thoughts and reflections from the CSA Faculty

You don't need to run over


Written by CSA Supervisor Julie Johnson

Are your coaching conversations running over, or threatening to? Are you finding it difficult to bring discussions to a closure on time, in a way that is comfortable for both you and your coachee?

This can be a very good sign. After all, when we are very focused and deeply curious, we can lose track of time. And, when our coachee has finally found someone who is truly interested and fully listening (something that is becoming more and more rare nowadays), well, who wants to walk away from that?

That said, I believe that it is the coach’s job to manage time. By agreeing up front on this, the coach is taking that responsibility off of their coachee’s shoulders and allowing them to move fully into being coached.

Here are some very pragmatic ways we coaches can end on time:

  • ‘I’m cognizant of time. How shall we wrap this up?’
  • ‘We’ve got about 10 minutes left. How would you like to make use of that time?’
  • ‘Our time is almost up. Shall we pull this together and look at action steps and what we can work on next time?’
  • ‘This looks like it could be a longer conversation, and our time is short. Shall we pick this up the next time we meet?’

And then:

‘Shall we schedule that next appointment? When would you find it most useful to meet?’

I learned these techniques for closing sessions on time from an experienced coach years ago and haven’t run over very often since, except when both of us mutually agree to do so. To be sure, the option to run over is a wonderful alternative if the session is ‘on fire’ and both coach and coachee happen to be free. Yet there is much to be said about being productive and powerful within the session’s allocated time. Busy executives appreciate a coach on whom their agenda can count!


With a career in coaching and leadership development that began in the early 1990’s, Julie Johnson is among the most experienced coaches and facilitators in Europe. She has worked with thousands of individuals from over 50 countries across six continents. She teaches leadership at Rotterdam School of Management’s Executive MBA program.