12 Great Ways to Use Coaching Tools & Exercises in Your Practice—and Why!

Coaching Tools and Exercises are wonderful resources in your toolbox to help your one-on-one clients grow and take action. But they can be used in many, many other ways!

And because we love Coaching Tools and it's a question we're often asked, we put together a list of the key ideas for you. Enjoy!

Here Are 12 Great Ways to Use Coaching Tools & Exercises

1. In your Welcome Pack

Yay - you've got a new client!

Use a coaching tool or exercise to give them something tangible and provide value right away. And especially for people who haven't had a coach before, giving them something concrete helps them feel more comfortable with the financial investment they've made in coaching—and themselves.

2. In Session with Clients

Use coaching exercises to inspire, inform, raise awareness or help your clients solve a specific problem.

For example, tools like The Urgent Important Matrix (help people see how not dealing with important issues in a timely fashion means they become urgent and take over) or Are You Sitting Too Comfortably (helps your client assess whether they're stuck in their comfort zone, or are constantly in discomfort and may need to do less). Detox Your Relationships helps people figure out who is good to spend both more and less time with.

What challenge is your client is having? Find, or create a tool to help 🙂

Happy Coach at Desk Making Plans

3. As Client Homework

Use coaching exercises to delve deeper into a topic that came up in a coaching session, or simply work on some self-discovery eg. identifying their values.

As well as going deeper and raising a clients self-awareness, giving coaching tools as homework also provides the valuable service of keeping clients engaged and in a coaching frame of mind between sessions.

4. As Handouts/Worksheets in Workshops and Webinars

It's rare to go to a workshop and not receive some sort of handout or worksheet!

There are many benefits to using coaching exercises and tools in Workshops and Webinars and these include

  1. People learn best by doing and writing things down makes them stick more.
  2. A worksheet reinforces your workshop message.
  3. Great worksheets help your attendees personalise the information you're sharing—figuring out how it might apply to them.
  4. When you give out a handout it makes you the expert.
  5. Many people enjoy filling out forms to learn about themselves.
  6. And people like to take handouts and worksheets home as a reminder—so make sure you add your branding and contact details on...

We also created a list in our coaching tools catalogue so you can see which of our coaching exercises work well in workshops (which is most of them!).

Coach and Client in Meeting using Wheel of Life

5. With Prospects or in Sample Sessions

It's challenging to explain what coaching IS. It's better to tell stories about how you've helped people, or to give prospects a coaching experience they can remember.

Coaching Tools and Exercises can be a great way to give people a tangible taste of coaching AND something they can keep and take home with them (again with your branding and contact details on there)!

Try using The Free Wheel of Life Template or 3 Month Vision Worksheet.

6. To Demonstrate Progress and the Value of Coaching

Coaching exercises and forms that have scoring on them are helpful in proving the value of coaching.

For example if you ask your clients to score something ___ / 10, when you come back later and ask them to score again—they'll be able to see their improvement.

The Wheel of Life is particularly good for this.

You can also demonstrate progress by asking your client to score their goals worksheet. Try this Simple 3 Step Process to Measure Progress Towards ANY Coaching Goal!

7. As Back Of Room Giveaways At Networking Events, Conferences and Your Own Workshops

Whether it's a workshop, networking event or conference—there is usually space at the back of the room where people put brochures and business cards.

And this is a great place to put a coaching exercise or tool (with your branding and contact details on).

  1. Simply pick an exercise that will resonate with your ideal clients (eg. solve a problem they have or help them achieve a goal).
  2. Be sure to add your branding and contact details and print them out.
  3. Now place at the back of the room!

I have done this a lot, often putting out 2 or 3 different coaching exercises—and I love watching as people stop to look, read them a little and pick them up to take home!

For something simple, colourful and fun try The Wheel of Life Template, Energy Zappers or Daily Gratitude Diary Template.

8. Create a Coaching Exercise Product to Sell on your Website [1]

As you get clear on the type of clients you want to serve, you will also get clear on the common issues your clients face.

This is the time for you to create a product to sell.

Create an exercise, form, handout or special report for people to buy. Not only does this give you the potential for extra income, it also positions you as an expert.

You may also like our article 10 Easy Steps To Create Your Own Coaching Tool, Exercise or Seminar Handout!

9. Create a Newsletter Sign-up Gift [1]

Similar to number 8 above, you can create your own coaching product (exercise, form, handout etc) that inspires people to sign-up for your newsletter (so you can stay in touch with them!).

This resource/giveaway should demonstrate your expertise, and either solve a problem or help your ideal client achieve a goal.

Pick a really juicy title for your coaching exercise, and watch your newsletter sign-ups increase.

Happy client setting goals not resolutions

10. Save Time and Energy on Repeatable Tasks (and make sure you don't forget anything!)

Create coaching forms for your administrative tasks like client details, recording client hours, your client intake/wrap-up sessions.

Checklists in particular can be incredibly helpful when you're starting out—and when you're busy too.

And it's easy to do.

  1. Sit down for a few minutes and make a list of the things you do for (processes) every client.
  2. Now give yourself 30 minutes for each process: create a document that lists the important steps/components/things to remember for each process.
  3. Save each process with a meaningful name, in a specific folder called Manage Client Processes (or similar) so you can find it again.
  4. As you think of more things to remember or more details, simply add them to the appropriately named document.

Also, we offer many of these forms in our top-selling Coaching Welcome Packet (eg. Welcome Letter, Intake Session Checklist, Coaching Agreement etc).

11. Lighten Up A Serious Topic Or Challenging Session

Sometimes coaching can seem very serious and/or challenging. This is usually good—we're moving our clients into deep, life-changing territory!

And sometimes, that heaviness can make coaching seem bigger and scarier than it needs to be. So a coaching tool or exercise can lighten up the situation.

A coaching tool also reminds clients that they're not alone—other people go through this because they even have a coaching form for it!

A coaching exercise also says "Yes, I see your issue and there are some processes we can follow here."

Some great examples include Draw Out Your Gremlin, Self-Care Check-in and Needs Review or Troll Travels - Who am I?.

12. And of Course You Can Use Coaching Tools and Exercises To Develop Yourself!

In fact I recommend it!

I believe as a coach, we have a duty to be constantly raising our own awareness, and learning what makes us tick!

Not only can we use what we learn to help our clients, but we are then role modelling the behaviour we'd like for our clients.

Plus by learning about ourselves, we become more aware of our own fears, issues and prejudices.


So, there you have it. 12 great ways you can use coaching tools and exercises in your coaching practice—and why.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and that you have lots of new ideas!

[1] Our tools license does not allow our tools to be given away or resold online eg. as a newsletter sign-up gift. See our legal terms here. However, you can obviously use your own tools and exercises however you like! And developing your OWN tools helps you develop your expertise, and coaching offerings.

If you liked this article on how to use coaching tools & exercises, you may also like:

Finally, for a more comprehensive look at Coaching Tools, what they are, when to use them and how they can help, See our Complete Guide to Coaching Tools here >>


Emma-Louise Elsey Headshot

Contributing Author:

Emma-Louise Elsey has been coaching since 2003 and is the Founder of The Coaching Tools Company and Fierce Kindness.com. She's passionate about coaching and personal development. Originally a project and relationship manager for Fortune 500 companies she combined her love of coaching, creativity and systems to create over 100 brandable coaching tools, forms and exercises including 30+ completely free coaching tools. She now serves coaches and the coaching world through her exclusive newsletter for coaches, Coaches Helping Coaches Facebook Group and many other great tools for coaches, plus resources and ideas for your coaching toolbox. The Coaching Tools Company is an official ICF Business Solutions Partner.

Learn more about Emma-Louise & see all their articles here >>

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  1. lisa R murrah

    I would like to buy tools from 12 best ways to use coaching tools and exercise. Is this in the welcome packet


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