Coaching Onboarding and Sessions


I am excited to work together and help you achieve the goals most important to you. We will co-create a unique coaching experience during our first session to align on these goals and ground rules to maximize our collaboration.  Here are a few things about me and working together:

– Everything we talk about is private and confidential.

– I abide by the International Coaching Federation Code of Ethics.

– I will be in the best position to provide effective coaching when you can share adequate facts, challenges, and feelings.

– My goal is to partner with you to achieve your goal(s) at the pace that works for you.

– My satisfaction comes from seeing your progress and realizing your stated outcome(s). I am motivated by seeing your achievement and success, not my compensation.

– Your feedback is essential for me to ensure I provide the best coaching experience, given your needs and preferences. Don’t be shy to share what is working or what is not so we can adjust as needed.

– Our ongoing business relationship is predicated on you realizing value. If you feel a positive change and energy toward your stated outcome(s) by the third meeting, we will continue our coaching relationship. If not, we simply don’t, given that our mutual time is precious.

– You can reach out as often as you would like. I will respond every time and as quickly as I can. People I work with value bouncing off ideas for an independent perspective.

Coaching vs. Mentoring

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as:

Partnering with clients in thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaches honor the client as the expert in their life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.

  • Mentoring is often described as topic-focused, problem solving, hierarchical, giving advice, and directive.
  • Coaching is described as client-focused, generative, developmental, safe, collaborative, exploratory, partnership, and the client has the solution.

Given my extensive expertise in the data, artificial intelligence, product management, and IT space, there will be times that I “take off” my coaching hat to share my perspective, guidance, and experience on topics we discuss. I intend to ensure you benefit from my experience and will be clear when talking from that perspective.

Step 1: Onboard to Tools

Here are a few quick steps to self-onboard onto the tools I use for coaching.

Step 1a. If we are not connected on LinkedIn, please share your LinkedIn profile URL or invite me to connect.

Step 1b. Subscribe to my Graymatter newsletter to receive weekly posts about ideas, mindsets, and tools to unlock your full potential.

Steps 1c. Install Microsoft Teams for live meeting sessions.

Step 2: First Coaching Session (No Cost)

Coaching requires a mutual investment to establish a working relationship and build an alliance to address your goals. The objective of the first session is to explore your desire for coaching, get coaching on a topic of your choice, and answer questions you may have. This is a no-cost coaching session.

After scheduling the initial meeting, you will receive an email with questions to help me learn about your current state, challenges, and where you want to focus the coaching. I aim to learn the basics before we meet and review your LinkedIn profile.

You can schedule the first session using Calendly. My calendar includes timeslots during the business day, evenings, and weekends.

The coachee (you) is responsible for bringing a topic to this session – something current, unresolved, personal, and important to you.

At the end of each session, we will summarize and agree on the next actions with target dates. This accountability is critical to maintaining momentum and energy.

If we create value together and want to continue, you will proceed to select a coaching product that best aligns with your needs. Options include a monthly subscription (1, 2, or 4 times a month) or on-demand.

You can then schedule the next one to two meetings (e.g., a week or two weeks apart, depending on your plan).

We will also agree on how to collaborate asynchronously between live coaching sessions (e.g., text, email)

Step 3: Second Coaching Session (Paid)

Co-Creating the Coaching Relationship

You can book this session here: 15-minutes, 30-minutes, 45-minutes, 60-minutes.

At the start of this session, we will co-create our coaching relationship with an agreement on ground rules and set expectations for working together best. We can collaborate on this asynchronously before our live session and discuss it during our live session.

My ground rules and expectations:

Confidentiality. Our discussions, shared documents, and communications are confidential. Information will not be kept confidential if you disclose illegal activity, if required by law, under a valid court order or subpoena, or imminent likely risk to self or others. This is a safe space with no judgment.

Agreement. We will sign a coaching agreement document to align expectations in our professional relationship. This is required to fulfill my ethical and legal obligations as a professional coach per the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Code of Ethics.

Coaching Goals. I expect you to articulate and document one or more goals (outcomes) you want to achieve through coaching.  We are partners in these goals, and the more tangible they are, the higher the likelihood they can be delivered upon.

Coaching Topic. Articulate a clear topic and desired outcome before our coaching session. I prefer you share this via email or in a shared document before our meeting. This will ensure we focus on what is most important to you and collaborate effectively.

Jumping In. I may “jump in” to pause the conversation to ensure we stay focused on what matters to you.

Information Exchange. Throughout our coaching relationship, we will collaborate through live video sessions and, optionally, through email, voice, and text messaging. At our first session, we will agree on how information will be exchanged.

Accountability. At the end of each session, I will ask you to identify an action(s) to work on before the next coaching session. I expect you to take action and share your progress between sessions. The success of coaching depends on your ability to challenge yourself and do the work it takes.

Feedback. I value and need your feedback to improve my craft. Please share your perspectives – don’t hold back!

Termination. The coach or client may terminate the coaching relationship at any point for any reason subject to the agreement’s provisions. 

For you:

  • What do you expect from me as a coach?
  • How do you want to be coached?
  • How shall we communicate asynchronously between coaching sessions?
  • What are your ground rules and expectations to make this a transformational experience?

Your Goals

It will be essential for you to articulate the high-level goals and outcomes you seek to realize through this coaching experience. This will help guide our discussions and ensure we stay focused.  I recommend you document and share these before our session. Coaching is a partnership, and I am unable to solely guarantee your success achieving these goals. 

Your Topic and Outcome

For each coaching session, you will share the topic for us to explore – something current, unresolved, personal, and important to you. I will then ask you to clarify the desired outcome that you want to leave with by the end of the session.  To maximize our time together, I prefer receiving a short summary of your topic and outcome 24 hours before the live session. This can be shared through an online doc (e.g., GDoc, Word) or email.

We will close the session with at least one action related to this discussion topic.

Step 4: Sessions three and beyond

After the first few sessions, we will likely have created a trusted connection that accelerates our collaboration and value.  

We can maximize our mutual value when the discussion topic(s) are documented, and there is an opportunity to dialogue and refine them before our live coaching session.

I may ask you to do pre-reads between sessions relating to the challenges and the outcomes you shared. The pre-reads will save us both time, and you will get benefits without us talking so that we can maximize our live meetings to go deeper.

If you feel a positive change and energy toward your stated outcome(s) by the third meeting, we will continue our coaching relationship. If not, we simply don’t, given that our mutual time is precious. 

Please get in touch with me via mobile phone or email when facing a challenge or needing timely feedback. You can also record a voice message or video, and I will respond quickly, and we can talk live if required.