We have already seen in the article Making Performance Plans in Business Coaching how imperative it is for plans and objectives to not only be created, but also to be accurately recorded and written down to prevent confusion and forgetfulness at a later date. A failure to do so can hamper the overall effectiveness and outcome of the entire business coaching process, and limit the effectiveness of the individual's professional development.
Along with the plans, checkpoint meetings need to be scheduled to ensure that the work and efforts being made by the individual are in fact applicable to the goals determined at the start of the process. The more time that passes since the original meetings, the greater the likelihood and potential for the person to have forgotten the specifics about what they need to achieve and implement in order to bring about the desired change in their professional life and career. At these meetings, the progress made can be discussed, and the business coach can serve to ensure that the individual has not gone off at a tangent, and is still on the right track in terms of achieving the original targets discussed in the initial coaching sessions.
It is a good idea to schedule these checkpoint and review meetings at the outset of the business coaching meetings, setting a regular period for review, as the individual can have a clearer idea of the timescales involved for their progress. It also prevents long periods of time elapsing if busy managers and equally busy business coaches struggle to find mutually-acceptable availability in their diaries at short notice on an ad-hoc basis. By scheduling regular meetings a long way in advance will get them in the diary and make them much more likely to take place. It can be easy to view these review meetings as unimportant events which can be cancelled and put off further and further in to the future, but it is vital that they are afforded just as much status and importance as the regular business coaching provisions. Not conducting regular reviews can ultimately undo all of the good work performed in the coaching meetings if the coachee goes more and more off track and fails to work on the issues and make the changes that were identified during the original discussions.
Despite it being sensible to schedule regular review dates for the future soon after coaching commences, there may still be occasions when checkpoint sessions need to arranged at a later date. This will often be the case during particularly important changes or when the upheaval is specifically significant and the individual will require more support from their business coach, and greater monitoring to ensure that they are still on the right track. At such a juncture of their change process, going off course or failing to implement the required changes can prove to be particularly damaging to the overall success levels expected or desired at the beginning of the business coaching process. It is also critically important at this stage of great change for managers to be available for discussions and guidance.