Having defined roles and responsibilities and found an appropriate setting it’s time to get together with your coachee for an introductory meeting. If you’re coaching the same people whom you manage, this meeting will be about introducing the concept of coaching, explaining why you’re using it now and setting out what you hope it will achieve. If you’re coaching people with whom you don’t normally work, this meeting is about establishing a working relationship. Let’s consider both these scenarios in turn as there are common elements to both.
Here we meet Simon, Head of Sales for an office supplies company. He has decided to implement some coaching skills training he has received and is talking now to Catriona, a member of the sales team.
|Simon||So Cat what I want us to do is to make coaching a feature of our regular get togethers. I’ve had some training in this recently and would like to start coaching you and other members of the team so that we can hit this year’s tough targets.|
|Catriona||Fancy a tracksuit and a stopwatch do you?|
|Simon||Well, I suppose I’m not on the field of play with you so to speak, so it is similar|
|Catriona||Actually I was reading about a life coach in my Mum’s magazine. Are you going to help us lose weight or stop smoking?|
|Simon||Is that what you want?|
|Catriona||Look I’m sorry to mess about, but it’s just another buzz word isn’t it? It’s a long time since you were on the road Simon and things have changed. I’m not sure what you can tell us.|
|Simon||I don’t intend telling you anything. I want to make sure you all get the most from every customer experience. I think if we’re going to have any chance with these targets we’re all going to need to be learning more quickly. Coaching will help us do that.|
|Catriona||Ok, tell me a bit more.|
Now here’s Karen a Finance Manger who is meeting with Alex from IT.
|Karen||Hi Alex. I just thought we should get together and see how we get along before we think of anything more formal. How’s that sound?|
|Karen||I’ve made a list of the things I think we need to cover: how often we should meet, how long we should block out for the sessions, what we should do after the first three months and what records, if any we should keep. Is there anything else?|
|Alex||Er, not really|
|Karen||Are you sure? If this is going to work it has to be a joint commitment Alex|
|Alex||Actually, I was wondering whether we could do some of this by phone or even by email|
|Karen||Phone would be ok, but email wouldn’t really be interactive enough. Besides I’m having real problems with my PC just now, the screen keeps freezing|
|Alex||Oh right. Have you tried switching it off?|
These conversations are both just snippets of what could be covered, but they give a flavour of an initial meeting in a coaching style, though you may prefer one to the other 😉