Why have a coaching contract?
The life coaching contact cleanly separates the coaching from the admin side. It sets the relationship on a business and professional footing. It means both client and coach are clear from the outset. The contract is a way of setting and agreeing to the ground rules.
What goes into a coaching contract?
It's important to include the following areas
To contract or not to contract
- No. of sessions
- Payment terms
- Cost of extras or expenses
- Regularity of sessions
- Number of sessions
- Length of sessions
- Location of sessions
- Contact details for phone coaching
- Re-scheduling sessions
- Missed session charges
- Coaching etiquette
All coaches need to have some form of coaching contract with the client. It's important to have a starting point for the relationship.
Starting a coaching business
is very exciting. Sometimes novice coaches want to launch straight in to coaching. Chomping at the bit, they want to gallop full pelt into coaching. They don't have time to go through the niceties.
In contrast other coaches spend the whole first session going through a contract. They want to ensure that the client is fully aware of the process. Signing the contract means the coaching can commence.
What is best?
Recommending the best kind of coaching contract is not within my remit. My preferred method falls somewhere in between informal and formal. I alter it depending on the client.
The coaching contract (agreement) I use is not a legal document. It's probably better described as a briefing sheet rather than contract.
It informs the client on the expectations of the relationship. It's always helpful to talk to your supervisor about contracting.
Using the coaching contract in the first session
I always send out the briefing sheet (contract) before the first session. I will then go through the coaching contract at the start of coaching. It's a great tool to help build up rapport. It's a great way for the client to consider any questions or queries they have about the coaching.
During the first session I will also go through each section. Checking the client understands is crucial.
I also have a set of first session questions which we go through as well.
Please feel free to adapt and use the coaching contract I use with my leadership clients. This coaching contract PDF
is what I call 'briefing sheet'. Remember this is NOT a legal document.
I work with individual clients and as such prefer an informal style. If you are undertaking a large contract, or you're uncertain about a client draw up a legally binding coaching contract.
about the author
Liz has been a leadership coach for 5 years. She works with head teachers and senior leaders in the police.
She is currently working in education as a coaching trainer. She trains teaching staff to use coaching skills with the students (both secondary and primary).
She co-founded Coaching Connect with her husband. Liz loves bringing coaches together to share information. The Coaching Connect CPD days have gone from strength to strength. These are days when coaches come together and share expertise with a series of presentations during the day.
Starting a coaching business
- a comprehensive guide to starting your own coaching business.
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