A Checklist for New Coaches

As a new coach, it can be daunting to show up on the phone or on Skype when you are first starting out. You may want to be ‘professional’ but also to create a warm sanctuary where your client can open up to you about what they are struggling with. Here’s a checklist to help you get ready for your call.

  1. Check the time of the call. Ideally, you’ll be using an online scheduler and this can be synced with your online calendar or written in your paper planner.
  2. Go to the loo if you need to – the teacher in me reminds you of this!
  3. Make sure you have had a meal or a nourishing snack, ideally something with protein in it to give you sustained energy and keep the rumbly tummy at bay.
  4. Have a drink handy.
  5. Remember not to make it about you. This is not about you proving your worth as a coach. Instead, it’s about you showing up fully for your client and meeting them where they are.
  6. Know how your client is going to contact you. If it is by Skype check you are connected on there or chase a contact request.
  7. Be on time. Give yourself time to settle before the call and make sure you have time between calls to gather your thoughts.
  8. Read client notes, pre-work or remind yourself of where they were in their life the last time you spoke. Satori my scheduler automatically sends out a catch up questionnaire before each call.
  9. Look presentable but no pin stripe suit is required. Be yourself, but it’s best not to turn up in your pyjamas – particularly if it’s a Skype video call.
  10. Let go of your agenda. Don’t decide what tools you will use before the call. Instead always remember to meet the client where they are and go from there.
  11. Don’t be hard on yourself. You don’t need to be perfect as a coach and you don’t need to help them to solve all their problems in one call.
  12. Have boundaries – stick to the time allotted for the call. Remember there’s a point in the call that you have to start winding things up. Martha Beck calls this making time for the ‘dismount.’ Resist the temptation to coach on something new is the last quarter of the call and instead, consolidate what you have already covered.
  13. Don’t ask for congratulations on your coaching skills at the end of the call. You don’t need to have your work affirmed by the client to have it be worthy.
  14. Avoid being disturbed on the call. Have the call somewhere quiet and let others know you are on a call.
  15. Make sure the client knows what their next steps are both in terms of what they are going to work on and how they book their next call.

I’d love to know if you have any other things that you would add to this list based on your experience of coaching. Please let me know in the comments.

Until next week,