9 Fun Coaching Activities & Exercises I Would Not Be Without

Happy Coach with Life Coaching Activities & Tools with a Laptop

I am often asked which Coaching Activities, Tools and Exercises I like best, use most, would recommend—or would not be without.

So below I share the coaching activities I think are most universally useful for coaches and our clients, plus a little on how to use them! Enjoy.

New to coaching activities? Read our Complete Guide to Life Coaching Tools here >>

And we'd also love to hear from you which coaching activities, tools and exercises you use most—or find most useful—in your coaching practice. So, share the fun coaching activities you use in the comments below.

Here are the 9 Coaching Activities and Exercises I would not be without

Of all the coaching activities out there, the Wheel of Life may just be the ultimate coaching tool. With a few tweaks to the categories (or use a blank wheel), and by asking different questions, it's endlessly flexible—for many different applications beyond life balance.

Great for: Any coaching client!

For more information on the Wheel of Life as one of the best coaching activities out there, try:

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  • Wheel of Life (Balance Wheel)
  • A Blank Wheel of Life (to customise for any situation)
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  • Client Action Recording Sheet & Template
  • Coaching Intake Session Checklist
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This coaching activity draws out experiences where people are in flow or very present with themselves. Then you coach them to see how the experiences they've chosen are both easy to create and—usually—free!

This tool is great to help people understand what truly creates joy and happiness.

Great for: life-coaching, spiritual workshops, one-on-one sessions and also for homework as part of values exploration. Ultimately this exercise helps our clients connect with what makes them truly happy—and to see how simple it can be to create that.

You may also like these resources:

The Bog Rocks coaching exercise uses a powerful metaphor of trying to fit rocks, pebbles and sand in a jar—how we tend to fill our lives with sand and pebbles first and leave no room for our "Big Rocks".

In this coaching activity, we first share the story and concept, then on page 2, a jar with "Big Rocks" is used as a visual to help them prioritise their activities and cement the learning.

Then you coach your client around identifying, learning to prioritise and action the "Big Rocks" first, and to put their metaphorical pebbles and sand in AFTERwards.

Great for: Anyone who struggles with many priorities and tasks—especially busy workaholics and moms! Also great for business, executive, career coaches and corporate workshops to help with procrastination, improving productivity and being more focused.

The Urgent Important Matrix coaching activity helps people become very AWARE of how they could waste less time—and be more productive. And like "Big Rocks" it's a great tool for business and corporate use.

Great for: This coaching exercise is very versatile and helps absolutely everyone better understand how they currently spend their time—and identify and eliminate their unique time-wasters. And with modern smartphones, binge-watching television, internet and social media usage, this tool couldn't be more relevant!

Get detailed instructions on what/how to use this coaching activity here:

The Spheres of Influence coaching tool reminds me of the serenity prayer—focus on what we have control over and let go of the rest.

3 concentric circles represent what we have 1) control, 2) influence and 3) everything else. The idea is that the client focuses on a current issue and fills out the circles with their ideas. This helps clients identify where and where NOT to spend their time and energy—and decide which actions to focus on.

Great for: Life! Any situation where your client is worrying over things they have no control over. Also, corporate situations where there's a lot of change in the environment. This concept is also a powerful take-home for workshops!

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. And this is an age-old business tool that has been adapted for personal use.

Who wouldn't benefit from an inventory and understanding of their talents, skills and so-called 'weaknesses'?

I love this tool. Coach the client around possible "opportunities" (new goals) and "threats" (areas for self-improvement and actions). This tool can also be used for confidence boosting—to help the client value themselves and accept their weaknesses as part of the whole.

Great for: Career, Executive and Business coaches, and it's also great for life-coaching, self-confidence boosting and self-awareness generally.

For everything you need to know about one of my favourite coaching activities:

The Energy Zappers Coaching Tool is a simple, powerful "list" tool that helps clients identify ( as the name suggests!) what's zapping their energy.

Coach clients around eliminating these energy sucks and freeing up more energy for their goals and life.

Great for: Everyone—because we all have things we're tolerating or that zap our energy. Also a fun group exercise in workshops.

You may also like this fun coaching activity:

This visual Life-Mapping Coaching Tool gives clients a 'helicopter' overview of significant events in their life.

It specifically asks for events of importance to the client—not what others would think. And because we're not just looking at so-called achievements, this exercise also gives clues to our clients' values, limiting beliefs and more!

Great for: This is an awesome tool to start a coaching relationship with—it's more fun and personal than 'interviewing' our clients. And the relative 'peaks' and 'troughs' our clients map out give an instant overview for both client and coach review together.

We ALL have difficult people in our lives—and when it comes to family and work colleagues we may have little choice about it.

This "Detox Your Relationships" Coaching Activity helps our clients assess who energises and who drains them. And they'll also begin to think what they can do about it!

Then you coach them to find more time for people that energise them, and less time or different strategies for those who drain them.

Great for: Fabulous for individual coaching—whether in their career or broader life situation.

Watch out: While it's an excellent exercise to use in workshops, use with care if people know each other. Workshop attendees may appear with a negative score on another attendee's list. And will someone be honest with their scoring if their friend is sat right next to them?

For more on how to use another of my favourite coaching activities:

Coaching Activities Wrap-up

And there you have it.

These are the coaching activities and tools that I think are most universal, that I would not be without—and they're all fun too!

And I'd love to hear from you which coaching activities, tools and exercises you use most—or find most useful—in your coaching practice.

Tell us your favourite coaching activities in the comments below!

If you liked this article about fun coaching activities, exercises and tools, you may also like:

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, 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 >>

Image of Happy Coach with fun coaching activities on her desk with a laptop by ESB Professional via Shutterstock

9 Comments

  1. Ivy Baker

    This is some really good information about leadership coaching. It is good to know that there are a lot of different templates. I liked that you talked about SWOT and how that can be a good model for your training.

    Reply
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  3. Matt

    This is a really helpful list, thank you. What are your thoughts on Be/Do/Have? I'm having my client run through this right now.

    Reply
    • Emma-Louise

      Hi Matt, thank-you for taking the time to comment!

      So, Be/Do/Have is a broad principle/idea with many applications. You already know that it turns on it's head the idea that 'things' we have make us happy. Instead the idea is that we should be the best person/who we are, that will lead us to do the "right" things that lead us to have what we want (or perhaps what really matters?).

      It's a great idea to play with and share with clients! Warmly, Emma-Louise

      Reply

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