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Why you should Initiate a Mutual Journaling Adventure

by Frame of Mind January 13, 2014

The following article by Davida Ander was published in the January 7th issue of Peer Resources. Click here to read the PDF version of the article (on pg 16).

Initiate a Mutual Journaling Adventure

As a coach, you may have asked your clients to journal on their own time. You may have personally journaled; perhaps you started an online blog or bought yourself a diary so you could record your thoughts. But have you ever thought about asking your clients to journal… with you?

Journaling has been used as a tool for personal development for hundreds of years. And it’s no wonder—modern day studies (Baikie & Wilhelm, 2005; Mallet, 2008; Murray, 2002) have found that recording one’s experiences, thoughts and feelings can lead to stress reduction, a strengthened immune system, elevated mood and improved physical health.

Journaling can have an even deeper impact when paired with the coaching process. Think about it: Client A meets with his or her coach once a week and has no or minimal communication with the coach in-between coaching sessions. Client B meets with his or her coach once a week AND journals every day in-between coaching sessions, receiving comments, questions and constructive feedback from his coach. Which client is likely to move farther faster in this coaching engagement?

Asking a client to journal regularly gives the coach access to a wealth of client data in a short period of time. Using journaling prompts, the coach can ask a client to write about their beliefs, regrets, goals, fears and pain points. By probing further, the coach can begin to understand the most determining factor of all: the way the client thinks. Deep, transformational coaching stems from being well-informed about clients. Journaling can help coaches skip the fluff and get to the things that matter most. Once a coach can understand the thoughts and beliefs that deter clients from succeeding, each coach can help them achieve major transformation.

In order to address any initial journaling reluctance that some clients may feel, it is important to clarify that there’s no pressure to have perfect spelling, grammar and paragraph structuring in entries. There’s no minimum or maximum word requirement either. The act of virtual journaling is much like a dialogue or an instant chat experience that takes place between the coach and client. The client translates their thoughts to the page and the coach responds.

The cool part about journaling with a client is that there is tangible evidence of their progress with you. They can review their entries and witness the value of your time together, weeks or months after their first coaching session. An online journal acts as a safe storage bank for your client’s experiences, and it reminds them of their steps of achievement.

Client journaling can boost your coaching confidence and make you a better coach. It’s worth a try.

JournalEngine™ Software is an online journaling platform created to help coaches transform their clients and their businesses. Using this software, coaches can respond to client journals, create courses, send out automated homework assignments, format and send newsletters, customize their site ads and establish a supportive online coaching community. Coaches who are thinking about incorporating journaling into their coaching business can sign up for a complimentary 14- day JournalEngine™ trial at www.journalengine.com.

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