I offer an initial consultation meeting to every client. This appointment is often the longest appointment in terms of time, around 75 minutes and usually the most emotional. Whilst there is no obligation to work with me thereafter, most clients do and this meeting sets the scene for subsequent coaching sessions in so far as a framework, honesty and openness and a foundation for exploring next steps.
My initial consultation has five key themes.
The first and often the most important for a client is to meet me. It gives a sense of who I am, how my coaching works, my style and my approach. By the end of our time together a client will have a good sense of whether I am right for them. I won’t be right for everyone. Initial consultation offers this insight.
For me as a coach, the most important aspect of the meeting is the client. I like to understand everything that people feel free to share with me. My coaching is holistic in that it looks at the whole of a person. I like to know what’s happening in life, business or both. Sometimes it’s also about explaining what’s not happening. And what has happened up to now- an autobiography in a way. Often these experiences are a barrier to moving forward so it’s always relevant to know about past event, situations and just life as such. And we discuss also what clients would like to be happening moving forward- plans, ambitions, aspirations, dreams, decisions, next steps and the like. Sometimes clients don’t know. Life feels so overwhelming that knowing how to untangle things currently becomes the focus.
There’s no specific set of questions to ask and often this part of the meeting is the longest. I find clients feel keen to share and bare their soul and as a result, emotions are high with tissues readily available. For some, this is the first time things have been shared or admitted, to others or even themselves. Tears are allowed, anger is allowed, frustration, hurt, jealously, resentment, fear, worry, guilt, sadness and more are all acceptable.
I then like to talk about coaching. I could talk about coaching all day. I explain that coaching is a forward focused, action oriented, sometimes challenging, always exciting form of professional support. I outline the differences between coaching and counselling or therapy and sign post other forms of professional support as required.
Next, based on the discussions to date I recommend a programme of coaching sessions should clients choose to work with me thereafter, including estimated number, topic and frequency so that prospective clients leave armed with sufficient and often comprehensive information to make an informed choice about coaching, working with me and a plan for the future. Most clients coming to initial appointment work with me thereafter and most commit to four subsequent sessions. A six session block is also available, as required
I don’t encourage any clients to make a decision about working with me at this appointment, although most do.
Finally, there is the opportunity to ask any questions. Usually however we have covered everything by this time. I have been asked about my career to date, a typical client (there is none!), if a client is too much work (no!), if I’m sorry a client came to appointment (never!) and rarely, to summarise again what we have discussed. I’ve been asked if I ‘am sorted’ (hopefully!) and sometimes I receive questions around details read from my website or blog.
There’s no need to bring anything to this initial meeting but many clients do bring notes to remind themselves of topics to share. A notepad is often handy and I’ve even experienced the meeting being recorded. Whatever is useful to you is fine with me.
Many clients have advised that the initial consultation has propelled them in to action, created a momentum and even if emotional, enabled them to have hope and optimism about the future.
Most initial appointments are at my consulting room in the southside of Glasgow where the space is private and quiet. Exceptionally, we can meet elsewhere.
My fee for initial consultation is £45. Get in touch to book your session.