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Heart Coach Institute

Heart Coach Institute Director of Education

Gaye Kuelsen, PCC • February 6, 2023 • 4 Minute Read

Solid Foundations - Crafting Effective Coaching Agreements

This month, collaborate with clients to build an agreed upon set of tactics and goals for the coaching journey (Competency 3).  

Competency 3: Establishes and Maintains Agreements

Definition: Partners with the client and relevant stakeholders to create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans and goals. Establishes agreements for the overall coaching engagement as well as those for each coaching session.

Setting the Stage:

Competency 3 involves partnering with the client and relevant stakeholders to craft crystal-clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans, and goals. It’s about setting the tone for the coaching journey, both in individual sessions and the overarching engagement.

In the Coaching Session:

1. Ensuring Agreement and Direction: When you step into a coaching session, ensuring that you and your client are on the same page is paramount. Establishing clear directions and agreements for each session lays the foundation for a purposeful conversation.  The structure of establishing a clear topic for the session is the difference between a coaching conversation and a friendly chat with your client.

2. Inviting the Topic with Openness: Open questions allow your client to take the conversation in any direction that best serves them. Invite your client to share their thoughts and concerns openly. It’s like opening a door to a room full of possibilities.

3. Defining Outcomes for Clarity: Clarity is the key to progress. Dive deeper by asking specific questions that help your client articulate what they truly want to achieve – What would success look like for you? What do you want to know at the end of our session today? What question do you want answered? 

4. Present vs. Future Outcomes: Time-travel alert! Check if your client’s goals are rooted in the present or reaching into the future. It can be challenging to achieve an outcome which is both in the present and the future. Either address both aspects during your session or ascertain with your client whether both outcomes align with realistic expectations.

5. Untangling Interrelated Issues: Clients often present a mix of issues. Is there one that’s the linchpin? Sometimes, addressing a core concern first can unravel the entire knot. Is the client presenting a surface issue (the what) when it is a deeper personal issue that is the cause (the who)?

6. Bundling for Common Threads: Bundle up or down! Explore if there’s a common thread weaving through seemingly unrelated issues. It’s the art of finding unity in diversity.  Simply ask: Is there a connection here? 

Bringing Calm into the Session:

Now, let’s switch gears to strategies for those moments when your client is a bit overwhelmed and their words are racing faster than a cheetah.

  • Breathe In, Breathe Out: Simple yet powerful. Guide your client through a few intentional breaths to ground them in the present moment.
  • Heart Connection: Encourage them to connect with their heart. It’s like finding an anchor amidst the stormy seas.
  • Visualisation Magic: Paint a calming scene together. Visualisation can be a potent tool to ease the mind.
  • Clearing the Space: Sometimes, a cluttered mind needs a bit of tidying up. Clear the mental space by letting go of unnecessary thoughts.
  • Seeking Support: Suggest reaching out to a friend. A problem shared is a problem halved, right?  Ask your client who comes to mind when they think of their support network.

Time Travel Adventures:

Lastly, let’s talk about a coaching time-travel experience. Taking your client to the past or the future can offer fresh perspectives, like viewing the landscape from a different vantage point.  Going back to the past, can enable the recall of valuable lessons that may be useful in the present moment. Alternatively, stepping into the future allows the client to tap into their own wisdom to find their authentic truth.

So, there you have it: our coaching compass is pointing towards effective agreement establishment and navigating the coaching journey with finesse. Remember, it’s all about collaboration, understanding and active listening. 

Sharing these mentoring moments with you,

Gaye