An Introduction to Our Working Engagement
This client intake document is intended to help you better understand my approach and get the most out of our work together. We’ll discuss Sections A-C in our first meeting in order to set mutual expectations, one of the few times that I’ll begin a session with an agenda. Although we’ll define our business relationship in a separate letter agreement, I view this document as an equally important “interpersonal contract.”
A) Key Elements of this process
1) We come up with the answers together.
While I may be able to guide you in some places, I don’t have all answers for you and the ultimate responsibility starts and ends with you. I will have questions, and you’ll ultimately have to determine the answers that are right for you. I may have feedback and advice at times, but I’ll be careful to note when I do, so that you can decide for yourself what to do with that information.
2) You set the agenda.
You’ll decide what issues we address, both during the course of our work together and in each individual session. I’ll help you track issues over time and prioritise issues in a given conversation. I’ll raise certain issues at times, drawing upon my experience with other clients, but the agenda is ultimately your responsibility.
3) Our relationship is an equal partnership.
I’m not an authority figure, nor am I a subordinate. We’ll work together as equal partners in this process and share responsibility for its success. If we ever feel that we’re not acting as partners, we agree that we will say so.
B) Characteristics of the Relationship
I will share information that would identify you as a client or any details of our work together with your permission only. I encourage clients to tell trusted colleagues, friends and family people you trust that you’re working with a mentor, as well as what we are working on. Trust me – you will get more out of the coaching process.
We may agree that my role may be to help you fulfill any commitments you make to yourself, however you are ultimately responsible to yourself, not to me. We agree to honor the commitments we make to each other, including being on time and ready for our sessions.
I’ll always speak professionally and with respect, but I’ll also strive to be as candid and direct as possible in order to be as helpful as possible.
C) Things to Expect in our Session
1) Interruptions & pointed questions.
I may interrupt you, and I may ask direct, pointed questions. It’s important that we find the communication style that’s most effective for us as a team, and it’s essential that you feel heard in our discussion, and yet excessive politeness should not get in the way of real communication.
2) Suggestions and responses.
Any feedback, suggestions or advice that I provide can be thought of as a suggestion. You always have the choice to accept, reject, modify, or defer these.
3) Reflection and note-taking.
At times I may pause to allow you to reflect or to choose where to go next, and at times you may pause to take some notes or gather your thoughts. I take notes to avoid being distracted by points I’m trying to remember and jot down questions I’d like to raise later.
D) Getting Started
4) Wheel of focus and balance
In this exercise I invite you to consider the various areas of your life. For example: Career, Family & Friends, Significant Other, Personal Growth, Finances & Money, Fun & Leisure, Health & Home Environment. You can make up your own categories and add and remove as you see fit. If you need new sections you can start your own diagram with additional sections. You may also elect to do one for your professional life and one for your personal life. Once you have these, add one to each of the sections of the diagram below. Then please draw a line across each of the sections (similar to the example to the right) to indicate how you feel about each of these areas of your life. It will become clear during the course of our time together why I ask you to complete this exercise.
PLEASE PRINT THIS OUT, COMPLETE AND BRING TO OUR SESSION.