The Who & What of Contracting (Part 2)

Where the key focus is on the INDIVIDUAL, for example internal talent management programmes, or where the coachee directly approaches the coach, then some of the outcomes are about self-motivation; self-belief; confidence; aspirations; strengths and areas for improvement etc. In my experience, this means that the role of the sponsor or line manager is not critical to the contracting. I usually deal with this as a 2-way contract between coach and coachee. The line manager and sponsor may be relevant to resources or actions that the coachee may need to utilise during the coaching intervention, and there is nothing to prevent revisiting the contracting arrangements at any stage, if this is felt to be useful in achieving the coaching outcome.

The Executive Coaching Handbook also suggests that there are two separate contracts:

The Learning Contract includes:

  • Purpose and objectives
  • Timelines
  • Scope and types of assessment
  • Schedule and structure of coaching sessions and additional contact.
  • Guidelines on interpersonal behaviors between coach and executive, e.g. honesty, openness, and real-time feedback.
  • Assignments between coaching sessions.
  • Milestones
  • Measures of success
  • Identification and roles of stakeholders
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Guidelines for the use of personal and coaching information
  • Guidelines for the communication and distribution of information


Business/Legal/Financial Contracts include:

  • Purpose and objectives
  • Executive coaching standards and guidelines
  • Organizationally sponsored proprietary and confidentiality statements
  • Guidelines for relevant business practices
  • Total costs of service
  • Who is paying for coaching services
  • Fee and payment schedules
  • Guidelines for billing procedures
  • Agreements on expense reimbursements
  • Confirmation of the coach’s professional liability insurance


Executive’s Commitments

  • Actively participate in establishing and monitoring the contracts.
  • Adhere to the learning contract and use it to gauge progress and success.

Coach’s Commitments

  • Incorporate your own standards and guidelines in the organizations’ contract.
  • Actively use the learning contract to plan and deliver coaching and to assess progress and results.
  • Negotiate the terms of the contracts in good faith or have the appropriate representative(s) from your practice do so. Comply with the terms of the contract in full, or renegotiate as necessary.


Other Partners’ Commitments

  • Establish and disseminate standards for learning contracts in your organization.
  • Expedite the contracting and payment process in your organization in support of the executive and the coach.

Remember these are guidelines, not tramlines- you need to make sure that your contracts suit your needs and the needs of your practice.  I do use the distinction of Business/ Legal (of formal) contract and a Learning Contact (expectations document) which includes the expectations/commitment of coach and coachee. Think about who needs to be involved in each of the contracts.

Click here for part 1 of this blog

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