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What a Coach Should Not Do

What a Coach Should NOT Do

There are life, financial, and wellness coaches, and as they become close with their clients, they may learn a lot about their private life. This is just one of the reasons there arecontracts for coaches. A coach may eventually be seen as a friend and mentor, so it’s important for them to carefully watch their behavior.

An Ineffective Coach

A coach that lacks the responsibilities of an effective coach might have some or all of the following qualities:


A coach should be clear at all times, not only about goals, but the expectations and plans intended to meet those goals. Any coach that lacks a goalpost to measure progress is setting up themselves and their client for failure.

Positive Versus Negative Reinforcement

One of the core skills a good coach must have is the ability to motivate people. Coaches who attempt to do this by tearing someone down rather than building them up can cause a lot of harm. An ethical coach always empathizes with their client. 

While sometimes a wellness coach may have to emphasize health consequences to motivate their client, the way they frame and present that information is important.

Failure to Adapt

People frequently bite off more than they can chew. Coaches are no exception to this–both clients and coaches are sometimes guilty of setting expectations too high. 

This can be corrected quite easily, however, as long as the coach can recognize when a client isn’t capable of meeting a goal and can create a new plan to fit the client’s limitations. 

On the other hand, some clients are more talented than the coach initially realized. An ineffective coach may be stuck in their ways and unwilling to take things to the next level by insisting on completing beginner levels before advancing their client.

Lack of Confidentiality

While your coaching relationship may not have the same legally recognized confidentiality as attorney-client privilege, your coach should act as though it does. 

Coaches will encounter plenty of sensitive information, and it is paramount that the coach respect the client’s confidentiality and never disclose that information to others without permission. 

Protecting Yourself With Contracts

One way to protect both the client and the coach is by agreeing to a coaching contract. The contract should clearly state the following:

  • The scope of the work to be performed by the coach
  • The expectations of the client
  • Ways to measure progress
  • A confidentiality agreement so the client is comfortable sharing private information
  • An option toextend a coach’s contract and the fees that may result

A well-written contract will put a client at ease. It will also provide legal protections for both parties in the event of a dispute regarding the costs of the coaching or improprieties alleged by either party. 

Moving Forward

Effective coaching is difficult, and it can be hard to know it when you see it. By putting together a strong contract with the help of The Contract Shop®, however, you can protect yourself and make sure you and your future coach are on the same page!

Kevin Gallagher
Kevin Gallagher

Kevin Gallagher is the CEO of The Contract Shop®, a contract template store for creative entrepreneurs, freelancers, coaches, and more. His background is in helping online businesses grow, having previously worked at Allbirds managing part of their operations. He is proud to report that his digital artist wife Mandy is a happy customer of The Contract Shop®, and his main motivation is to help as many people like her as possible with the tools that they need to confidently manage their businesses.

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