Communication in Preparation for the Discovery Session

About the Discovery Session

Working with Clients

The word “client” refers to the person receiving coaching. The sponsoring organization or stakeholders are not the client of the coaching agreement.

The relationship between coach and client is the most important element of coaching. We, coach and client, working together, will design the alliance that  best supports and empowers you, the client.

I will be professional and clear with you at all times. It is possible to learn and grow from everything that comes into the coaching, including whatever breakdowns may occur during the coaching.

I will be direct with you when what you are doing doesn’t work for you or me. Chances are that whatever behavior I see in the coaching relationship shows up in other aspects of your life.

Tracking of Client Information

For credentialing purposes, I  track the following information:

Client name; Contact info of the client; Start and end dates of the relationship; Total coaching hours (paid and pro-bono) within that relationship.

International Coach Federation (ICF) Core Values and Ethical Principles

At this time, I am not an ICF Member, and I am not an ICF Credential-holder, which means I am not an “ICF Professional.”

Nevertheless, as an aspiring “ICF Professional,” I  showcase and propagate the ICF Core Values in all my interactions.

I  apply the ICF Ethical Standards to my professional coaching activities.

You may find a copy of the ICF Code of Ethics by following this link to the ICF website (

Professional ethics are crucial to my coaching service and include the topics of personal conduct, professionalism, confidentiality, client referral to a therapist or consultant, and conflict of interest.

Coaches Training Institute (CTI) Rules of Correct and Honorable Conduct

In addition to the ICF Code of Ethics, I will adhere to the following CTI guidelines:

  1. I hold the content of the relationship with my clients confidential. Even the names of my clients are confidential unless the client permits me to mention or use his/her name.
  2. When I enter into agreements with corporations, I hold the individuals as my clients and respect their right to confidentiality.
  3. I do not work with clients I cannot champion and see their growing edge.

About the Coach/Client Agreement

To help clarify that you, the client, are entering a coaching relationship and that it is not therapy, please read and understand the following assertions. We will go through each of these in our initial (discovery) coaching session to further elaborate in case you wish to ask any questions.

“I understand that coaching is a comprehensive process that may involve all areas of my life, including work, finances, health, relationships, education, and recreation. I acknowledge that deciding how to handle these issues and implement my choices is exclusively my responsibility.”

“I understand that coaching does not treat mental disorders as defined by the American Psychiatric Association. I understand that coaching is not a substitute for counseling, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, mental health care, or substance abuse treatment and I will not use it in place of any form of therapy.”

“I promise that if I am currently in therapy or otherwise under the care of a mental health professional, that I have consulted with this person regarding the advisability of working with a coach and that this person is aware of my decision to proceed with the coaching relationship.”

“I understand that feelings are a normal and healthy part of being human and that through a coaching relationship, awareness and curiosity will be brought to my feelings so that I can make more informed choices and move into my desired action. I understand that coaching does not deal with the psychological antecedent to emotions – that is the realm of therapy.”

Please read the Coaching Agreement before the initial (discovery) coaching session. By attending any ongoing coaching meetings, I assume that you approve of the Coaching Agreement.

Do you have any concerns or questions regarding the nature and potential value of coaching, the nature and limits of confidentiality, financial arrangements, and any other terms of the coaching agreement?

Do we have an agreement regarding the roles, responsibilities, and rights of all parties to the coaching agreement?

How will information be exchanged among the parties involved during coaching interactions?

About the Discovery Session Agenda

The foundation session or discovery session may take up to three hours and may be split across multiple sessions.

Once we have established our first appointment, I will send you an onboarding package before the discovery session. You will have plenty of time to do the reading, fill it out, and send it back to me before the appointment. The onboarding package includes questionnaires and information to make your coaching endeavor successful.

The most important aspect of our initial session is to design our working alliance and create our coaching relationship.

You, the client, must take responsibility for and ownership of the coaching relationship right from the beginning.

In designing the onboarding package and the initial session, I am guided by the questions, 

“What do I need to do to establish a solid alliance with this person?”

“What do I need to know about this person so that I can coach them effectively?”

Client form 1: Client information

Client Name, mailing address, phone numbers, birthday, family members, employer.

Client form 2: Client person

Who are you? Values Clarification, Life Purpose, Passions.

What do you want from coaching? Goals, Objectives, and Personal development areas you would like to address in coaching.

What is going on in your life right now? What challenges are you facing? Where are you in balance or out of balance in your life?

Designing the alliance

How do you want me to be as your coach?

What kind of support do you want from your coach?

Do I have your permission to intrude, challenge, and hold you accountable as your coach?

At times, I might train you, the client, on how to be in coaching through requesting, ongoing design of the coaching relationship, and open and honest communication.

Relationship logistics

Let us review the Coaching Agreement; do you want to clarify anything?

Do you agree about fees, invoices, payments, who calls who, scheduling process?

The next steps agreed are:

Homework agreed are:

Collecting payment for the sessions.

The Coaching Session: How we will structure ongoing sessions

freshpractice is a strength-based workplace coaching framework and practice that aspires to be evidence-based in service of positive leadership, positive organizational behavior, and positive institutions, with a focus on wellbeing, achievement, and resilience.

The client is responsible for the session’s agenda. It is wise to prepare your agenda ahead of time and send it to your coach. Consider the appointment in advance and note what you want to discuss or accomplish in the session.

At the appointed time, you will call your coach using the web-based application agreed upon previously.

During the session, your coach will  make requests of you and ask you questions. The conversation  centers around what you want to accomplish from the session.

Your coach may take session notes and write down any homework, inquiries, goals, or other important events or commitments that the coach wants to track session to session.

Your coach is responsible for managing time for the session and begin and end your sessions on time.

If you need extra accountability or a structure to stay in action,  email your coach that an action item has been started or completed. In the same spirit, use email to make daily commitments, celebrate a win, vent, or provide a progress check.

During the Coaching Engagement, we will be revisiting the Questions:

What would you like us to focus on in this coaching session?

What, if any, changes do we need to consider making to our working agreement?

How is our coaching relationship meeting your needs? Are there ways it can be improved or enhanced?

Is this something you might want to share with your manager?

Other Curiosities

About the Coach: Introducing myself, personally and professionally

My story so far I have told in another place, “Who I am, etc.” on the website “” at the webpage “About me &, etc.”

What I value, how I act, and what I aspire to in my coaching practice are all openly shared with the public.

I see no purpose or meaning in cosmos, in life, in existence.

All beauty and meaning is here, now; this. And, this. Here in this moment; and this experience. And, this.

I don’t have passions. I don’t have special fears or worries, mostly the usual stuff, if any.

I am not fond of cancer, painful illness, or painful death. I see this kind of suffering as a deficit or fault of cosmos.

And, of course, there is the pain and suffering inflicted by one man’s ignorance on another. This, I don’t like about the human condition.

I do not envision a future paradise for humankind; maybe another species, but not this one in its current shape.

If evolution does not cure the suffering of ignorance, then the destructiveness of men will probably end it in total annihilation of itself or even in the destruction of the living habitat on a larger scale.

Welcome to the human world.

About Coaching: The coach informing the client about coaching

The coaching engagement is a working alliance in service of your goal attainment and wellbeing.

You can expect concrete benefits from engaging in coaching, such as:

acting on your values and following through on your commitments

decision making from your higher aspirations

developing skills that will serve your needs satisfaction, and wellbeing

developing resources for your life journey

While forming the working alliance, and afterward, you are expected to full-heartedly participate and collaborate as you work toward your goals and implement your action plans.

The coaching will commence with initial exploration and with designing this alliance.

Coaching does not involve the coach making decisions on your behalf, taking away your authority over any life issue or domain, providing explanations on your behavior or person, or providing approval or disapproval of your choices or inner experiences.

As a principle, coaching does not involve directing you to a “better life”; however, the coach may point to evidence-based practices for developing your capacities and strengths, share his own experience or impressions that may serve your insight and exploration, and challenge you at times to enlarge your perspective or comfort zone. These are not to be meant to take away your agency but to empower you in the authorship of your desired life.

A generally accepted claim is that the coach does not judge the client and is neutral about the client’s choices and actions. This is, of course, a bogus claim. A more accurate description is that the coach, in his self-mastery, is aware of his judgments, inclinations, limitations, and blind spots and takes active measures not to let these “flaws” negatively shape the coaching process and effectiveness. “Flaws” is meant to indicate a deviation from the espoused role responsibilities of a coach, not as an error in the human person.

The coach interviewing the client to establish preliminary needs, goals, and vision for the coaching

Some Claims on Ethical Standards and Professional Conduct

I have no claim to coaching experience or mastery.

I announce my aspiration to support positive human growth and flourishing.

I have no affiliation with any coaching institution, but I will uphold the highest standards and ethics codes of internationally recognized coaching associations and philosophies.

If all else fails, I will adhere to the central principle of “do not harm,” the extended version of which is “do not harm for personal benefit.”

In this context, personal benefit includes and refers to all the usual plus my comfort, my pride, my social status, my conscious or unconscious needs for approval or acceptance, etc. In this context, the personal also extends to others, including you, such that I will do no harm for your benefit either in whatever ideology this may come disguised and enticingly packaged as.

I do not believe in the motto, “what does not kill me, makes me stronger!” No, that is not what seems to be operational in human life; sometimes, what does not kill you may leave you suffering for the rest of your life.

At this point, we may enter a philosophical discussion about whether exerting yourself, say as an athlete, with the purpose of getting better falls under the domain of harm or not.

Any decision and following acting of effort and exertion is in strict responsibility of you as the agent, as the willful sovereign of your life and self.

I have no interest in taking over your life or your powers.

Be the person you need to be to live the life you commit to living.

Professional conduct: I will not take credit for or claim to be the cause of any benefits to accrue on behalf of the client or their organization during the coaching engagement.

All achievements, accomplishments, and results are the outcome of the client’s work.

The coach acts as an external resource in the form of social support for the client’s endeavors.

I operate from an informed-practitioner model. I do not operate from a medical model, an expert model, or a repairman model. My views and values on coaching are expressed in the document “Introducing the Informed-Practitioner Model of freshpractice.”

Records and data: I do not hold client records or data on any electronic storage systems besides anything I have openly shared and communicated as correspondence with the client.

I am not interested in knowing or recording any information that would be regulated by privacy or data protection laws.

I will even forget that we ever met after each session and at the end of the coaching contract.

Boundary issues: I do not expect any boundary issues to arise; any contact between coach and client is to serve the client’s positive growth within their self-generated learning and development agenda.

Any contact made, private or public, through “popular” technology media (commonly and deceptively referred to as “social media”) is outside my role and responsibility as a coach or service provider. I do not “comment,” “like,” “follow,” “link,” “re-tweet,” or do any other form of communication of this kind.

I have zero tolerance and no compassion for sexual or racial jokes, humor, or cursing. I reject any talk denigrating human dignity, even if it is culturally appropriate to you or anyone locally.

If you don’t operate from the love and respect of fellow human beings, then we can not live in the same space.

Confidentiality and Reporting: I do not share any content of coaching conversations with stakeholders, the client sponsor, the line manager, HR, or anyone related or unrelated to the client.

In my professional growth and support work with a supervisor-mentor coach, I may use impersonal descriptions of process issues and short-fallings to gain insight and progress in mastery. In that case, any personal markers related to the client are excluded from descriptions and not shared, and confidentiality extends to the supervisor.

Any unlawful action or imminent danger situation revealed by the client is outside confidentiality.

In short: I do not hold credentials. I do not claim mastery. I do not promise results. I do uphold the wellbeing of each and the flourishing of all. I will share what I am, what I know, and what I have intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, or energetically in our coaching conversations to the best of my abilities.

May you be well, and may you live well. May this serve the benefit of all.

Communications About My Approach

You might have questions you want to ask your coach regarding the credibility of the coach (Are you congruent?), intent on both sides (What’s your agenda?), capabilities of the coach (Are you relevant?), and results (What’s your track record?).

The client or client organization may ask the coach additional questions to gain knowledge and build trust:

What about you as a coach will I find compatible with me, personally and professionally?

What education, training, and certification have you earned that supports your coaching work?

What motivates you to coach people?

How have you coached others with circumstances similar to mine?

What challenges have you faced as a coach, and how have you addressed them?

What results have you achieved with your clients?

These and some other questions are answered in the following documents:

Who I bring to the Coaching: What characteristics of who I am as a person may be relevant to executive coaching?

An Integrative Contextual Coaching Practice and the freshpractice Framework

My Approach to Developmental Coaching in the Workplace and Who I Work With