What You Can Expect
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Welcome to The Sharper Lawyer (TSL), your professional coaching resource. This section is designed to provide general information about how the process works. After reviewing this material, I suggest that you take advantage of a FREE 30 minute (no obligation) phone consultation so that we can discuss your specific situation.
What is Business Coaching?
Coaching is a deliberate undertaking using focused conversations to create a supportive environment for individual growth, structured action and lasting improvement.
At some point or other, everyone experiences "The Performance Gap", the gap between what a person knows and what they do. The goal of coaching is to drive behavioral change so as to narrow that gap.
Coaching is not a new concept, although it has been most prevalent in the sports arena until the late 1980s. Its applications have evolved to the point that the value of the coaching model is widely recognized by businesses, professional service organizations and individual entrepreneurs.
Once attorneys warmed up to the concept that a professional service organization (i.e. law firm) MUST be run as a business in order to survive, they also began to appreciate the value of investing in the assistance of a business coach.
What is the purpose of coaching?
The purpose of coaching is to develop and implement strategies to help you reach personally identified goals of enhanced performance and personal satisfaction. We have wide latitude in the areas that we may address. Take a look at The Benefits of Coaching for more detail.
How does the coaching process work?
Every coach has developed his or her own preferred style. The following is an outline of the processes and policies that have proved to be most effective for my clientele.
The Initial Phase:
1. Client completes mini assessment and pre session questionnaire
2. Initial FREE consultation (30 minute)
3. Contract signed for Introductory 4 session package
4. Client completes comprehensive questionnaire
5. First Session - Initial Goals are structured. We identify the specific results that you wish to achieve over the next four weeks and determine which benchmarks need to be evaluated so that you will begin to get a serious grip on the current reality of your economic and business structure.
6. Subsequent Sessions - Future sessions are scheduled at a mutually convenient time. The day and time of the next call will be scheduled at the close of each coaching session. In the beginning stages, best results will be achieved through adherence to a regular weekly schedule.
Be prepared to answer the following question at the beginning of each of our sessions: What do we need to achieve over the next hour in order for you to rate this as a perfect coaching session? We will then review your prior week's goals, celebrate your victories and create strategies to overcome obstacles that you have encountered.
Be prepared to answer the following question at the end of each of our sessions: What was the most important insight that you gained? What action steps will you take this week and when will you begin?
The services provided personally by Cynthia Sharp, Esquire, include telecoaching on topics decided jointly with you. Clients call me at the pre-arranged time and telephone number as scheduled. (I also encourage the use of Skype because we will then have a face-to-face experience. If you need assistance in setting up a Skype account, let me know. We will schedule an "experimental call" prior to the first scheduled Skype session.)
It is important that clients call on time since our session ends one hour after our scheduled beginning time. I want you to take advantage of the full sixty minutes together. In person sessions are also available.
Please try to give 24 hours prior notice if you need to cancel or change the time of an appointment. That being said, I understand that emergencies or crises may pop up at the last minute. Just let me know and we will reschedule.
The success of the coaching endeavor is based upon openness, trust and candid interchange. Clients often discuss sensitive topics such as future career plans and goals, business affairs, financial information, personal and other private information.
I protect the confidentiality of the communications with my coaching clients. However, it is important to note that our discussions are not privileged. I will only release information about our work to others with your written permission, or if I am required to do so by a court order or other legal process. I have never personally heard of such a circumstance in a coaching practice. However, if such a situation does occur, I will make every effort to discuss it with you before taking any action.
How much does coaching cost?
The fee structure and options are outlined in Coaching Packages. Based on the selected service agreement, TSL is paid in advance of each series of coaching calls or meetings.
For those who are not yet ready to make a long-term commitment to the coaching process, I offer the following introductory package. This should give all attorneys the opportunity to experience first hand the benefits of a structured coaching program:
Four sessions (1 hour each) - $800
Offer expires December 31, 2012
How can I get the most out of my investment in coaching?
Keep in mind that coaching is indeed an investment in your future. The program is designed to teach you how to work with tools that will benefit you personally and financially - so long as you commit yourself fully to the provided structure.
One of your major roles is to set the agenda for your coaching program as well as for individual sessions. (I will certainly assist in this process.) Your success will depend on your willingness to define and take risks and try new approaches. You can expect me to be honest and direct, to pose straightforward questions and to introduce you to useful tools and challenging techniques to help you move forward.
You are expected to evaluate your own progress (again, with my assistance). We shall continuously work together to create a winning structure that includes accountability systems to assure feedback on your performance. In the end, you will find that it's really up to you. Are you ready to get started?
Parameters of the Coaching Relationship
Coaching is a professional relationship. We each have responsibilities that must be upheld in order for you to achieve the strongest possible results. If you have questions about your role, please speak up.
Here is what you can expect from me:
As your Coach, my job is to help you to take information and skills you already have and to guide you in:
I also act as your mentor, support you toward realization of your goals and encourage you through the inevitable obstacles and setbacks that can crop up.
One of the major benefits is the regular accountability that you face knowing that you are responsible for reporting activity to me on a regular basis.
©2011 The Sharper Lawyer
Although I am a seasoned and licensed practitioner, I no longer actively engage in the practice of law and do not render legal advice to anyone. Nonetheless, I love the law and read various legal journals, blogs and books on a daily basis. I gladly share these resources with my clients, colleagues, CLE students as well as readers of my website and other social media outlets.
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