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Questions to prepare for starting a professional coaching partnership

Questions to prepare for starting a professional coaching partnership

Here are some questions (and my answers) for preparing to start working with a professional coach. These questions would come in handy after making the choice to work with a specific person (see a list of questions on how to make that choice).

The examples below are from a form used by my employer, but they give a good sense of the kinds of thinking that you might consider doing for yourself prior to starting.

I’ve changed the name of my coach below but otherwise, the answers are exactly what I sent.

Remember, as with anything, you are only going to get out of this what you put into it. Don’t skimp on taking the time to prepare.

Specifically, why did you choose this coach?

“Jane” was softer in their approach than the other coaches, and I liked that they didn’t immediately jump to an exercise/tool to “solve” an example I was describing to them of a challenging situation recently. I know that the exercises/tools were there (based on what they said from their experience and what is in their bio) but they focused on some broader themes and in particular talked about how our learned competencies aren’t the same as our strengths which is something they like to help people to parse for themselves. My sense is that my goals of developing more self-awareness around my strengths (zone of genius) and what could be holding me back (limiting beliefs) would be well served by this approach.

What are 1-2 specific goals you have for coaching?

My main goal is to use coaching to help me identify my “zone of genius” and to work towards starting to work towards new projects/work that is aligned to my unique zone.

What would be the positive impact of achieving these goals? For you, for others?

I want to be enthusiastic about what I am doing, love my craft, and help others reach that same space for themselves. Reaching my goal will have a positive network effect on those I work with and would also lead to benefits in my relationships and life outside of work.

What challenges do you need to overcome to reach these goals (e.g. building skills, relationships, etc.)?

Building more self-awareness, challenging my limiting beliefs, and building new relationships.

How will you know you’ve completed these goals?

I have a clear idea of what work is a good match for me, I have identified (or started) working towards taking on new projects that are in my “zone of genius” by either learning new skills or building new relationships.

Is there anything you would like your coach to know in order to coach you most effectively?

I like structure but I don’t think in a linear fashion and get bored with processes easily. So maybe I like organic structures? Yeah, that’s it. 😃


Getting a coach is one of my goals for the month. For more on that, see Amplify and Reduce Goals for April 2022.

🗒 Portions of this content came from my professional coaching program that I am doing at Automattic.
I do work there and you can too. 😃

2 responses to “Questions to prepare for starting a professional coaching partnership”

  1. I’m really intrigued by this coaching business. I look at you as my potential logical conclusion, because I love a good spreadsheet and often explore how to make processes more efficient. But I have an enormous amount of time wasting ability too!

    • Haha 😆 yea, I like designing process, just don’t like following it for too long. I like creative “wandering” where I do what im interested in and I can get lost in that. A lot of times that is very helpful with my work/life. Sometimes not so much.

Comments welcome!

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