The following is the text of my leadership and personal development agreement, which I ask all clients to review and sign when we begin working together. It isn’t meant to be prescriptive, but tries to create a clearer framework in which we work.
1. Focus. The direction of our work together has to be led by you. It is up to you to decide on the focus overall and of any particular session. If we appear to be going off-track, I will then intervene appropriately. I do not find that ‘goal setting’ per se is relevant, given the seniority of my clients, though we will explore overall aspirations and work towards these and may discuss any goals that have been set by, or for, you elsewhere.
2. Time-commitment. We have agreed to appointments roughly once per month for a minimum of six sessions after the initial session. We will set the date and time of the next session at the end of the previous one. Sessions usually last 1- 1½ hours. From practical experience, face-to-face meetings usually last slightly longer than telephone-based ones.
3. Cancellations. We are all busy people, but we are also of a seniority that we are generally in control of our diaries. From time-to-time, a session will need to be moved. Provided that more than 24hrs notice is given there will be no charge. Changes at shorter notice will be charged in full.
4. Confidentiality. I do not enter into development relationships where a third-party expects feedback from me about the individual I am working with. Any feedback will be through the person I am working with. I never knowingly divulge any details of our work to anyone else. I do all I reasonably can to protect the identity of all my clients. The only exception to this is where you ask me (and confirm in writing) to provide a reference or to liaise with another professional supporting you (lawyers and physicians being the most likely). I believe strongly in the importance of supervision, and discuss my work in general terms with my supervisor – who is bound by similar codes of conduct.
5. What you should expect from me. It is exceptional for me to change an appointment. I have a strong belief in the potential of people – and will encourage you to stretch your horizons. You will experience me as openminded, congruent, non-judgemental, focused and empathic. My style of working is eclectic, and draws on a broad range of personal experience coupled with a theoretical framework based on ethology, and psychoanalytic, psychodynamic and transpersonal psychotherapies. As well as providing support through effective listening, questioning, assertiveness, constructive challenges, and occasional ‘nudges’, I am an intuitive and use this where appropriate too.
6. What I expect from you. Prepare yourself for a session, by reviewing what has happened since we last spoke, and its bearing on our work together. Be open-minded, prepared to challenge yourself, your assumptions and attitudes. Be as open and authentic with me as you can. Acknowledge that many aspects of our lives impact on our leadership and personal growth and so be prepared to explore these where it feels appropriate.
7. “Leadership Coaching” clients, paying on a session-by-session basis. I am always happy to have brief conversations by phone or to exchange occasional emails, but our primary means of engaging is through our sessions together. (See my website: www.businesscoaching.org.uk for more details of how I present this support.) Payment is due immediately after each session by cheque or digital banking. If requested, I will issue an invoice, in which case payment is due upon receipt of this. The fee that we have agreed will be fixed for at least 12 months.
8. “Confidant” clients, paying a quarterly or longer retainer. In addition to our regularly scheduled appointments, I will return any voice-mail message within 6hrs and be available for extended telephone conversations in the same time scale. Extraordinary time and expenses will be agreed in advance. (See my
website: www.the-confidant.info for more details of how I present this service.) Payment is due in advance on presentation of my invoice.
9. Final session. No development process continues forever, so it is natural that there will be an appropriate time for us to conclude our work together. If you decide to do so, then it is important for us to have a final session. This allows us both to learn from the experience, and agree any further means of contact or support.
The leaders’ confidant, working behind the scenes, helping them to see situations, organisations, themselves, and other people, differently
businesscoaching.org.uk – inter-faith.net – thefutureofwork.org – corporate-alumni.info