The first time you meet with participants is an opportunity to start your relationship on equal footing. These steps can help you and the participant bring their full selves to coaching sessions.
These may happen during one coaching sessions or might be spread out across the first few times you and the participant meet.
- When meeting for the first time, be on time to greet the participant and walk them to your meeting space.
- Ask the participant, “What brings you here today?” The answer will help identify if a participant is in a crisis that needs to be addressed before either of you can focus on building a relationship.
- If the participant is not in crisis, explain the Family-Centered Coaching process. Review the Roles a Coach Can Play tool together to emphasize that this an equal partnership in which each of you is accountable to the other. Discuss and decide together if there are other expectations for both you and the participant.
- Explain that this first meeting provides an opportunity for participants to identify some initial goals they have for themselves and their family. Use the Who Is in My Family? and My Hopes and Dreams tools to guide the conversation.
- Discuss how often you will meet, preferred communication methods, and any challenges–such as transportation, limited time for sessions, or other issues that might prevent them from fully engaging with coaching. Together, decide how these challenges will be addressed.
- Decide how often you want to check in with each other about how the relationship is working and whether any adjustments are needed. Your check-ins becomes part of your mutual accountability and recognizes that you are both active participants in making the relationship successful.