How Coaching Begins
Typically, we will arrange a time to have an initial discussion called a Coaching Exploration Session – for us to get to know each other a little and to answer any questions you may have. If you choose to hire me as your life/executive coach, I’ll send you a Welcome Package containing: our Coaching Agreement, a Discovery Questionnaire, as well as several assessments & surveys including a Character Strengths Assessment, and we will also book our first session together, which will be in-person if you are in the Toronto area.
Prior to the first session, you’ll fill out and send to me your self-discovery questionnaire and the results of the various assessments (which I’ll thoroughly review before our first session).
The Discovery Phase
Your first session is called the ‘Discovery Session’ – where we spend the majority of time curiously exploring your answers to the questionnaire, what strengths were revealed in the assessment/s and how you feel about them as we begin to uncover who you really are and what you wish to focus on in coaching. Typically, we also assess your satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with all the major areas of life, and we can outline several potential goals.
We’ll do ongoing strengths and values work in first number of sessions, as well as, identify and get to know your Inner Critic (or Gremlin). Over time, coaching will help you create ways to decrease its impact on you.
After the first several foundational sessions, you will bring any topic of discussion you want to the session and we’ll explore it. You are always at choice about what you wish to talk about, explore and move towards (or away from).
You can bring issues, problems or challenges on the one hand – and on the other, you can bring topics you wish to celebrate and acknowledge.
How long is each session?
Sessions are longer in the beginning – starting with a 2 hour session, then several 1.0-1.5 hour sessions. Some clients continue with 90-minute sessions and others stick with the 60-minute session. There are also options for 30-45 minute laser focused sessions from time to time.
Where is coaching done?
The Discovery Session is preferably held face to face in my home office just north of Toronto (Richmond Hill to be exact) or my office in Vaughan or one of my partner locations more centrally located on the Toronto subway line. If you are outside the Greater Toronto Area, we will have our session by phone or video. Some clients like to have several face to face sessions at first but most usually move to phone or video-conferencing within a few sessions. Tele or video coaching makes scheduling coaching into your life so much easier when you don’t have to commute back and forth. I assure you in terms of effectiveness, nothing is lost when it is not done in person (and of course you will be the judge of that).
What does a coaching session look like?
A coaching session looks like a conversation but no ordinary conversation. At the start of each session we’ll ground and center ourselves, so as to tune out the noise of a busy or worried mind, and we’ll tune in to the more coherent and calm coaching vibe. Then we’ll define the agenda or focus of the session and what you wish to get out of it (your outcome).
In each session you will be doing a majority of the talking. My job is to listen deeply for what you say and don’t say, to sense your energy, and very importantly, to intuitively ask you questions that will help bring you the insight/s you are looking for to help you move forward.
The questions continue, along with non-judgmental feedback, acknowledgements of your strengths, encouragement and when you are ready, new options and possibilities (choices) will reveal themselves to you. Then it’s up to you, with my full hearted support, to commit to your next step. Some sessions stay in the territory of insight and awareness for most of the session – especially at the beginning of a coaching engagement. While other sessions, as defined by you, focus on helping you commit and create ways to be accountable for your next step.
Each session concludes with a review of what you’re taking away so you can anchor the value you got. Also some homework or an inquiry to keep you in tune and on track is usually given in each session. In the next session we’ll check in to see where you’re at, what you’ve accomplished or didn’t (without judgment of course), and then decide again what you would like to focus on for that day.
How long is a typical coaching agreement?
It’s up to you. One would benefit from committing at least 3 to 4 months of coaching over weekly or bi-weekly intervals to really get a fair sense of the value coaching has in his or her life. Some people come to coaching for a particular issue or decision and stay as clients long after because they ‘get’ how coaching is helping them. Others may have just needed a few powerful sessions to gain a new awareness of how to face a particular challenge. There is no time limit to growth and expansion. As long as the coaching benefits the client (and coach), and both are growing, it can go on indefinitely.
How do I start?
Click here to request a complimentary coaching exploration session and to get to know me a bit better and we can decide if working together would be a good thing.
Not ready? Want to know more?
You might want to take a look at this page: Awareness – Choice – Trust to get a sense of how coaching conversations help you over time. Or if you wish to learn about the personal development and self improvement concepts and principles that often come up in coaching, please explore the blog.
Click here to learn about my life coaching & business coaching services.