Whether it is a work mentor, a financial coach, or a certified nutrition guide, coaching is a difficult role–this is one of the reasonscontracts for coaches are so important. Being an effective coach is complex, and there are a number of responsibilities they must live up to.
A coach can be thought of as a teacher who also specializes in motivation. That motivation can be achieved through several tools the coach has honed through years of experience dealing with a wide range of personalities.
The first thing a coach needs to do is to size up their client and understand exactly what he or she wants. To get this information, a coach needs to conduct a thorough interview of their client.
This helps the coach see not just what the client wants, but also the client's limitations. Some coaches make the mistake of pushing their clients too far and too fast.
A coach's learning curve doesn’t end with an initial interview. In some ways, a coach is also a therapist, and as time goes on, new information may come to light about a person's past or their true motivations.
This information needs to be absorbed by the coach so they can modify the mentoring plan. Sometimes, this means the coach needs to move the goalposts to accommodate what they’ve learned about the client.
Once a coach understands the person they are working with, they can begin to find ways to inspire their client to improve. Inspiration isn’t universal. The coach needs to build on everything they have learned about the client thus far to find the stimulus that their trainee requires.
Regardless of the method chosen,what a coach should not do is use tactics that hurt the self-esteem of their clients. Negative reinforcement only leads to fear, and a coach's goal should be to create true motivation from within.
Those two words form the backbone of a successful coaching relationship, and this is a two-way street. A coach is obliged to maintain confidentiality and provide the services he or she promised at the start of the relationship. A trainee must be honest with the coach when they do not meet their goals, and hold themselves accountable while committing to an improvement.
Another way to establish trust and accountability is with a coaching contract that outlines the scope of the work the coach is to perform. It can be helpful to detail how many sessions the coaching agreement includes and a non-disclosure agreement regarding what the coach may hear while on the job.
This provides clear protection for both the coach and their client, should either fail to live up to the terms of the contract, cementing the trust and accountability for both parties.
Coaching is an exciting and difficult undertaking, but by understanding the responsibilities involved and protecting both sides with a contract from The Contract Shop®, it can be a rewarding relationship for everyone involved.
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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