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Coaching with NLP For Dummies® by Kate Burton

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Contracting Competently with Clients

These days many people in roles that involve managing or influencing others call themselves coaches, so it's easy to overlook the fact that coaching is a skilled profession with professional training. Some coaches are extremely experienced in their practice, others less so. All come with different experiences and methods that shape how they work.

Professional coaches refer to contracting as the verbal contract or agreement between coach and client. Contracting covers all the practical arrangements of the coaching as well as an agreement on the style of coaching – how much the client wants to be challenged, what areas the client is willing to talk about and what, if anything, is out of the scope of the coaching.

A coaching alliance, as opposed to a one-off coaching session, operates within an overall framework that is likely to develop through the following stages:

  • Preliminary discussions and chemistry check.
  • In-take session in which you establish the contract.
  • Ongoing sessions.
  • Mid-contract review (as part of a session).
  • More ongoing sessions.
  • Completion session and feedback.

All coaching relationships have their ups and downs. Clients may very well blame their coaches if the changes they seek are facing setbacks or not happening quickly enough, rather than taking full ownership for their progress. Open communication between coach and client is essential.

Setting the groundwork

Initial phone calls and chemistry checks in person before the ...

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