I’m sometimes asked about the process I use when I work with clients in my Executive Coaching business. Although the method is straightforward, I always take each individual’s goals and needs in mind when we – together – develop a personalized executive coaching plan for their unique goals. The steps below will give you an idea about what to expect when working with me to improve your leadership skills.
Potential clients contact me by getting to know me on social media, my radio show, Leading with Intention, my blogs, or via referrals. No matter how they’ve found me, all clients are in a different place when they come to coaching: different personal and work situations, different issues at work, different personalities, ages, experiences, etc.
First, we have a 60-90 minute Breakthrough Session – which can be a phone call or a virtual meeting – where potential clients tell me what their goals and challenges are in their professional life and at work – and what they’d like to work on in coaching. We also discuss how they would know if they accomplish that goal (how do they define success). I make sure they understand what coaching is/is not and we discuss what the expectations are (mine and theirs). I work really hard to identify their challenges up front. And also to determine their readiness for change. If I determine that they won’t do the work necessary to effect change, then, at that Breakthrough Session, I determine we’re not a fit.
If we are a fit and we both decide to move forward, I go over the stipulations that are in our written agreement (which they eventually sign when they come onboard). I answer any questions they might have and then we agree on the type of package they’d like and I quote them a fee. I then send them the written agreement, they make the payment, and we set up weekly, 45 minute sessions.
At the first session, we dive deeper into their goals, breaking them into milestones and, again, determine what constitutes success. Each session builds off of the previous one, with the client completing action items and doing work between sessions. Then each session begins with a debrief of those action items, what challenges were presented by those action items, and what, if anything, derailed them.
I ask a lot of questions during all the coaching sessions to be sure I’m addressing their needs throughout our time together. Sometimes we determine their needs and/or goals change based on a variety of things, so we address those if they occur.
Many times, I identify that someone might benefit from additional support, like a therapist or a mentor. It’s great if clients can work simultaneously with these other support people and me because there will likely be even greater positive results. If I identify that additional professionals are needed, I bring it up. If someone really needs therapy and won’t get it, then I often have to discontinue the coaching relationship because they usually aren’t capable of being successfully coached if their mental health needs aren’t being met. In other words, someone needs to be “coachable” – that’s one of the requirements of coaching and one of the ways that I know clients are “ready” for change.
If a client got derailed or procrastinated on their action items, I coach them on how to handle those challenges so that they can move forward. If they didn’t get derailed and they moved forward really well (usually unlikely at first), then we take additional steps and keep progressing on the milestones. Each session ends with additional action items and resources that I send them to reinforce the coaching.
If clients achieve their goals or are moving forward really well, then we monitor those goals in a sort of “maintenance” mode and they are expected to bring additional goals to our sessions. This usually happens because most people have multiple things they want to work on. Oftentimes, the achievement of one goal naturally leads to that goal tying into another unachieved goal. So, we are usually never at a loss of what to work on.
As a client’s package begins to approach the end date, we discuss if they truly want to end the program or if they want to renew. Many renew because they like accountability and guidance – not advice. If they renew, we come to another agreement on goals, measurements of success, etc. If they don’t renew, we close out the program with a post-coaching plan. This is a discussion about how they can keep moving forward without a coach.
All clients end up in my database, subscribed to my blog, and following me on social media and my radio show. This way, they always have access to my resources. Because, no matter what we decide to work on together, my mission is always to see my clients succeed.
If you would like to schedule a Breakthrough Session to see if we’re a good fit to help you achieve your goals, I would love to hear from you.