The first coaching session with a client can be up to an hour or two, or even longer if you conduct the Intake Session as your first scheduled meeting. You have to get to know one another on two levels:
- the sharing information level and
- the deeper intuitive level.
What is the client seeking: resolve, newness, skills, a mindset, a specific goal, or to solve a problem?
How does the client describe an issue such as participating in it or being a victim of the problem?
As you listen and coach, what are your feelings and thoughts? Review them to ensure you are connecting with your client.
How willing is the client to move ahead as well as dive deeper?
Your Coaching Role
As a coach, you will have a set of ground rules. For example, you might ask for a three-month commitment or require a 24-hours cancellation notice.
Your first session with your client requires setting the standard and the tone for all the sessions. Why does the first impression become important for all future sessions? Your customer’s trust, comfort level, inspiration, enthusiasm, and motivation will indicate the comfort level in confiding and engaging in the conversation with you.
You are in charge of setting the format of the session–how you start and conclude, as well as using probing questions. As the coach, you have to focus the content of the meeting. You could offer a free initial consultation to explore a client’s coaching needs. The initial session could be from 45 to 90 minutes.
Your goal as a parent coach is to explain what you do, the liability factors, and expectations. The parent-coach alliance includes asking questions, listening, reflecting, and defining goals or expectations together.
The Client’s Role
On the other hand, the client brings the content, the dialogue, to the coaching session. The client leads the way to the more pressing matters to discuss or that require coaching.
When customers answer your questions, they could reveal personal desires, problems, or goals. A free first session is an excellent selling tool. The client’s risk is small compared to the tremendous benefits to find out how coaching can support the client’s efforts.
Use the second meeting to complete any agenda items from the previous meeting. Continue to build a positive rapport with your client and enhance their comfort level.
Both coach and client, within two practical sessions, can complete these tasks:
1. Explain the coaching process which includes reviewing and agreeing to the terms of the coach-client contract or agreement.
2. Take care of business issues: payments, how to make payments, time commitments, and the protocol for the sessions.
2. The client focuses on coaching goals or achievements, or processes like problem-solving, or exploring core temperaments. In other words, what does your client want?
3. Establishing rapport is best done by knowing your customer’s core temperament. Part of the coaching role is to shift your attention and communication to their particular temperament(s) and establish a positive rapport.
4. Determine how you and the client communicate.
5. Determine a client’s intentions.
6. Confirm in writing or verbally that the customer demonstrates willingness, commitment, time, and agrees to actions while you schedule coaching.