coaching through the winter months

There are times during the year when we really think more about planning, new ideas, consolidating and relaxing and although we can generalise about this it is really interesting to work with the seasons in a coaching context.

Since we are heading into winter lets think about traditionally how people can feel –

  • heading into family times for the Christmas season – does this bring pleasure or stress or potentially both?
  • Leaves falling from the trees – do we mourn the loss of sunny days and light evenings or embrace cold dark evenings?
  • have we made plans or goals that we are looking forward to yet or have we still a few we want to achieve for 2017?
  • how is our work-life balance?

Often  people can withdraw and hunker down through the winter months and of course there is always new year and new year’s resolutions around the corner……..

So how can we best coach during this time?

At Coachhouse we know that is is essential to be mindful of the seasonal background environment, how it can affect individuals in the choices and decisions they make and to ensure that people are looking both short and longer term.

As always it’s useful to use powerful questions that cover main areas

  1. Anticipation – what is possible? what if it works out as you want it to?what is your dream? What is your intuition telling you?
  2. Assessment – What does it look like to you? How do you feel about it? What do you think is best? What do you make of it?
  3. Clarification – What do you want to do or to happen? Can you elaborate further? What do you mean? What needs to be clearer for you?
  4. Elaboration – What else is there? What other ideas or thoughts do you have about it? What more can you tell me? Any other influences?
  5. Examples – Like what? Such as? What would that look like? For instance?
  6. Exploration – What is there that you want to explore? What other angles or perceptions could there be? What other options are there?
  7. Evaluation – What is the opportunity here? What is your assessment of the situation? How does this sit with your other plans/aims?

There are some very good questions to be considered see How to train Managers as Coaches


It may be that as people are viewing what they have achieved during 2017 and are beginning to formulate ideas for 2018 you may need to arrange a coaching session early in the new year to pick up on feelings expressed at the end of 2017 and to see if there is change at the beginning of a new year.

It could also be a good time to use the priorities wheel – divided into 8 segments this could allow coachees to decide for themselves what aspects of their life they would like to consider within those segments and to think about what they wish to achieve in the future. This can be a great starting point for both coach and coachee. See below for an example


Good luck – but do contact us if you would like some help. We regularly run workshops to help people improve their coaching skills or to set up coaching support for teams and managers