Perhaps the most important part of any coaching journey is in the initial meeting, before anyone's mind is made up or contract drawn up - there is an all important call, fondly referred to as the Discovery Call. I cannot emphasise how important this step is and should be taken up for anyone considering taking up coaching or wants to satisfy their 'coaching' curiosity.
From what I have experienced, most people don't know what coaching entails and sadly, afraid to ask. Others, feel they want coaching and want to sign up straightaway. I won't lie, I get excited when I get an email expressing their desire for coaching and really want to work with me - their enthusiasm and energy is so infectious. My heart is bursting with joy and I just want to shout out YESSSS of course!! But I have learned to be patient and being a professional, offer a discovery call instead.
So what's the point of a discovery call? For you, or potential clients, it is your 'golden' ticket to a special 1-1 meeting with me - no strings or fees attached, no sales pitch or gimmicks. You have my undivided 'professional' full attention. You have an hour to ask me anything you want to know! Ideally, questions are geared towards coaching per se, to really clear the air and remove any concerns or doubts. You can ask about my coaching package including prices and payment. You can even ask tough questions like 'Is it worth it? I have come this far without a coach, why do I need one now? I am confident, and know what I want, how can coaching help me?' Literally, there is no holding back here. This is where I really work my hardest to win you over! Or I just casually tell you like it is.
But I don't want to spoil the surprise for you with my responses. In effect, a discovery call is basically, an interview for the client and coach positions! For each role, there are responsibilities (assumed and stipulated). Throughout the call, I am trying to ascertain whether the level of commitment is there but more importantly, that there is a fair understanding of what coaching entails. I am not a magician. I am not a fixer-upper. So it is a good time to mention here that the discovery call is an opportunity to dispel coaching myths. I am not going to lie to you. You're essentially paying for accountability and a solid integrity! As a potential client, you want to make an informed decision and for most part, you are serious about taking your career to the next level. You are not the only one investing time and money into this coaching relationship, we both are and therefore, should be considered a serious investment but a worthwhile one.
Coaching is self-directed learning. So the key words here is self and learning. You will 100% - learn, become competent, gain knowledge, acquire or develop/master a skill, receive clarity and grow from what you learned. However, these intangible benefits are part and parcel of achieving your tangible goals. Goal setting will be a separate post but is at the core of the coaching journey.
During this initial discussion, I explore goals with the client, indirectly. Just to get an idea of what they require coaching support for. It has to align with my values and vision for coaching, to help someone unlock their God-given potential to live out their purpose with gratitude and joy, in order for that person to help someone else too, to be an inspiration to others, to improve their standard of living, to bring harmony into the family and home. For me, I want to ensure that my coaching isn't limited to a client-coach relationship, but to work towards making a bigger and lasting impact even when the coaching has ended.
What I have learned, the research shows that finding the right match between a mentor or mentee, client and coach is not important to the success of the relationship. I think that the focus is more on the goals and process, rather than individual personalities and experiences during the coaching journey. I believe that this is true, as there is a lot of learning and retraining the coach has undertaken to arrive at a coaching stance where it is not about themselves, but about the client. Coaching is mainly about person-centred support.
The discovery call really provides a reassurance that there is some compatibility and understanding that can propel the coaching relationship forward in the right direction. From experience, the questions mentioned above haven't been brought up! If it were me, I would totally ask those questions - you don't know until you ask! I also ask questions too. Lots. Its important for me to understand what the potential client is seeking, trying to make sense of their situations which to a certain degree is - they're 'stuck' and 'lack confidence' hence, why they need coaching. This is common and familiar for most of us.
I tend to proceed to sharing my coaching experiences, what I have learned in my studies and in my own coaching practice. It helps to give them that insight and relief needed to make informed decisions about entering into a coaching contract with me but also that they are not alone in their current circumstances. The only difference is that coaching will help them get unstuck and more confident quicker than if they were to go at it alone!
So that's really a little information on the 'Discovery Call', good chemistry is a bonus but honesty and commitment is far more valuable for both parties. And by ensuring this is clear, there is a greater sense of peace felt when the call has ended.
Thank you for reading.