Most of the modern approaches to Coaching assume that there is a certain number of meetings which are spread in time – depending on the coach’s methodology and style of work, as well as The client’s targets. Usually, it is a cycle of 5 to 12 sessions. We call the whole cycle a coaching process, which is a cycle of coaching meetings spread in time. Being able to achieve change often requires some time, because it is connected with a change of habits, introduction of certain principles in life, taking action, etc.
The coaching process begins with a preliminary meeting, also called a Contract meeting , during which the rules of cooperation are established, a communication contract is made, the client’s needs are examined and – what is probably most important of all – the process Goals are discussed and set.
In most cases, a single meeting does not guarantee the same effects as a cycle of meetings – like changing at the level of attitudes, habits or beliefs. This is why most coaches work by contracting a specific number of meetings in the coaching process.
Most often, coaching Agreements are constructed in such a way, that if The client should achieve his Goals before the end of the coaching process, then it is possible to finish the process earlier than it has been contracted. In such a case, either the contract is terminated, or the client begins working with new goals (this happens in Business coaching agreements, where a fixed number of sessions has been contracted).
At the level of Building relationships, in most cases a single session does not provide enough time to build an atmosphere of Trust, which would allow the client to fully open up. Trust is something that builds up over time. What is more, the client needs time to discover how he functions, what resources he possesses, what is his thinking schemata – as well as what are his fears and beliefs – which may. The achievement of all this may be guaranteed only when the client and Coach work in a cycle of sessions, that is a coaching process.
The coaching process may be understood also in a wider context –including the recruitment of a coach. This usually requires a few meetings. They may take place in different configuration and order. The first meeting is with the sponsor. Most often, this is a person from the HR department or the client’s direct superior. In a further order, the coach should meet the Coachee himself, to see if there is mutual acceptance and a fit. The Coachee usually meets with a few coaches, and chooses the person he feels that suits him the best. After both sides have agreed to work with each other, there is one last meeting between the coach and the sponsor, in order to set the details of co-operation such as the agreement, price, etc.
Apart from the character and number of these formal meetings, each coaching process is highly individualised and fit to the needs of the client and organisation, but also to the coach’s style of working – of course within the frames of what we define as coaching.