Coaching Expectations

This supplement to the Coaching Agreement outlines what you and your coach can expect from each other during the coaching relationship.

1. Focus. To create a safe, quiet, and non-distracting environment for your intake session and for all of your phone coaching sessions, please forward phone calls from or turn off other phones, turn off your pager, and refrain from using e-mail or engaging in any other distractions for the duration of your session.

2. Self-Assertion. Your relationship with your coach is a designed relationship. What that means is that you will design how your coach will work with you for the sake of achieving your goals. Prior to your first paid session it will be helpful for you to be thinking of what you want from your coach.

3. Background Materials. In the initial sessions your coach will work with you to clarify your values and work on your vision with you. If you have done any homework on these matters, please send it to your coach at the earliest opportunity.

4. Homework. Your coach will give you assignments, homework, and inquiries. When an assignment is given, it is given in the form of a request. A request in coaching means that you can say yes, no, or give your coach a counter-offer. You have a choice, so please do not say yes to something that you really do not want to do. Please complete in advance of the agreed session any forms your coach and you agree you will complete.

5. Perspective and Patience. In an ongoing coaching relationship, you can anticipate highs and corresponding lows. Clients typically lose enthusiasm for a period of a few weeks between precisely 3 and 6 weeks into the coaching relationship. You can expect that low point to happen when you hit your first obstacle. You as a client are the one who grants the coaching relationship power. Your success in getting where you want to go will be proportional to how much power you grant the coaching relationship. Use your coach to help you break through the obstacles that are in the way of your goals and dreams.

6. Managing Expectations. Try not to enter coaching with a short-term mindset in which you expect results to be immediately visible. Frankly, sometimes they are. Coaching breakthroughs happen in the first call. But sometimes a few calls go by as you and your coach look for the locks and the keys, ruminate, experiment and float trial balloons, dive down rabbit holes, and so on – like the collaborative personal effort that coaching is – only to result in a major a-ha moment in the next call. Progress is also not always readily identifiable at any particular moment, such as after session 5, but rather with the hindsight of, say, session 9.
Tectonic shifts are not always of earthquake size; sometimes they are imperceptible. But the earth moves nevertheless. And sometimes you don’t see progress where it’s happening because you are looking some place else – usually where your expectations and pre-formed notions have got you looking. Be aware of the tendency to expect your real life to emerge from Door A, and to grow frustrated, when some truth important to you may in fact, and usually does, emerge from Door Q.

7. Accountability to the Coaching Relationship and Myself. I understand that coaching is a partnership, and that each session, like my overall success, depends on my preparation and commitment, as well as the mutual respect my coach and I demonstrate to each other and each other’s time. If I am late to any of the coaching calls, I may, at my coach’s discretion, be charged for the full session and coached for the time that is left of that session. If I miss or otherwise cancel a coaching session and my coach is unable to reschedule another session during the week of the missed session, the missed session may also be charged to me, at my coach’s discretion.

8. Telephone Calls. I understand that when telephone calls are to be made, I will, as a measure of my accountability to the coaching engagement, make the calls at the number(s) my coach has provided. If my coach has not heard from me by ten minutes after the appointed hour, my coach may attempt to call me but is under no obligation to do so. I understand that if bearing the entire cost of the calls represents a financial hardship to me, I may arrange with my coach to have the coach return my call, at his or her expense, once I have made it.

9. Consulting Work Outside Coaching Sessions. I also acknowledge that my coach is not a consultant, and that while my ability to send him or her emails and instant messages is virtually unlimited, my coach’s ability to read and respond to them all in depth is governed by a reasonableness standard. I also understand that absent a separate consulting agreement, my coach will not be able, like a consultant, to perform significant work or review of materials, at my direction, outside of the coaching conversations.

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