You made the move to become a certified leadership coach. You’ve taken courses, worked with a master coach, and fulfilled all the requirements of certification. You have rented an office, placed a few ads, networked, created a web page, and handed out business cards. All of a sudden, you have your first client. It will be just you and the client. You, the certified leadership coach, and a client looking for a good certified leadership coach. What do you do now?
The First Session With a Client as a Certified Leadership Coach
In session 1, you gain an understanding of the client’s objectives, goals, and desires Working together, you modify and refine the goals and objectives that best serve your client’s needs. You then create a coaching contract that stipulates the fees, hours, length of contract, and other pertinent terms. After all, you are not only in this business to help people, you are in it to get paid!
After finishing the contract, you work on the client’s profile by using questionnaires, psychometric tests, and any other exams that may help to identify personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses. This is the basic introduction where you find out who the client really is.
In this initial session, if the client was referred to you by an employer, you may want to inform the client of the need for feedback from representatives of their employer.
This first session is all about getting to know your client. You may not want to talk much about yourself in this session, as your listening skills should be established and revealed to the client. Listening builds up trust and respect – two needed qualities for a good coaching relationship.
Between Session 1 and 2
Before your next session with the client, you will need to review all questionnaires and tests. This is your homework. You may also talk with representatives from the client’s company and elicit feedback on what their reasons and objectives are for sending sometime to receive certified leadership coaching.
In this session, you should review any questionnaires and tests with the client. It is important to identify any short-term gains that may have been made. More questionnaires may be needed as the introduction period still exists. It may also be a good time to tell the client a little about yourself – your work experience, your leadership experience, and the coaches with whom you have worked.
If needed, it is a good time to hold a three-way meeting, either in person, or on a conference call, with you, the client, and the manager or executive from the client’s employer.
Session 3 is when the coaching plan is completely implemented. You work with your client on ways to raise self-awareness and confidence. Discuss challenges and obstacles, and discuss ways to defeat these challenges and overcome these obstacles. You can also talk about any gains that have occurred so far in the process.
Being a certified leadership coach put you in a position of, well…leadership. These first three sessions should be used to establish your leadership credentials while also learning everything you can about who your client is and who they want to be.
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