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Questions to ask in your first career coaching session

Career coaching. [iStockphoto] 

During a career coaching session, you present your coaching to find what your clients want to achieve before you proceed to allow them to sign that coaching contract.

Create a rapport and build a connection

As a coach, try to listen as much as possible more than speaking. Give them 80 per cent of your hearing and 20 per cent of talking in between. Allow them to express themselves but keep them on the topic when they seem to lose focus.

Here are some of the questions you can ask to create a rapport before you dwell deeper

  • Tell me a bit about yourself.
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What made you decide to contact me?

Find the true motivation for your client to come for coaching.

Is it a well-thought decision or it’s a third-party recommendation, maybe a boss or colleague? It’s good to know if the client is really interested to get help or if it may seem like it's being forced down their throat.

Once you confirm their attitude, you can arrange these questions to dig out what help they really need;

  • What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
  • What are you most frustrated with right now?
  • What are you most passionate about in life?
  • What’s the first thing you’d want to work on with a coach?
  • What’s the obstacle or the hesitation that keeps you from getting started?
  • What outcome would make working with me a great success?
  • How would your life look like if you decide not to get coached?

After you are satisfied, guide your client to know that you are the right professional to help them by assuring them that:

  • Here’s how I usually work with my clients:
  • Here’s how I work with that goal:
  • Here’s what you can expect if we start a coaching relationship

Briefly outline what your session looks like:

In the mind of the coach these questions need to be addressed:

  • How often will you meet and what does a typical session look like?
  • How do you interact between sessions?
  • How do you ensure accountability and sustainable success?
  • What are your fees and payment models?

Wrapping up the sample coaching

You really want to know what your client has decided. This is how you ask the client for confirmation for the session to begin:

  • How do you want to proceed?
  • Is there anything you need to know before you can make your decision?
  • What is holding you back from making a decision?

Allow for follow up

Allow your client to take time if they don’t agree to sign up immediately. Give them a week or so to think through and make their decision with minimum pressure.