9 CLEAR Ways To Manage Coaching Expectations (2024)

Always set clear expectations with your coaching clients from the start. This involves being direct about what they can expect and letting them know exactly what you can provide.

It ensures your client/coach relationship is off to a good start. This list of 9 clear ways to manage expectations gives strategies to avoid misunderstandings at the beginning of a coaching relationship.

Let’s dive right into it.

1. Life Coaching Is Different From Counselling

Unlike a therapist, life coaches don’t work within the healthcare industry. They are instead a guide supporting you to work within your own professional industry, achieve your financial goals or simply focus on making your personal decisions better.

2. A Good Fit

There are many different coaching strategies out there that life coaches lead with, so find one that has a matching personality and mindset to yours to have a good fit.

3. Qualifications

Find a life coach with training in the area you’re interested in. Whether you want assistance creating a business plan or motivating yourself to enrol in tennis lessons, you can expect to find someone with coaching experience and training to assist you with your needs.

4. Time And Resources

Life coaching can be a long-term process but it’s also very rewarding. If you expect quick and easy answers to your problems, better look elsewhere.

You’re ready to work with a life coach when you can come in and commit the necessary time and resources to better yourself, your mental health and your professional life. 

As the coach, you might choose to lead with specific limits on your time, especially if your price is low. For example, you might say the coaching involves a 30 minute one-to-one session once a week and give unlimited email access.

Coaching Expectations
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5. Give Regular Feedback

Constructive feedback helps both the coaches and the clients understand how their performance has been, what is going well, and where best to focus.

Set aside time for feedback at regular intervals, not just at the end of the relationship.

6. Make A Goals Roadmap

Goals are the clearest and most effective way to know where you or your whole team are going. Create personal objectives together to support them in developing and further their careers or improve their life situation.

Work to connect with those objectives as a team. Aligning goals this way gives clients or employees an uncomplicated picture of how they contribute to their success.

7. Ask What Is The Best Way To Help

Good sports coaches don’t just throw their players into a competition and say, “figure it out.” They actively encourage their team and search for solutions so athletes can succeed.

Let your clients know they can come to you with questions or concerns. Use one-to-ones to understand the challenges they’re facing and agree on a plan together as a team.

You’re there for solutions, and they should feel comfortable asking for advice and or assistance.

8. Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver

Be distinct about what your clients can expect you to deliver. For example, maybe you can give advice on email marketing, but not on how to analyze their finances.

Well intentioned coaches make promises to their clients and then fail to deliver on them. The truth is, you might be able to get by dropping the ball once or twice, but don’t expect any more than that before your credibility starts to take a hit.

9. What Happens If They’re Not Happy? 

Particularly with high ticket coaching programs or sessions, prospects expect to know what happens if they’re not satisfied with the training.

Is this a no refunds program? Can they expect a money-back guarantee? Establish the details and communicate any time limits and refund policies they can agree to.

What Should I Expect From A Coaching Session?

Initially, coaches may provide you with a questionnaire to fill out before your first meeting. These questions are usually designed to help you think about what you want to change in your life and what you feel is holding you back.

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers, as your new personal coach can offer assistance to figure them out. Most personal coaching sessions will last from 45 minutes up to an hour. 

During your session, you’ll talk about what’s happened since your last meeting and any objectives you’d like to aim for until it’s time to talk again.

Your personal coach will team up with you to offer ideas and provide you with a number of resources to use to help you achieve your next step.

Your coach will also use different approaches and techniques in the most effective way to help you get what you want. 

What Are The Goals Of Coaching?

Life coaching will, for instance, support you to:

  • Develop new skills
  • Capitalize on your strengths
  • Overcome weaknesses
  • Expand your comfort zone
  • Shift your thinking
  • Identify and eliminate limiting beliefs
  • Clarify your desires and priorities
  • Develop empowering habits and rituals
  • Strengthen your core values
  • Improve your ability to learn from mistakes and failure so you can be successful
  • Upgrade your social skills and strengthen your any relationship
  • Unlock your life’s purpose

In a nutshell, life coaching is designed to help provide you with the support and guidance you need to be successful in any area of your life.

What Are The Main Responsibilities Of A Coach?

Professionally trained coaches are bound by confidentiality. More key than that – they are completely on your side.

They want good things for you. They’ll tell you the hard truths. They’ll challenge you – and they will love who you are now and who you are becoming.

1. Meaningful Questions

A personal coach will ask a number of meaningful questions designed to help you identify what you really want in your life.

He or she will also ask you to discover what beliefs or habits may be holding you back from achieving the objectives you have set for yourself.

2. Action Plan

As a team, you’ll create an action plan with a number of attainable steps designed to move you closer to your main goal.

Your coach will never tell you what to do with your life. Instead, their responsibility is to facilitate your ability to reach your own personal goals, not push their ideas.

3. Challenge

Often, coaches will challenge any preconceived notions you may have about what you are actually capable of.

A coach will see you in all of your glory and potential. As the coaching sessions progress, the client usually achieves what it is they came for too – if they still want it that is!

4. Safe Space

If it gets emotional, no apologies are necessary. Most people suppress their emotions for years. A good coach will create what they call a safe space for you to get in touch with your emotions.

You can get angry, shed a tear, sob uncontrollably and surprisingly tricky for most people – you can luxuriate in feeling happy and joyful.

Coaching allows you to reconnect with your emotions and work through them so you can take action from a more positive space. 

Expect a good coach to assist you with transforming and reaching your desires. Sometimes clients get huge realisations and transformation happens there and then in the coaching session itself. Other times it percolates within you for a few days after the session.

What Do Coaches Expect To Gain From Coaching?

The life enhancing benefits of being a coach can have a huge impact on your professional and personal life. Be it exploring coaching to further develop your ability to help others, or a quest for a sense of purpose, expect that becoming a coach changes you and your relationships for the better.

1. Rewarding And Fulfilling Career Choice

Coaches love what they do because they enjoy helping people get what they most want in life. Just think about it – you work with positive people who are eager to learn and achieve.

2. Freedom To Live And Work Anywhere 

Coaches can operate wherever they like, from their homes, an outside office or while traveling. Coaching can be done online or by phone, so location and geographical boundaries become irrelevant. 

3. Accelerates Personal And Professional Development 

You’re in an environment that encourages growth. Since your coachees are on a fast track, your training pace is naturally accelerated. You learn from each other. It’s that simple.

4. Strengthens Relationships 

Throughout this process coaches make fundamental connections with those they support, as they share their sense of accomplishment and success. These connections often transcend different age groups, hierarchies and professional cultures.

5. Potentially High Income

Coaches in private practice average $130 an hour in coaching fees, with the value ranging between $100 and $300 per hour. Since coaching is so effective, coachees can achieve significant results in as little as 30 minutes a week with you.

So, if you charge them $350 a month (the international average value for experienced coaches), you’ll service each coachee for two hours a month, for an average of $175 an hour.

6. Easy Entry Into Profession 

You can keep your current profession and complete training at your own pace without even taking time off for training, if you like. Core training can be completed in as little as one year or take up to three years – it’s entirely up to your needs.

7. Make A Difference In Others Lives 

Giving support to others to improve the quality of their lives and achieve their desires offers fulfillment for coaches. The coaching profession gives people that opportunity to make a difference in the world and create a positive impact for people.

Everyone has his or her own reasons for becoming an individual coach or a business coach, but almost every coach enjoys many of the benefits from this list.

Life Coaching Business Model
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Expectations Of A Coaching Programme

Here’s a list of some important expectations to understand about working 1 to 1 with a coach.

1. The Main Key Is – Do The Work

Best to be up front about this one. Coaching is a team effort. Your coach can be there with all the questions, skills and knowledge in the world. However, no one can make you do the work.

For example, when you buy a self help book and just leave it on your bedside table. To get the most out of coaching, you’ve got to show up; always be open and focus on the tasks required.

2. Much Of The Magic Happens Between Sessions

Sometimes it’s a gentle shift as your mind and body process change that took years to build up. 

You may not always need to recall every detail but some part of your being will keep what’s important for you and operate subconsciously to assist you to change.

4. You Will Hit Resistance

Most of the time change feels very uncomfortable and uneasy. That’s why working with a coach is so helpful.

Even if you’re desperately longing to make a change, a part of you will want to resist, second guess, doubt and just plain get in your own way.

This old saying is true, “what you resist, persists”, so it’s best to deal with it. A coach will work with you to figure out what’s really going on and support you to move past it.

5. A Whole New World Will Open Up

Once you start to rediscover what you truly want you’ll start to get hungry for more. To learn more, to understand more, and to experience more becomes fun.

The world is becoming more conscious and personal growth is addictive. Coaching sessions may just be your start.

6. You May Discover More Than You Expected

Normally within the first session, possibly the second the client realizes what they want coaching on is much bigger than they thought.

They want to change their lives, reconnect with themselves and get out of their own way so they can live the life they dreamed of and become the person they know they are deep down. 

7. With Change Comes More Opportunities

It’s like when you decide to buy a new car and then start seeing that same car all over the place. Or when you find out you’re pregnant, you start seeing babies everywhere. Your brain looks for opportunities for the future once you’re open to receiving them. 

Explore important expectations with your client, because these may be the measure by which they judge the effectiveness of your coaching.

Being direct about mutual expectations at the outset ensures a great starting place and success for the future.

What have been your experiences around expectations as a coach?

If you’ve found this article valuable ✅, please consider sharing it with others you know who could also benefit.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.