There are many approaches to starting a coaching relationship. Some coaches have an intake process, some start with an assessment, some invest the time in their client to explore the client’s interests.
An intake process can be helpful for the coach to gather standard information and organize their client files. An assessment can provide a depth of insight about the client. Exploring a client’s interests is a way to both get to know the client and support them in identifying their priorities and influencers.
Because rapport is the number one indicator of success in a coaching relationship, whichever approach is used the coach ideally is beginning to know their client. With an understanding of the client, the coaching process can be adjusted to best serve the client.
Each coaching session is based on what the client wants to accomplish during that session. The client determines both the agenda and the process for the conversation. Choices include brainstorming, creating visuals, lists, discussing pros and cons, working on a task with a shared screen, role play, talking through steps and possible outcomes of choices, and more.
To best serve the client, the coach is ideally comfortable with multiple options for getting started and can easily step into the many different approaches to a conversation. The coach offers options to the client, explores pros and cons of each, and together the coach and client plan the relationship to best serve the client.