I promised a couple of people that I would provide a sample coaching contract, along the lines of what I use when I am engaged in agile coaching. so here is one I prepared earlier, aligned to coaching a specific person.
What is it?
The coaching contract is a simple agreement between three people as to what to expect in a coaching relationship.
The 3 people are
- The person being coached
- The person who engaged and is paying the coach
- The coach
But don’t panic. It is not a 400 page document that recommends contracts over customer collaboration. It is a one to two page reminder that supports ongoing collaboration and forces you to put an end date on the current coaching period so you stop to assess whether you are:
- Still driving toward the right goals; and
- Clear on whether you are making headway
Note that there will also be an evolving coaching plan between the person being coached and the coach. That is the important agreement and the one I would expend effort on.
The contract is just to set the scene and make sure that you are not:
- Just going to down to a cafe to catch up for coffee instead of experiencing the angst and growth of coaching;
- Allowing a troglodyte coach to tell client what to do instead of coaching them; or
- Enabling a manager to mistakenly believe that information from the coaching discussions will feed into the performance management system and provide the manager with new insights, when in fact the coach will NOT share anything that comes out of the coaching.
Rather than capturing everything though, it is worth having all three parties sit down and discuss what is happening.
Editor’s note – I have since created a longer version of this to include more about the process of reaching agreement. You can see that article here.