Trust is a complex thing to define in any kind of relationship. It involves qualities such as:
Building trust takes time. In sales situations, for example, common wisdom says that you need to contact a prospect seven times before he buys from you. So unsurprisingly, many coaching connections come from word-of-mouth recommendation; your reputation as a trusted coach goes before you.
During the initial meetings your words and actions need to demonstrate that you are a coach who clients can trust. You don't have long to prove your trustworthiness. A whole coaching contract may only last for six sessions, so you need to get up to speed fast. In every interaction with your client, you must live by the principles of confidentiality, ethics, integrity and respect – which are exactly what I cover in the following sections.
To say that confidentiality is an essential ingredient in establishing a coaching relationship may be to state the blindingly obvious, but your clients must feel extremely safe in your hands. Reassure them of this fact in the first few minutes of their first sessions and remember that safety is a fundamental human need.
Consider what confidential actually means to you by putting yourself in your clients' shoes. As a client, what ...