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1. Coaching Packet by Coaches Plus all rights reserved Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
This guide is produced by Coaches Plus the learning community for coaches. We hope you find this stimulates some ideas for your coaching packet and gives you an effective lead in to your first sessions with your clients. Contents page What is a coaching packet? 1 What to include in your coaching packet 2 How to write your welcome letter 4 Example welcome letter 6 What is a coaching agreement? 7 Example coaching agreement 8 How to use a contact details form 11 Example contact details form 12 Peak Moment exercise 13 My Best Coach exercise 14 Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 1 What is a Coaching Packet? The phrase Coaching Packet usually describes a set of materials or resources you send your client before the first coaching session. This packet is individual to you and reflects your style and approach as a coach as well as those of your client. So, the content of the packet varies from coach to coach and sometimes from client to client. In this booklet we give you: • a checklist of item for your coaching packet • guidelines on writing your welcome letter and an example welcome letter • guidelines on the coaching agreement and example coaching agreement • an example contact details form • two short exercises which you can give to your client prior to the first session with an explanation of how to use them We hope you find this booklet useful and would love to hear your feedback. Please visit us at www.coachesplus.com and contact us to let us know what you think. You can also access many of the materials and exercises referred to in this booklet at our website. One example is our electronic coaching journal This can be part of your coaching packet and either emailed to clients, posted on your website, or loaded on to CD. Visit our website to find out more. Page 2 Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
What to include in your coaching packet There are a range of things it may be useful to send your client before your first session – but it is worthwhile to think carefully about the needs of your client and what would be useful for them to have up front. • some people like to have a package of materials and information to refer to as they go along and prefer to read ahead • others can get overwhelmed by a lot of paper work and exercises Remember You can select exercises to meet the needs of your client after you get a better picture of their focus and goals. If you have a website you can post a range of materials for your client to select from. Alternatively, you can email or give out materials as and when they are needed. Coaching Packet checklist How to use the checklist • Read through the items. • Add any others that you use with your clients • For each item consider when and how you could introduce them to your client • Highlight those which you see as essential to include in the coaching packet (E) • Identify those which are helpful to include in the coaching packet (H) • Identify those which may be useful to your client later, after you have begun coaching (L) • Identify those which are not needed (N) One example is completed below: Resource E/H/L/N When ? How? Code of E Before the first coaching Mail out by post or email or post on Ethics session and during the website and ask client to read before first coaching session the first session. Deal with questions on ethics in the first session. Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 3 Checklist Resource E/H/L/N When ? How? Welcome letter Invoice Contract Coaching agreement Newsletter Biography Information on your training, qualifications and membership of professional bodies Client contact details form Coaching call/session preparation form Assessment (including self- assessment) activities Questions for your client to complete Forms or activities Description of your coaching style Client coaching journal Other … Other … Other … Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 4 How to write your welcome letter A welcome letter is very useful in introducing the content of your coaching packet to your client and in setting the tone of your coaching relationship. How formally you write your letter depends on your personal style and the expectations of your client. But the tone or voice of your letter should be consistent with the tone in the other materials you send to your client, so that your client is getting the same message about coaching and your coaching relationship both in person and in writing. It also helps if all your written materials are consistent in layout and format, colour and font – as this also reinforces your message and approach. Things to consider when putting your letter together: Content 1 What is your key message to your client about the coaching process and relationship that they are about to undertake – is it about the: • journey they will be making? • support they will receive? • challenges and changes they will experience? • impact of coaching – both personal and professional? Remember to state this key message clearly in your letter. 2 Identify what you would like your client to complete or do before coming to your first session and list these in your letter. These may include: • signing documents – such as a contract or coaching agreement • completing forms – such as a client contact details form • questions, self-assessments or activities Remember to give clear instructions on these – including information on how and when they should be completed and returned. Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 5 3 What practical arrangements do you need to remind your client of? Some examples are: • the time and arrangements for the first session • how to pay your fees These details can be included in a coaching agreement – so consider whether they would be best included in your agreement or you letter. In this booklet we have included an example coaching agreement to give an idea of possible content. Tone and language The letter should sound welcoming but how informal do you want it to be? Informality can be introduced by the use of: • quotations • humour • images • colour • a specific font Layout and structure Do you want a short letter with a few attachments or do you want to send out a fuller package of materials. Both options have benefits but will not suit all clients. Be prepared to test this out and adapt your approach over time. • if you want to give a full package of material or information to your clients it is useful to structure your letter into clear sections • think about whether separate documents would be better than a long letter and whether you advise your clients to download some materials • don’t forget to open and and close your letter in a welcoming way Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 6 Example Welcome Letter Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 7 What is a Coaching Agreement? A coaching agreement sets out the ground rules and practical arrangements for your coaching sessions with your client. This is mutually agreed between coach and client and outlines the responsibilities of both partners. It is very useful in establishing a professional, ethical and businesslike relationship. Parts of the agreement can be included in a coaching contract, if appropriate. Here are some headings to consider when you are considering what to include in your agreement: • What you ask the client to commit to and what approach they will take to coaching • What you commit to as a coach and what approach you take to coaching • What issues fall outside the coaching relationship • The code of ethics by which you work • How you deal with confidentiality - and any exceptions • How the coaching sessions will be conducted, length of coaching programme, frequency, location, whom will phone/contact whom • What happens in relation to cancellation, rescheduling • What happens if the coaching relationship is not working • Arrangements for billing/payment Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 8 Example Coaching Agreement Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 9 Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 10 Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 11 Using a client contact details form • A client contact details form can be used as a quick reference which is at kept close at hand to make contacting your client between coaching sessions easier. • The form can be used to highlight the arrangements to preserve the confidentiality of the coaching conversations and interactions. • It can also be used to outline clearly alternative arrangements and contact numbers and addresses if you are having difficulty in contacting your client. • Your client may appreciate a similar form with your contact details on it – so they have your contact details to hand and alternative arrangements should they have a problem in contacting you. • If the employer is paying for or sponsoring your client’s coaching it is also useful to have the employer’s contact details. • Some coaches find it useful to maintain a folder (either paper-based or electronic) for each of their clients – which includes contact details, notes, records of progress and achievement, records of assessment activities and outcomes, sessions completed and planned and goals. (You can find examples of all these materials on our website.) Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 12 Example Contact Details Form Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 13 Peak Moment Exercise Identify a peak or special moment when life was especially rewarding or poignant for you. This can be a specific event or just a brief period of time which was meaningful and satisfying or rich and fulfilling. Where were you? Who was there with you? Describe exactly what was happening? What precisely was it that made this so special for you? What does this say about what is important, meaningful and fulfilling for you? Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 14 Ways to use the Peak Moment Exercise This exercise can be used to help a client to identify their values. • ask your client to look at this before the first session • in the session ask them to visualize the moment and explain exactly what they experienced • from this verbal picture and using your intuition – say what values you feel are expressed in this picture – follow up on any that the client responds to • allow your client to respond and reflect on these and identify a core value • you could ask them – how are you living to that value now? Extending the exercise • ask your client to visualize the future – imagine a similarly meaningful, satisfying, rich or fulfilling experience – where there value is being expressed. • this visualization or exercise can be used to motivate or inspire your client as they work towards their goals. You can ask your client to hold on to this feeling, image and return to it at times they want to create some space for themselves, create a positive frame of mind and reconnect with what is important to them. This is particularly useful when they are preparing to take on new challenges and make changes. Page 15 Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
My Best Coach How do you want me to coach you? What are you looking for in a coach? What else? If this coaching were to have a huge impact in your life what would it look like? What is the worst thing I could do as your coach? What is the best thing? When our coaching sessions end – what are the three things you would love to be able to say about your coach? Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
Page 16 Ways to use the My Best Coach exercise • This exercise helps the client to explore their expectations of coaching and of you as their coach. • If you give this out prior to the first session you can discuss some of the issues in more depth in you session. • It can be useful to combine this with a discussion of your approach to coaching, your style and your expectations of your client – perhaps referring to your coaching agreement or ground rules for coaching. • You can also use this later as you check in and contract with your client in your coaching session – particularly when you want to get an idea if the client’s focus has changed or whether you are coaching to the “bigger picture”. Finally ….. We hope you have found this booklet useful – please let us know by visiting us at www.coachesplus.com , leave some feedback and help us put together better resources for coaches. A note on how you can use this resource … To develop your own coaching packet but not for any form of resale or to be published online or in any other form. Please see our terms and conditions at www.coachesplus.com for further details. Coaching Packet January 08 © Sonia Thomas 2008 for more coaching resources visit our website www.coachesplus.com
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