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CIP Preparing for and Holding First Session

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>> Hi there. Now that you're clear on the components of the coaching agreement, it's time to start thinking about your first interactions with a new client. This is an exciting time. Once a client has signed up to work with you and you've established the coaching agreement, you're ready to move forward and begin your work together. In this lecture, we'll break down best practices for how to prepare for your first session. We'll also talk about the goals and core competencies that the NBHWC defines as important for the first session with a client. So here we are, at the very beginning. Before your first session with a client, what do you need to do to prepare? According to the NBHWC, there are three main competencies that the coach should employ to prepare for the first session. One, be calm, present, and emotionally available. Two, review any available client materials. And three, confirm logistics. Let's take a look at each of these. First, before you work with a client, you must be able to shift into a calm and emotionally available state. It's important to prepare yourself to be open and present, which involves checking your own stuff at the door. As coaches, we need to take responsibility for regulating our emotions and using our tools to create a peaceful space for this important work. A great way to do this is to use a grounding practice. A grounding practice is a pre-session routine used to center yourself and prepare for 100% presence and commitment to your client. Take some time this week to think about what a grounding practice might look like for you. We encourage all coaches in training to create a grounding practice to use before they begin every session. Grounding practices are valuable tools to help you get into a mindfully present state so you can quiet the mind and become more self-aware, let go of bias and judgment, and manage your emotions. You may have just come out of a stressful day and are preparing to coach someone else. A transition is required. Know that it's not a luxury but a requirement for you to take some time to become grounded, centered, and at peace so you can give your best to your client. You're considered an allied health professional now and that means you have to be respectfully there for someone else. Becoming centered before a session will also help you have a friendly, warm, and more lighthearted demeanor. This allows your clients to feel more comfortable and safe. If you feel like you're not able to hold that space and be in this grounded space yourself, then you may even need to consider rescheduling that session because it's not fair to either one of you. Next, you'll want to spend a few moments reviewing any materials that your client has willingly shared with you. For Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches, there's the Health History. Now this may be the only material you request or receive from your client prior to the first session. Or you may choose to send some questionnaires or additional materials to your clients to start developing a more holistic picture of who they are from the start. A few suggestions that are commonly utilized are various personality-typing inventories such as the DiSC Model, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and the Enneagram. These tools are used by many coaches. If you're interested in incorporating these into your practice, we suggest doing some research on them. Most have free online assessments you can invite your clients to if they're interested in becoming more aware of their personality type. In addition to personality inventories, you can also invite clients to share a variety of health assessments such as the results of a health-risk assessment from their worksite, the results of a treadmill test looking at cardiovascular endurance, basic lab report data such as cholesterol and other blood lipid levels, or a BMI or body mass index reading indicating any possible levels of obesity. These health measures can provide some insight into why an individual is seeking your support. For example, perhaps their doctor suggested they work with a Health Coach to address increasing physical activity, lowering stress, and improving blood glucose levels. Just remember not to make any assumptions. Anything you notice is a potential clue to explore, not a fact. We'll talk about scope of practice later on in this course. But for now, keep in mind that it's outside of your role as a Health Coach to treat clients medically or interpret health data. Avoid sharing information or opinions that may conflict with information from their licensed healthcare providers or doctors. This is especially important when it comes to reviewing lab reports shared by clients. These days, it's becoming increasingly more popular for Health Coaches to incorporate discussions about lab testing into their coaching programs and protocols. However, there are important scope of practice boundaries to maintain here. The reason to review any available medical materials that have already been interpreted by a licensed medical professional is simply to give you a better understanding of any health challenges your client is currently facing. Also, remember that any information a client shares with you must be held confidentially. As a Health Coach, it's your responsibility to properly destroy and dispose of records or keep them in a safe locked storage system once your coaching alliance has come to a close. Basically, you'll want to be HIPAA compliant. We'll talk about this more later on in the course. All right, so let's move on to the third step before meeting with a client for the first time, which is to review and confirm logistics. By this, I mean that you'll want to have the coaching agreement signed, along with any waivers or consents you may have in your practice. If you require payment before the first session, you'll want to collect that as well. As much as you can, be flexible with the client if they're motivated to meet in a certain way, whether that's face to face, over the phone, for brief sessions, for check-ins between sessions, or any other parameters that you both find agreeable. Confirm the time and location or method of connection of your meeting and build in time to get there early or to set up your technology so that you can get into that calm present state and not feel rushed or flustered when it's time to begin. Now these are guidelines for how to proceed before meeting with your client for the first time. But you'll also want to repeat these before each session. It's always important to review any new materials, confirm your logistics, and get grounded before a session begins. All right, so here we are at the first session. According to the NBHWC, your primary aims for your first session or intake session are to describe the coaching process, determine if the individual is an appropriate candidate for coaching, clarify coach and client roles and expectations, review any information or assessments provided together with the client, and ensure appropriate time management to set the pace for your work together. At the start of any session, but especially with the first, make a genuine effort to connect warmly with your client and make them feel as comfortable and at ease as possible. Establishing rapport is so important for setting the stage for your coaching relationship. Remember that the magic of coaching comes from this partnership itself. You may want to break the ice with a little bit of appropriate humor and playfulness. Your client is likely feeling a little bit nervous, so it's important to lighten the mood help him or her relax. Before things progress too far, you'll want to determine if your client is a good candidate for health coaching. If you've previously done a Health History session with the client, you've likely already vetted them. However, there are many scenarios where this first session is your first meeting with the client and, therefore, you'll need to do a bit of screening. You want to ask questions to determine whether there's an effective match between your coaching method and the needs of this prospective client. You also want to uncover if this individual is ready to actually make a change. So first, what you want to do is gauge the client's intentions for coaching and learn why they sought you out to be their coach. You can do this by simply saying, "Tell me why you've decided to work with a coach and what do you want to achieve." Then, after you explain the coaching process, you can say, "Now that I've explained what coaching is, do you still feel it's a match for you and what you're desiring to achieve? And how ready are you to go after these goals?" Easy, right? Well, here's the part that can be tricky for new coaches. You may get the impression that your client is not a good candidate. When this happens, you need to share this information rather than continue on. It's critical at this juncture to ensure that your client is an appropriate fit to work specifically with you at this time. Maybe what this person really needs is help from someone who has a different specialty or skill set than you. For example, if you discover that they're really looking for someone to help with financial consulting or exercise training, don't misrepresent your competencies. Tell them what a Health Coach can do for them, and see if it's the right fit for both of you. Remember, it's not your job to serve everyone rather it's your job to help the people you're suited to work with. If you're feeling uncertain about how to have this type of conversation, let us know in the Facebook group or on the next live call so we can support you. Next, you'll want to help your client get acquainted to coaching. As I mentioned earlier, the coaching agreement should already be in place before the first session. If it's not, you'll definitely want to do this now and review and confirm all logistics and responsibilities. Spend a few moments offering guidelines for the client's roles as well as your own. You want to be sure to set appropriate expectations. Ensure that your client truly understands that coaching is not therapy or counseling. Take a few moments to explain the difference. Even if you've previously gone over the coaching agreement, don't be surprised if you have to re-explain the coaching process. This is a unique relationship, one that the client has rarely, if ever, experienced. You may have to explain how it works a few times. We'll go into the details of how the coaching process works over the next few weeks. For now, we just want to get the structure, the coaching flow in your mind. So continuing on, first sessions are also a great time to review any assessments directly with the client. When having these conversations, it takes the pressure off them if there's a graphic counterpart to look at, like a wellness wheel. At IIN, we use the Circle of Life which is one type of wellness wheel. But did you know that there are actually many kinds of wheels you can use? Many are available online that can be printed out and used for free. Just be sure to check the usage rights before printing them off and using them with your clients. You can even make up a wellness wheel of your own that exemplifies how you like to coach. In a wellness wheel, each of the pie shaped wedges represents one of the various dimensions of wellness. Now these typically include intellectual, social, physical, emotional, occupational, spiritual, financial, and environmental wellness. Wellness wheels typically have around 6 to 12 dimensions that together make up a holistic picture of a person's well-being. Looking at a wellness wheel with a client is a first step to outlining an overall wellness vision for their life and allows them to decipher what needs improving, what areas they're satisfied with, and what they believe is important to address first, second, and so on. We'll talk about the wellness vision in detail later on. Finally, you'll want to pay mind to keeping appropriate time management during the session. You always want to let the client lead. But one of your jobs is to keep things moving at a pace that's in the client's best interest and ensures time for the appropriate tasks to take place. This is especially important for clients who tend to tell winding stories that go off topic as well as clients who are too quick to jump into goal setting and action planning. Demonstrating appropriate time management from day one will help set an example for future sessions. Later on, we're going to discuss the structure of a coaching program. So let's stop here for now. The first session is of course part of that coaching structure, so there will be a little bit of overlap. We'll pick things up with considerations for the first phase of the coaching process, which will include this first session. For now, let's do a quick recap of what we just went over. To prepare for the first session as well as all future sessions, a coach should use a grounding practice to become calm, present, and emotionally available, review any available client materials or assessments, and confirm logistics. The primary aims for the intake or first session as defined by the NBHWC are to describe the coaching process, determine if the individual is an appropriate candidate for coaching, clarify coach and client roles and expectations, review any information or assessments provided together with the client, and ensure appropriate time management. You're now fully prepared to work with new clients. Ready to find out what comes next? In the upcoming section, we'll take a look at the stages of the coaching process and how to establish a strong working relationship with your clients. See you then.

Video Details

Duration: 14 minutes and 53 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Aug 28, 2019

CIP Preparing for and Holding First Session

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