What is the process for starting a coaching engagement? A common flow is:
· Initial conversation with someone about what coaching is or is not.
· Introductory session to provide the client an opportunity to experience coaching with the coach plus both the coach and the client get to know each other and determine if it is a good fit.
· Alignment conversation to determine focus, ROI, review the agreement, discuss ethics, and talk about how information is managed.
· Opening session for a big picture exploration of what the client wants in all areas to identify priorities and competing priorities, influencing factors, and create the opportunity for deeper understanding of the client’s culture and context.
· Session to set up the clients focus and support their motivation and confidence.
From there the coach and the client move into coaching conversations wherein the client sets the objective and agenda.
Where unique differences or nuances come into the process is based on the type of coaching. For example, if there is a sponsor involved there may be an agreement with the sponsor that includes more legal language and another between the coach and client. It may be that the organization or business wants to address intellectual property. Many that do career coaching offer multiple services which means they may be defining training and consulting and coaching and the planning the progression of services. Some coaches offer a guarantee that the client will receive value from the coaching, or they don’t pay so there is time on how this will be assessed. In some engagements an assessment is used before the coaching starts. If a sponsor is involved the alignment meeting often includes the sponsor, the client, and the coach.
When the coach has a defined niche, they tend to further refine their onboarding process based on what is significant in that type of coaching to best serve clients.