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Laying The Foundations Of The Coaching Process

Foundations of skyscaper

You wouldn’t build a skyscraper without first making sure you had a solid foundation, and the same goes for coaching. Laying the foundations of the coaching process is the first step towards successful coaching outcomes. Here’s how we ensure your coaching journey is built upon firm ground.

Getting to know each other

Coaching is a relationship built on trust. That’s why it’s important to know a bit about your coach, and how you can work well together before embarking on any coaching programme. I offer a free no-obligation consultation where we introduce each other, have a chat, and discuss your specific situation and needs.

In this session you get a good understanding of who I am, how coaching works and an outline of what it will look like for you. Everything is transparent, and you can ask any questions you like. We talk about the areas you’re looking for help with, how the process works, and the outcomes we’re after. There’s never any pressure, and you don’t have to decide straight away if you want to sign up for coaching.

If we’re a good fit and you decide to go ahead, we book the first paid session, and from this point on, you have a personal coach that’s always on your side helping and guiding you to what you want in life.

The Foundation Session

The first paid session is laying the foundation for rest of the coaching programme. It’s fundamentally a Q&A session where I ask some ‘big questions’ that get you thinking about the most important stuff in your life, resulting in what’s called your Foundation Document. We don’t need all the perfect answers during the session, as you’ll have a week to think about and fine-tune the document to suit you, so you can take ownership of it. Here are the questions you’ll get:

What makes you happy?

Doing more of the things that make us happy in our lives means we’re happier overall. Sounds really obvious, but how often do we neglect a lot of these things as we get more involved in being ‘busy with life’. Perhaps you used to play a musical instrument but haven’t picked it up in years. Maybe you love hiking in nature but just don’t seem to have the time anymore. You could have lost touch with someone whose friendship you value. Identifying these things that give us joy can help us to proactively schedule them back into our lives.

What are your core values?

Our core values are the principles we tend to live by, and if we go against them, we feel uncomfortable and ‘out of sync’. Everyone has a different set of values, but most of us haven’t taken the time to discover what they are and write them down. This can be an incredibly powerful exercise. When you know your values and can articulate them clearly, then making decisions, responding to events, and planning for the future all become a lot easier. Aligning your behaviours, goals and intentions as much as possible with your core values gives you meaning and purpose.

What are your priorities right now?

This is where we identify those areas we want to be focusing on the most. Common life priorities include career direction, family, lifestyle, time management, health and fitness, confidence levels, getting motivated, starting a business, or finding meaning and purpose. Making sure most of your time is spent on your priorities is a key aspect of coaching.

What sort of person are you?

It’s useful to have an understanding of your own fundamental personality – who you are. Knowing your strengths allows you to play to those characteristics that give you satisfaction and fulfillment. On the flip side, knowing your personal weak spots can help you to go easy on yourself if you find you’re struggling in specific areas, and can get you thinking about how you might be able to build certain skills.

What kind of person do you want to be?

Here, we’re not looking to change who you are, but more to think about what behaviours you want to address. For example, if you’re a procrastinator, you may want to be more proactive. If you’re very shy in social situations, you may want to become more confident. If you feel lazy a lot of the time, you might want to feel more energised and motivated. Knowing what we want to improve on helps us to become who we want to be – the best version of ourselves.

What does your ideal life look like?

This is a fun question, because there are no constraints. We’re only thinking about the ‘what’, not the ‘how’ at this stage. Seeing your ideal life written down like this can open up your mind to what’s possible. Here, we want to be thinking about the big picture stuff. What do you want in your life? What kind of lifestyle do you want to be living? Have you thought about what kind of work do you want to be doing? What material things do you want? This is the start of your sense of clarity and direction, and leads to having a clear picture of your desired lifestyle, ensuring your short-term goals and plans fit into your long-term trajectory.

Building upon your solid foundation

Laying the foundations of the coaching process properly is key to the results you expect from a premier coaching programme. Upon this foundation, we’ll create concrete plans that will include the building blocks of goals, strategies, habits and mindset shifts. Now the groundwork has been done, we’re ready to start building that skyscraper. How high and how majestic do you want it to be? It’s up to you.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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