Most people that become coaches tend to be nurturers. They usually became a teacher or coach because they like to help people. A good coach sets up the guidelines for an effective relationship with the people they coach. Agreeing on a contract for meetings, communication and due dates will ensure the relationship will work. A relationship between a coach and the coachee needs to be built on trust: trust that both will show up on time, tasks are done in a timely manner, questions are answered and materials are created when needed.
Contracts need to be reconsidered for a successful coaching relationship. Coaches especially those who are teachers have trouble saying no when someone needs them.
eCoaching takes coaching many steps further. How do you set up a contract based on time when virtual coaching can be at anytime from anywhere? This is where the coach and coachee set up a contract that is really clear on products, tasks, and feedback and what is realistic between them.
This is where you need to be realistic about your time. Think of your clients, where you live, where they live and the time zone differences. I received calls at 4am when working with people in Europe. I live in California. I used to answer the phone and jump whenever someone called. If someone wrote an email or tech support, I was right on it. Unfortunately, there was no balance in my life. I was at the mercy of my clients. It is important to set up contracts and realistic expectations on how you will support the people you coach.
- Set up a contract for you and your coachees.
- Put that contract on your team page so everyone can refer to it.
- Build in realistic expectations on how soon you will respond.
- Negotiate with your coachees roles and responsibilities.
- Monitor the progress of your relationship.
- Update and change the expectations when needed.
There are more ideas but the main thing is to protect you and your time, your space, and your personal life. There has to be a balance in your life. You are modeling what you want for the people you are supporting.