We’re in the middle of a series of posts answering common questions from prospective coaching clients. First, we addressed how to find a coach, and next, we’ll look ahead to how to handle the end of a coaching relationship.
In this post, we’ll look at what comes after you’ve made your decision and selected a coach. As your first session approaches, you may be wondering what will happen. First, you can expect that you will do most of the talking. In fact, don’t be surprised if you do 80% of the talking. Your coach will ask you a variety of questions to evoke awareness and further clarify things.
Many of the people I coach are so busy that the only time they get to think out loud with anyone is during their coaching sessions. They’ve got all this stuff bottled up and it just comes out. So expect to do a lot of talking.
You can also expect your coach to be unconditionally supportive; to see the greatness in you. They want the best for you. One of the guiding principles is that we’re coaching the person, not the problem. So while you may bring an issue to the table, your coach may at the same time be talking about how they’re going to develop YOU in this process, while you’re tackling this issue.
This may not be as straightforward or quick as you might like, but this process is giving you invaluable skills for dealing with future situations and teaches you more about yourself than if the coach just gave you a solution.
A typical session will last 30-45 minutes; they’ll be some homework with the next steps for you to do or think about. There may also be some pre-work to do, before each session and before you even begin your first session. Some coaches use assessments or surveys like Myers-Briggs, DiSC®, and Clifton StrengthsFinder (now known as CliftonStrengths).
I recommend a minimum coaching commitment of three months, or six sessions, and most people end up working with me from 18-24 months.
What will my coach expect from me?
This is an important conversation to have with your coach. Here are the types of things I cover with my own clients:
- I expect you will honor the appointment time that we’ve scheduled and show up on time unless there is a life emergency.
- I expect readiness, for them to come prepared with a topic and an eagerness to do the work, engage in the process, and have conversations.
- I expect them to take responsibility for whatever they’ve decided.
- I expect them to be candid.
- I also expect them to pay on time. That’s an important part of their willingness, commitment, and responsibility. Many coaches will ask you to pre-pay for a month or even a quarter. That way the payment and money talk is out of the way and neither of you have to think about it or deal with it again until the next billing cycle.
If you have any other questions or concerns about starting with your new coach, reach out and ask. As with anything new, more details will reveal themselves as you go. Trust in the process.