🐔 Why you should never ‘wing it’ in high-stakes conversations

Hi Coach!

Five years ago, I found myself pacing nervously after a particularly tough coaching session.

It was my first time delivering a brand-new program, and to say it didn’t go as planned would be an understatement.

Not only was I frustrated, but so was my client.

In my attempt to stick rigidly to the new material, I lost the very essence of what makes coaching work: adaptability and personal connection.

In the heat of the moment, I let my emotions get the best of me and vented my frustration on my peers.

Looking back, I realise how valuable that challenging day was, despite the embarrassment and the momentary lapse in professionalism.

It taught me a critical lesson about preparation and authenticity in coaching.

The truth is, I was trying to implement a program created by someone else without making it my own first.

I hadn’t taken the time to practice sufficiently or run through the program with a colleague.

A simple dress rehearsal could have spared me the public failure and the frustration felt by everyone involved.

This experience has lived rent-free in my head for the past five years, constantly reminding me of the importance of being thoroughly prepared and truly confident in my delivery before stepping into the coaching role.

It’s a lesson I’ve since passed on to many other coaches to prevent them from making the same mistake.

A smart person learns from their own mistakes, but a truly wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

However, sometimes, we must learn the hard way so it sticks.

Here’s what I learned: Always carve out ample time to practice and prepare.

Understand deeply what you’re teaching or facilitating.

Don’t just follow a script—make the material your own so you can deliver it with conviction and adapt as needed.

You don’t want your first words in a high-stakes conversation to be a rehearsal.

So, what about you? Are you taking enough time to prepare?

Are you ensuring that your delivery is not just rehearsed but also resonates with who you are as a coach?

I’d love to hear your thoughts or any experiences you’ve had where a little practice would have made all the difference.

Hit reply and let me know :)

🗣️ 👀


PS. Haven't taken The Authoritative Coaching Session Scorecard yet? Now's the perfect time to discover your coaching strengths and areas for improvement. It’s a quick, insightful way to assess where you stand and how you can grow. Take the scorecard now, and let’s start this journey together!

Hi, Coach...

Chris Marr works with established business coaches to help them go from good to great and have more breakthrough conversations with their clients and teams.

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