Thank you, Alison! These are very useful guidelines for the coaching process. I appreciate your experience. They scored excellent points and I know I (and my coaching clients) will benefit from the inclusion of these ideas. The aim of this article is to deepen our understanding of the central role that contracts and agreements play during the development of a coaching relationship. Beyond the initial contract, which helps to specify the objective and limits of a coaching relationship, we want to develop here the other facets of the conclusion of the contract, considering the concept as a family of skills constantly presented by a professional coach in a daily, if not minute-by-minute way. At each level, the work between a coach and a customer is supervised, authorized and limited by a different form of contract conclusion. At all levels and during the coaching relationship, the contracting process provides both coaches and clients with many new indicators of their common flaws and business success models. This original contract serves, first, to position each coach in its specific frame of reference and, secondly, to limit the scope of the professional relationship, thus protecting all contractors. This first contract defines the coaching position before the start of the coaching relationship with a client long before a real coaching process is in place, and long before it becomes useful to involve clients in the creation of a number of other “mini-contracts” or coaching. This list also contains certain points that are more typical of formal contracts than lighter agreements. Indeed, homework contracts are often written by the client and verified when they are concluded, in order to evaluate their effectiveness and move on to other action plans.
In a 20-minute sequence, for example, a coach and client can often spend more than half of their time focusing on designing and formalizing a homework contract centered on a detailed action plan. We stress once again that this systematic focus on practice and results is at the heart of the art of daily coaching. Coaching is a specific profession. It is very different from personal development, therapy, training, advice, analysis, etc. Therefore, professional coaching has a framework, goals, tools and ways to define before starting a relationship with a particular client. As in any other profession, this clarification is communicated to the client by an explicit professional agreement or an initial contract. I could have avoided this stress by establishing a clear coaching agreement that defined what I expected from the client, what the client could expect from me and what he could expect from the coaching process. In practical terms, I would have outlined the following five things that would have immeasurably improved our relationship. She might have travelled during our scheduled meetings, and if she had, the consequences would be clear to both of us. These very practical and detailed “follow-up” assignments often make the difference between developing customer awareness, for example.
B in personal development or therapy, and achieving measurable coaching results.