Coaches are facilitators for learning.
I will help you meet your goals. Most coaches believe clients have all the answers they need, and I believe that is mostly true. At the same time, I tend to mix coaching with consulting, sharing resources and directing you to materials and people who can help you on your path. Two heads are better than one! We become partners in achieving your goals.
Expect to be flooded with possibilities and inspired to take action.
Starting a coaching relationship is making a commitment to creating a life of your dreams. Once you have a structure for those commitments, you’ll be so excited, you may want to do everything at once. We’ll bite off manageable chunks and let some things unfold organically. I will help you stay in action by holding you accountable for doing what you say you will do. I will grapple with you, listen, help you to create a plan of action, and co-design the steps you will take between calls.
A Coach is not a therapist and I won’t be acting as your lawyer.
I won’t provide therapy. Though we may strategize about your clients’ matters, you are the one who will make the decisions.
I won’t be your Mom.
We all love our mothers and most of us don’t like to have our mothers tell us what to do. Like your mother, I will encourage and celebrate your greatness. Unlike your mother, I won’t nag you or let you slide too easily. I will treat you like the adult you are.
A Coach is different from a friend.
I recently coached a friend to create some pretty amazing results. She was surprised and asked me why I had never done that for her before. I explained that friendship and coaching are very different. She’d not asked me to coach her before. As a friend, it isn’t my business to help or support her, even if I do want her to succeed. Friends don’t automatically give me the permission to have the hard conversations about their lives. It isn’t my job to share my observations about where friends are being ineffective. As a coach, it is my job, my entrustment, to have those conversations. I am much more direct and intentional with my clients.
Some of my clients start as friends. Most of my coaching clients become friends and trusted colleagues as we build affinity in our coaching relationship. We may participate in conferences or meetings together or have dinner or go to parties with others. Sometimes we will just want to chat on the phone. Several of my coaching clients have gone on to be co-creators of workshops and projects. I take the role of coach very seriously and will interact with you in different ways when we’re in a coaching appointment.
I will hold everything you tell me in strict confidence.
I will ask you to let me know if it is okay if I tell people that you are my client. With your permission, I will identify you as a client, but won’t reveal what you’re working on or what you tell me without your express permission.
I ask that you make commitment to work together for at least six months.
That is long enough to create new habits and to achieve some milestones. Each call will bring you some results but the results will accumulate over time. Six months will allow us to make long-term plans without over-committing. We can work together longer but many clients have found that they’ve made remarkable progress in that time period. Some clients choose to schedule quarterly check-ups after their six-month commitment.
I recommend that we talk once a month.
Over many years of trying different plans, I have found that the more often we talk, the faster you move, but that you need time to complete your homework, experiment with ideas, and absorb new information. Once a month seems to strike the right balance, especially if we stay in touch by email in between.
You may email me between calls, in fact, I want you to!
I look forward to hearing how things are going. For quick things, I usually reply immediately. If you ask me a question that requires some reflection or research, it may be a few days before I can respond or I may wait to talk with you on the next call. (Some topics just don’t fit into email coaching.) Share with me about what is going on, challenges, triumphs or news. You may get occasional emails from me as well. I will try not to overflow your inbox.
Generally we will talk for about an hour to an hour and a half on each call.
Our first call will be longer and sometimes when you are really grappling with something, we may go over an hour. (The time flies!) I usually book an hour and half, just to be sure we can finish up without loose ends.
We will talk by telephone or Zoom according to a schedule we work out. If you must miss a scheduled call, let me know as soon as you learn of the conflict. We can generally reschedule. However, try as we may, sometimes due to our busy schedules, we won’t be able to find another time during the same month and will skip a month. In that case, your six months commitment will just extend by that month. To honor the magic of the six-months period, our relationship will be complete 9 months from your first call.
In person meetings:
Occasionally, we may also meet in person when we’re in the same town. Since I travel a lot, that isn’t as wild as it might otherwise seem.
Our appointments will be guided by your agenda.
I will nudge you or provide ideas for directions, but you are in the driver’s seat here. You choose because it is your life and you are responsible. I am committed to your success and will say what I feel needs to be said, encourage you, cheer for you, and cry with you, as you travel on your journey. We will examine what is important to you and use your values and commitments as guideposts for your journey.
A coaching relationship is a very intimate and close one.
It can get as personal as you need it to be. Sometimes personal issues which don’t even seem relevant are pointing to core issues that are limiting your change. I am here to support you and I need to know what is going on with you and how I can best serve you. Of course, you always choose what to tell me and what not to, but our coaching will be more effective if I know the whole situation.
I am not perfect and I don’t expect you to be perfect.
A coaching relationship is built on truth, trust and honesty. Not everything we do will work as we expect but, together, we can tackle any situation and learn from it. As your coach, I can’t guarantee results, but I can tell you that I will explore with you what it takes to get where you want to go and will be there encouraging you all the way. I will celebrate your victories and I will help you evaluate what happened when things don’t work out. I will tell you what I see, how you’re showing up, what obstacles you may be facing unnecessarily.
I expect you to be coachable.
That doesn’t mean that you always have to agree with me but I do expect you to listen to what I have to say, be willing to look at things differently and try on new ideas. I may sometimes ask you to stretch beyond your comfort zone, to make that phone call, to take a little risk in pursuit of your goals. You don’t have to accept the invitation, but I want you to fully engage with it.
In preparation for our first meeting, I will send you a Get-to-Know-You Packet.
In the packet, there are opportunities for you to identify your goals. You may find that your goals change or evolve over time and that’s normal. These initial goals will provide us with a good place to begin. I will also ask you about your commitments, your values, your hopes and dreams. I want to know who the important people in your life are, and what your concerns are. We’ll go over this information in our first meeting as we design the rest of our relationship.
Before each call, I ask that you send me a Coaching Call Prep Form.
The Prep Form helps to focus us prior to calls, lets me know how you are doing, and whether you have any specific requests for coaching. For best results, please complete it and send it to me between 2 and 24 hours in advance of our call so that I have a chance to look over it before we talk.
Post Call Recap Form.
Please also jot down your homework and email a copy of it to me after each call. If I see something missing, I will send you a reminder. It keeps us on the same page.