First impressions are critical to any relationship. In the case of a life coach, you could argue that first impressions when a new client walks through the door is even more important as the person is struggling and seeking help. 

In other words, the initial meeting you hold with a new client will set the foundation of your coaching relationship, and therefore needs to be executed with care and professionalism. 

This checklist will guide you through all of the questions that should be asked and items discussed so that you can end the meeting knowing you left no stone unturned, and leave both parties looking forward to the next session. 

Enter basic details

Welcome client:

Ask what the client aims to achieve from the coaching

It's essential that the first thing point of discussion with the client is concerning what they are looking to achieve from the coaching. 

Ask them questions like:

  • Do you have any specific goals that you are looking to achieve through our sessions?
  • Are there any specific issues/demands that you need to resolve/meet?
  • How will you know when you have achieved these goals?


Provide the client with the coaching agreement

Hand a copy of the coaching agreement to the client for them to sign. 

If they would rather not sign it today, ask if they have any queries and if they could return the signed agreement before your next session.

Receive the signed agreement

Confirm you have received the signed agreement from your new client.

Determine payment terms

How would the client like to pay for their sessions?

Ask if the client would like to schedule another session

Set up next appointment

Enter the date of the next appointment below

Coaching process:

Clarify what coaching is/isn't

In essence, this section is all about clarifying what you and the client can expect from each other during the coaching process. 

The first step to doing so is informing them of what coaching is and isn't. This is particularly important considering that the client has no prior experience with a life coach and may not really understand what to expect. 

You should at least cover the following points:

  • 1
    Coaching is about building a strong relationship between the coach and the client to create a life that the client wants
  • 2
    You (the client) will be held accountable
  • 3
    Action to improve/progress is absolutely essential
  • 4
    100% confidential, non-judgemental
  • 5
    Coaching is NOT therapy

Explain your coaching philosophy

How do you, as the coach, view the role of a life coach?

What techniques do you find work most effectively and how do you believe they should applied to each unique client?

Share answers to these types of questions with the client so they understand your coaching philosophy. 

Prior to the session, you can write a summary of your philosophy below so you have some talking points ready. 

Explain what the client can expect from each session

Explain to the client what they can expect from each session. 

You should at least , the following points:

  • 1
    Session structure/format
  • 2
    Understand that change (e.g. their goals) is part of the process
  • 3
    Ups & downs are to be expected AND necessary for growth
  • 4
    It is up to the client to decide what to talk about and how/when to end coaching

Explain your role to the client

Next is to clarify what your role as life coach really means, and what they can expect from you in terms of behaviour.

Cover the following points:

  • 1
    Your response times to phone calls/emails (e.g. 1 day)
  • 2
    You will hold them accountable for their progress
  • 3
    You will help them establish their own solutions and strategies
  • 4
    You will encourage their self-belief and support them when you can
  • 5
    You will raise their self-awareness
  • 6
    You will challenge them (may even make them feel uncomfortable but it of course with good intent and will produce positive results)

Explain what you expect from the client

Now that you have explained what the client should expect from your end, it's time to make clear what you expect from them.

Important things to mention are:

  • 1
    To be honest and open
  • 2
    Willing to change and adopt a more positive attitude towards self and life
  • 3
    Prepared to be fully accountable for decisions/actions
  • 4
    Remind them: YOU are responsible for YOUR results

Ask how they would like to be coached

Ask them questions like:

How can I best coach you? What tips can you give me?

How would you describe the perfect life coach?

What can you tell me about your learning style?

Ask if they have any questions

Ask them if they have any questions.

Then, its time to progress with the session.

Today's session:

Learn about the client's history

After all, this is just the intake session, so the main purpose apart from clarifying expectations, which you did in the previous section, is to learn about the client's life and history.

Begin an open-ended discussion about them, their life, past experiences etc.

Just an informal, open and friendly chat about them.

Ask the client to determine one action item

What is one thing the client is going to do between now and the next session that will forward their goals in some way?

Ask them to think of something and stick to it. Whatever it is, make it happen! 

Ask what they feel is their biggest win from this session

Before ending the session, ask the client what they feel is the biggest win from the session.

What was their number one takeaway?


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