a worthy addition.

Conventional whiteboards are mounted to the wall of someone’s office, and so are useful only when both parties are in physical proximity.  For the sort of virtual collaboration that coaching so often comprises, CoachAccountable offers virtual whiteboards.  Let’s take a look at how they work.

» Continue reading “Introducing Whiteboards”

CoachAccountable in Review: Session Documentation

In addition to the testimonial she so generously provided last month, Twila Gates offered to write a mini series reviewing the various features of CoachAccountable as a way to share with other coaches her experiences and how she’s made it serve her practice so well.

Recently I’ve had a few requests for a CoachAccountable user’s group, and until that’s ready I imagine Twila’s accounts make a fitting way to fill some of that void.

Twila has opted to start with the basics for her first piece, and herein describes CoachAccountable’s documentation of coaching sessions.  Take it away, Twila!

» Continue reading “CoachAccountable in Review: Session Documentation”

Gettin’ Pictorial

Last week my wife and I were in Vancouver enjoying a little getaway, during which I had my second international face-to-face with a CoachAccountable customer.  This time it was David Frank Gomes of Life Compass Coaching.

Relative to the timeline of CoachAccountable, David and I go way back.  He was one of the very first people checking it out with whom I chatted on the phone, one of my early attempts to convey in words the how and why of the system.  This was in November of 2012, just over 2 months into CA’s public existence.

I think the job I did of convincing him was good but not great in that green period of my sales call ability: it wasn’t until 5 months later that David came back as a full-fledged user of the system, but to my delight he’s been a vocal fan ever since.

During our visit we talked of Team Edition’s imminent release, our mutual paths as entrepreneurs in the coaching space, and David’s experience of using CA for his year+.  For David’s practice though he loves the system he finds a lot of its mechanics (for example of Metrics and Actions) to be cold, uninspiring, a little too right-brained.  For his sake, he told me, he’d love to give his clients a more visual experience: something to viscerally inspire the dynamic process that dealing with life’s issues and ambitions generally is, and communicate more than just numbers and graphs.

“Like sharing images,” he said, “yes I can upload it as a file to share with the client and put it in their Files tab, but then they have to click through and download it to their machine and open it.  It’s clunky.  It would be nice to see them just appear in the Stream tab.”

» Continue reading “Gettin’ Pictorial”

Private Notes and Journal Entries

This is a facet of functionality that I’ve been deliberately dragging my feet on for a while.

The vision I’ve had of CoachAccountable as a collaborative workspace between client and coach has always assumed, naively perhaps, that everything should be completely open and shared between client and coach within the scope of their relationship.

So I never put much work into special controls/options to make certain content visible to coaches but not their clients, or vice-versa.  Sure, I had the ability to add private comments to stream items, but the partitioning of information between coach and client has remained willfully primitive for some time.

» Continue reading “Private Notes and Journal Entries”

A proper glimpse into coaching a session with CoachAccountable

I am absolutely biased when I say this, so you should be on-guard skeptical when you hear it:

CoachAccountable is an absolute joy to use for the sessions I have with the people I coach.

I love knowing what’s going on, I love coming prepared based on what’s going on, I love watching my coachees make their coaching plans, I love how clear everything is laid out for us both when we get off the phone.

Before it was hard to convey this to people.  You kinda have to use CoachAccountable for a full week to appreciate how you the work in one week sets things up for the next, and longer to see how the rhythm of it all builds so beautifully.

Basically it takes a little time before you wonder how you ever did it any other way.

But I’ve cooked up a video that walks you through how your process can look with the benefit of CoachAccountable.  So today, if you’ve got 3 minutes, I can illustrate the beauty of it for you.  Check it out, I recommend watching in full screen mode.

On Taking and Sharing Notes

When working with a client, a coach invariably creates and/or unearths valuable insights, plans of action, and other useful bits which pertain to what that client is ultimately up to and dealing with.  A colleague (and CoachAccountable early adopter) recently pointed out that there are many instances of coaches who do not take notes of their sessions, or,  if they do, do not share those notes with their clients.

I found this to be surprising, and then upon a moment’s reflection not surprising at all.  Surprising because for the last several months I’ve been building and evolving a system which prominently features notes as a central facet of the coaching relationship.  Then not surprising when I remembered that I myself have done months-long coaching engagements wherein notes were just not part of the mix.

» Continue reading “On Taking and Sharing Notes”

Coaching Sessions with CoachAccountable

The other day I illustrated why Metrics are awesome and how they serve coaching relationships.  Today I’m going to sketch out the ways in which CoachAccountable Sessions are great.

At the most basic level, sessions aren’t that special: a way to take notes in an editor with formatting options much like any word processor.  Even with your collection of customizable templates that serve as starting points for your note taking (the above is exactly what I use for regular weekly sessions), we’re not yet talking anything that MS Word can’t do once you’ve hammered out a few template files.

For me the magic starts about 5 minutes before a coaching call.  I log in to CoachAccountable and click on the client with whom I’m about to have a session, and this is what greets me on the overview tab:

» Continue reading “Coaching Sessions with CoachAccountable”