I can’t answer for anyone else but this is how I work with business coaching clients.
As soon as we decide to work together, we will arrange a diagnostic meeting. This is a fairly formal, structured, meeting that can take several hours. I will know a fair bit about the client and her business before this but nowhere near enough to do the best job of coaching. During this meeting, which is free of charge, I am looking to find out several things. Most importantly where the client and the business are now and where they want to get to. I will also discover what they have tried that has worked, what they have tried that hasn’t worked and by extrapolation what they haven’t tried yet. I will have a pretty good idea of the best way to get them from where they are to where they want to be, quickly and safely.
Armed with that knowledge I am in a great position to begin the coaching and get immediate and positive traction. This is important because I don’t have a contract with clients see here so providing value at every meeting is important to both of us.
I don’t write a report but I do create a mindmap. We will then agree the best rhythm to meet. For new clients this is almost always weekly, as anything less doesn’t gain the traction that the client needs to see quick results that will prove the concept.
The magic doesn’t happen in the coaching sessions but in the work the client does between coaching sessions doing the work and implementing the tactics and strategies we have discussed. As a rule of thumb the client needs to spend two hours working on the business between our sessions for every hour she spends with me. So a crucial decision is the amount of time a client is prepared to invest in growing themselves and their business. The more time invested, the faster the progress.
Every route map is different because no two businesses and no two people start in the same place and want to get to the same destination.
The mindmap serves as our route map for the topics we will cover during the coaching, but if that all it was it would be training and this is so much more than that. We are going to be using the business as our test bed, as we go. so our focus will be decided by what is happening in the business week by week as well as the mindmap.
Because we know where we are going, we will get there; or I will have fired the client or she will have fired me. Every month the client has the option to continue or to stop. I am proud of the fact that my average engagement is almost 3 years which is remarkable in this industry and proves just how effective it is.
At any point the frequency and length of our meetings can be up or down graded. Not only will you achieve your objectives but you will also have learned how to do it yourself. Coaching is about creating independence not creating greater dependency and one of the most important questions is ‘when will you be able to do without your coach?’