Prepare to undertake initial coaching session
Prepare to undertake initial coaching session
First contact with client
Welcome email - see App 6 to Unit 4
Get your notes / documentation relating to this client together.
From what you know of the client at this point, consider what they may come up with in the meeting as their possible problem or goal. Be prepared but also be flexible, since for the meeting to be effective you need to go where the client wants to go and then adjust your questions accordingly. From your conversation with the client and / or your reading of the information that you’ve been sent, you may have initial thoughts or ideas which you may want to capture for possible discussion during the meeting.
Mentally prepare yourself. If you want to feel confident and relaxed, take actions that will help you get into that frame of mind. For example, arrive early for the meeting and practice breathing exercises or affirmations.
Physically prepare yourself. Do you have a drink of water with you? Have you arranged a comfortable and quiet space in which to conduct the first meeting? Are mobiles switched off?
Emotionally prepare yourself. What will help you feel in control of the meeting if difficult issues arise, for example, if the client has an emotional reaction? Consider a grounding technique such as deep breathing or the use of silence.
Make sure that you have everything you may need. Are you taking notes? A pen, spare pen & paper will help you with this. Mind mapping can be a useful way to capture content without losing themes.
Clear the surrounds. Make sure that you will have a quiet environment around you. Try to find a quiet table in the café away from the door and passing parade.
Clear the table. Whilst it's useful to have what you need, too much can feel overwhelming. It's often more useful to have information close to hand, without cluttering up the table.
First Client Meeting
Establish coaching relationship
Introduce yourself - create a bridge based on experience
Ask client to tell you about themselves:
Record the client’s pertinent details as per the Client Details Form.
o Encourage the client to reveal information about themself to the level to which they feel comfortable.
o When appropriate, ask them about their strengths and compliment them on their achievements.
o Provide supportive comments.
o Ask for elaborations if necessary (in an interested, not interrogative, way).
Set clear roles and expectations
Explain the purpose of coaching: The purpose of coaching is to help you achieve the things that you want in your life but can’t seem to do by yourself –
Explain the coaching relationship: ‘The coaching relationship is one of equalised power. The coach draws information from the client and the client draws inspiration from the coach. No one is right or wrong.
Define your role as the coach: ‘I am here to help you become even more successful in your life and work / career. I won’t be telling you what to do. My role is to bring forth the ideas and skills that you already have, know or have access to and are not yet utilising. If you get stuck, my role is to help you get through to the other side. If there are serious issues outside of coaching, my role is to refer you on for expert advice and support.’
Define their role as the client: ‘Your role is to work with me to fully explore your situation so that together we can come up with some goals and solutions to make you even more effective in your life and work.’
Clarify expectations in relation to these roles: ‘I expect you to be open and honest with me. You can expect me to be the same with you. If there’s something that you’re not sure of, please ask me. If there’s something that I think needs clarifying, I will pursue this with you. If at any stage you feel insecure, please say so. If there’s any reason that you do not wish to proceed, please let me know and the reason for this. I will do the same.’
Gain agreement on these roles and how they will operate: ‘During our sessions I will be taking some notes for my own benefit and to keep us on track, because at the end of each session I will be producing a summary of our discussion with action points. My notes will then be destroyed or filed in a secure filing cabinet. Is that OK with you?’
Outline how coaching usually works: ‘Coaching is usually conducted in a quiet place where I can really get to understand your problems and desired future, and we can work together on achieving that. It is conducted over a number of sessions, weekly at first and then fortnightly and monthly. Usually this involves 10 coaching sessions in total to make sure that the changes ‘stick’ but we could start with 3 or 6 sessions and see how we go. Is that alright with you?’ Check their understanding and negotiate in relation to any differences of perception and / or procedure.
Agree on the details of this Coaching Program: Agree on the timeframe for the coaching to begin, the number of sessions, and the frequency of sessions, as well as the time and place for the coaching to be conducted. This may include coaching on the weekend, before or after work if hours are flexible, or in a location away from home e.g. a coffee shop.
Understand the client's needs - see reasons for coaching
Agree the Coaching Contract
Introduce the Coaching Contract and Timeframes. Say: ‘We seem to be in agreement that you would like to be coached in relation to these things that we have talked about. Is that correct? Then let’s proceed by getting a contract in place to cover off all that we have discussed. From what I hear it seems to me that: (choose one option)
o we should start with 3 sessions and see how we go – we can always schedule more sessions at the end if necessary; or
o your problems are quite involved and these will take a few months to sort out – hence I would recommend the full 10 sessions. Is that OK with you?’
Walk the client through the Coaching Contract. The client needs to understand all aspects of the Contract and agree with them. Record the chosen timeframe and the preferred payment method, and both of you sign the agreement. Make sure that the client gets a copy for their records.
Arrange the details of the first coaching session - when and where to meet, what to bring etc.
Close the meeting. Thank the client and say that you are looking forward to working with them on their new future. Close the meeting
Understand what coaching is and gain agreement on how it works;
Identify expectations and responsibilities of the coach and client;
Gain agreement on the coaching relationship;
Understand the client’s situation and needs;
Identify areas of concern or problems to be resolved;
Assist the client identify their preferred future and future goals; and
Identify areas for development in line with their individual needs and goals
Reflective listening; and
visioning the future
Where am I now
Where do I want to be?
identifying the goals for that future
What outcome do you want from this process?
• How do you feel this process will help you?
• Will this session be sufficient to cover the points you need to cover?
• What would it take for this process to be a success?
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Who: Who is involved?
Where: Identify a location. Which: Identify requirements and constraints
How will I know when it is accomplished?
Attainable - how can it be accomplished
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our other efforts/needs?
Are you the right person?
What can I do six months from now?
What can I do six weeks from now?
What can I do today?
Developing action plans for goals
Goal. After initial discussion, establish a realisable goal for the
coaching assignment and if required, a target for progress in the
• Reality. It is important that this session is grounded in reality.
The person being coached should be able to assess their
present situation, and give concrete examples of their
performance to date. Feedback should be provided at this point.
• Options. This stage offers the opportunity for the person being
coached to suggest possible courses of action, and together
with any that the coach puts forward, these should be evaluated
and a choice arrived at.
• Will. The final part of the process involves the person being
coached making decisions and having the willpower to commit
to them. Future steps to be taken should be confirmed and the
coach should agree with the coachee how they will
Action planning cycle:
Where am I now?
Where do I want to be?
How will I get there?
Review and evaluate.
Redirect if necessary.
Start on the next target.
Coaching for life issues:
Lacking in direction
Unmotivated to make changes
Feeling that there’s more to life but what is it?
Unable to achieve their goals
Insecurity about where they are headed
Work / life balance
Stress from overwork or too much change
Feeling unappreciated at home or work
The Coaching Model Elements:
An explicit outcome or goal that both parties, coach and client, are collaboratively working toward.
A sensible rationale or explanation for how coaching as a process fits the client’s needs and situation.
A procedure or set of steps that is consistent with the rationale and requires both the client’s and the coach’s active participation.
A meaningful relationship between a client and coach such that the client believes the coach is there to help and will work in the client’s best interests.
A collaborative working alliance in which the coach’s explicit role is to expand the client’s development, performance or skill set, appropriately pacing the intervention to maintain challenge and facilitate change.
The client’s ability and readiness to change and the extent to which the client is both able and willing to do the work of change.
The coach’s ability and readiness to help the client create change in that the coach’s ability to facilitate the client’s change process will significantly rest on the coach’s own personal ability to recognise and deal with the often personally poignant issues arising from the coaching process.