Coaching is a
New clients naturally have questions about what it’s like when we work together. So here’s an explanation of what happens right off the bat as we get to know one another.
Step 1: Initial Consultation
I offer a complimentary phone consult for anyone interested in possibly coaching with me. Just give me a ring! Typically we’ll talk for about 30 minutes. The purpose of this call is four-fold: (1) to discuss what’s going on in your life right now and what you’d like to see happen with my support (2) to answer any questions you have (3) to identify if coaching is an appropriate program for you, and (4) to determine if you and I would be a good fit for working together.
Step 2: Startup Packet
If we decide to pursue a partnership, I’ll send you a Startup Packet which contains a number of documents for your review. I’ll need you to fill out and return a few of these documents to me before our first session (such as our Coaching Agreement, a Client Profile, and your Goal Setting Worksheet). Other files in the packet are reference materials or worksheets and handouts that I’ll invite you to engage with later on.
Step 3: We Coach!
Once I’ve received your startup materials, we dive in. Our first session is 1.5 hours (30 minutes longer than a regular session) and is centered on laying a solid foundation for our partnership. We’ll take care of some administrative details, share a thoughtful conversation about our hopes and expectations for our work together, discuss preferences for communications and certain situations that might arise, and explore your values and needs. Our second session is devoted to exploring your goal in great depth – this is where we clarify our purpose and begin to envision what’s possible for you. After this, each session is driven by whatever agenda you bring. We’ll schedule our sessions 1-2 weeks apart (at least at first), and 1-2 months in advance to ensure that we carve out space for this high priority in your life. With natural exceptions for life’s unpredictability, I like to schedule our sessions at a recurring day and time as I find that consistency fosters momentum and furthers your outcomes.
Once we get going, our sessions fall into a familiar rhythm which centers on these three things:
Before each session you’ll prepare a written agenda which identifies the topic you want to explore that day and answers a few related questions that help to guide us. At the start of our partnership I’ll provide you with an Agenda template; I welcome you to adapt the template to fit your style.
Sessions last 1 hour and usually the time flies by! With some occasional exceptions, our sessions will follow a flow that I introduce you to early on in our “Session Roadmap”. Clients quickly learn the flow and it becomes second nature. Having this structure for our sessions enables us to be efficient and purposeful, getting you the most value out of each conversation.
During our sessions we’re always mindful to explore:
- How your topic relates to the big goal we’re working toward
- Your recent experiences, and what you are learning from them
- New challenges and opportunities that you’re facing
- What action you’d like to experiment with next
- How you’re growing and what new awareness or perspectives you’re holding
Action Between Sessions
While our sessions are filled with value, the biggest benefit of coaching is often realized between sessions when you apply your emerging awareness and learning directly to your life.
Therefore, before each session concludes we devote time to identifying an action that you’d like to engage with in the coming week or two. We discuss the action in some depth in order to prime you for a rich experience with it. You’ll discover that your intended actions may not always go according to plan, but that’s okay and part of the process! Whatever happens, we talk about it at our next session and learn from it. Clients who regularly engage with their action experiments – even when the action feels uncomfortable, difficult, or scary – invariably get more out of the coaching experience.