The coaching contract is an agreement that sets the tone in a coaching relationship. This article is going to save you a lot of time by checking off everything that should be covered in your coaching contract.
Every coach-client relationship is different but no matter if you’re a life or business coach looking to set up a contract: There are some points that shouldn’t be missing in your agreements with every client.
Important points to cover in a Coaching Contract:
- Contact data of you and your client (address, phone, mail, etc.)
- What’s the purpose and goal of this coaching (write down the specific goal and desire)
- Payment: How and when to expect payment (do you offer payment plans?, do you charge per hour or for a whole program? Which payment options do you offer?)
- Reschedule and cancellation policy: Set clear rules for cancellations and rescheduling of sessions
- Confidentiality and data protection: Protects you and your client from confidential information getting shared
- The coaching process: Where and how does the coaching take place? What’s the expected time frame of the coaching and how long is the time between sessions? How do you handle the support and interaction with your clients between sessions?
- Expectations – What to expect and what not to expect from the coach: Information about methods, and techniques that will be used. Avoids misunderstandings of what your coaching is and what isn’t. Inform your clients what you’re able to do.
- Add a success disclaimer: It says that your client is responsible for the outcomes by implementing the advice and steps from the coaching
- Client responsibility: Reminds your coachees that they need to be accountable, act upon your coaching and doing their part to make it a success and to accomplish their goals.
- Disclaimer: Coaching is not a substitute for therapy
- Cancellation policy: Set the terms for both of you of when and how the end the coaching relationship.
- Refund policy: Set clear terms around if and when you offer a refund
A coaching contract is mandatory and sets the expectations, rules and the tone for the entire coaching journey. You’ll find a sample coaching contract template here.
What to include in a Coaching Agreement
Besides the formal contract, you should possibly add and individual agreement about the coaching process itself. It could include:
- Goal setting: Set a tangible, meaningful and measurable goal together and write it down!
- Expectations: What can the client expect from you? What can you expect from the client throughout your journey (self-responsibility, accountability…)
- Which level of support do you offer?
- Which coaching software do you use to support the process?
- The willingness of the client to reflect, change, evolve and act upon your agreements
- The exact structure of the coaching (Number of sessions, length of session, the time between sessions, the structure between sessions, homework, journaling…)
- Coaching approach (tone, etiquette, methods, techniques)
- Chances and limits of coaching (What can your coaching do and what not?)
Besides the coaching contract, the documentation of the process plays an important role. You also might ask yourself questions like
- What should I ask during the discovery session?
- And how does a professional intake form look like?
- How can I demonstrate to my clients the tremendous value they get out of each session?
- And at the same time let them share their key insights with me?
- How can I easily document the entire journey of each client and make my session prep a matter of two minutes?
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