Your initial meeting with the colleague you plan to coach will answer many of your questions and, more importantly, the questions they have. Think of this meeting as an informal interview that orients the coachee to the process and structure of coaching. During this orientation session, you will learn about your coachee and their expectations and they will learn about you and your role.
Use the Orientation session checklist to prepare for a coaching session.
Orientation session checklist
The orientation session needs to be treated as the beginning of a partnership, not an interrogation. By using a friendly, open manner you can build trust, confidence and respect. The quality of the rapport you build will have a direct impact on the quality of the information shared and the outcomes achieved. Rapport describes the connection two people make when they are able to communicate freely and easily and they have developed a sense of affinity.
Respect for your coachee’s privacy and confidentiality underpins the trust a coaching relationship is built on. You are expecting the coachee to share information about their working life which in turn will reveal their feelings, attitudes, experiences and inspirations. From the outset it is necessary to state explicitly the terms of confidentiality that you will observe and inform the coachee of their right to privacy. They should never be made to feel they are under pressure to answer your questions.
It is essential to seek advice from the organisation’s human resource department regarding your obligation to protect the coachee’s privacy. You can then state clearly in the coaching agreement how and what you will report to managers or other stakeholders, and what information or data you will be seeking from sources other than the coachee.
Policies and legislation
Find out all you need to know about privacy and confidentiality in your organisation.
Locate the policies within your organisation that relate to privacy and confidentiality. Make yourself aware of the state and federal legislation they refer to. Most importantly, determine how they impact on your practices as a coach.