In a coaching relationship we know it’s critical that there is the right level of trust, rapport and belief in the relationship. So it’s been common practice for anyone considering working with a coach to be guided towards an initial “chemistry session”. Why wouldn’t you want to take the time to get to know each other? Well here’s something to think about…
Often a “chemistry session” is seen as an opportunity to find out more about the coach & their credentials, akin to an interview of sorts. In response, it can be taken as an opportunity for the coach to “pitch” themselves. No matter how much you may like the coach, what you are getting then is a sense of how well the coach can sell themselves. This may have some value. However, what you really need to understand from this initial time together is their interest in supporting you and what it would be like to work together in a coaching relationship.
Coaching isn’t just about who you are and what you do. It’s about how you are.
My practice is to treat that initial session as the start of working together. After all, why wouldn’t I help you from the very start if I’m interested in supporting you? This gives the client an opportunity to experience how it is to work together whilst also creating some real value from the conversation. We always have the time to get to know each other in this initial session – who we are and what we do – we just spend more time finding out how we are together. Finding that out only costs us our time. Time well spent focussed on seeing what value we can create together.
If from there we choose not to work together, then that’s just fine. We have a really good grounding for that decision and hopefully the client has a better idea of what they may be looking for. If we choose to work together then we’ve got a great head start and can get deeper into the coaching more quickly.
I can’t imagine any better way of supporting someone embarking on their coaching journey.