7 Steps For A Successful First Session
Sarah is a new Health Coach, and after becoming a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach (CTNC), she used ITN’s 6 Step Transformational Business Building Blueprint to create her website, attract her clients, and sell her packages.
Since the system she used set her up for so much success, she found herself preparing for multiple first sessions with clients! (Yay!)
The only thing was that she was a little unsure how to prepare and organize her first session with these clients to ensure it ran smoothly, was effective, and that she didn’t overwhelm her client with action items.
Maybe you can relate?
It’s hard to know exactly how to run a successful first session. Luckily for you (and Sarah), we’ve put together a step-by-step guide for your first session so that you can be as successful as possible and build that dream career!
PERSONALIZED NUTRITION IS KEY
When it comes to building out and preparing for a first session, you must remember that every client has different needs and desires. This is why at the Institute of Transformational Nutrition, we make a big deal about the importance of personalization!
However, we also understand the need for structure and providing a starting point for coaches and clients alike to ensure success and ease! (Because no Health Coach needs to be stressed out!)
That’s why we put together a simple guide for you to use to layout your first session!
Please use this with clients to build confidence and as a starting point for your coaching sessions and programs.
Of course, please only use it as a guide and remember the importance of creating a personalized protocol that meets your client’s needs physically, mentally, and spiritually!
7 STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL FIRST SESSION
STEP 1: MEET EACH OTHER
The first part of the session is where you welcome your client.
Always, always be on time! In fact, it is a good idea to be ready 15-20 minutes before a session with a client. (You know the old saying if you’re on time your late… or something like that!)
Welcome the client and let them know how happy you are to be working with them! Let them feel all the warm fuzzies of your energy!
STEP 2: SET EXPECTATIONS
Be clear about your expectations! (Don’t skip this step – it’s crucial!)
You want to be very present with your client. Put away your cell phone and anything else that might distract your full attention from the session, and ask your client to do the same! #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
Discuss some “rules” with your client! Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- What your client discloses during the coaching sessions is kept in strict confidence, and all information shared in your sessions is considered confidential.
- Both your client and you are committed to being on time for sessions.
- Without honesty, the value of your sessions will be seriously affected negatively. Both you and your client must commit to being honest about all matters discussed.
- Your client shares what he or she wants to share. And, your client always holds the right not to share information.
- You (the coach) evaluate the cooperation repeatedly with your client during the practice.
Before and during the initial coaching session, you will review any intake forms you asked the client to fill out before your session.
For example, if you’re a CTNC, you’ll have the Transformational Nutrition Health Assessment Intake Form, the Food and Lifestyle Journal, and Transformational Timelines to review.
It’s also helpful to have your client provide any health test results or genetic test results they have available.
This is your opportunity to get clear on the responses your client provided, dig deeper, and start to better understand your client’s needs and how you can support them.
Using your findings from any forms provided by your client, educate them on where you will help them go – focusing on the results they want to get.
Let them know that transformation happens over time, not overnight, and that you will help them take the next right step toward achieving their goals in each coaching session.
STEP 4: ASSESS THE CLIENT’S READINESS
A client must be ready and willing to make dietary and lifestyle changes for them to see a transformation.
As much as most people would like, you don’t have a magic wand that you can wave and transform your client! They must take an active role in the relationship to experience transformation. (Even though you are magical!)
Discuss the client’s desired outcomes, motivation, and expectancies.
STEP 5: RECOGNIZE WHAT IS GOING RIGHT WITH THE CLIENT
It is easy to identify what a client may be doing that is wrong, but it is even more important to determine what the client is doing right. (Be their #1 fan!)
Nobody likes to be told when he or she is doing something wrong, but most people like to be acknowledged when they are doing something right!
This will be important in establishing rapport with your client and letting them know that you’re in this coaching relationship together. #teammates
Instead of primarily focusing on the question: “What is the problem of my client and how can this problem be solved?” the question is: “What does a valuable life look like in the eyes of my client and how can this be achieved?”
Although both questions may seem similar at first glance, they are not.
Repairing weakness is not the same as building strengths! #quoteworthy
Moving closer to the desired direction is not the same as preventing oneself from moving in an undesired direction. Subjective well-being is more than the absence of mental illness or problems.
Getting rid of fear, anger, and depression will not automatically fill you with peace, love, and joy. Getting rid of weaknesses will not automatically maximize your strengths.
The first focus of the work that you do with your clients should not be on what is wrong with the client or on repairing what is the worst, but on their strengths, what is right, and on creating what is best.
The goal is to help your client to move closer to the desired outcome — the desired goal.
STEP 6: CO-CREATE A LIST OF ACTION STEPS
Co-create a list of action steps made up of “baby steps” so your client can start incorporating foods and habits that get them closer to their goals.
This plan should start removing foods and habits that take them further away from their goals.
STEP 7: RESOURCES AND TOOLS FOR YOUR CLIENT
Before wrapping up your session, give your client any resources or tools that they can use between now and your next meeting.
Here are a few exercises that may be beneficial to give to your client as “homework”:
THE WHEEL OF LIFE
This exercise can be used to clarify priorities for goal setting by increasing balance in the different life domains.
Ask your client to make a visual representation of his/her goals and/or values. This can be done digitally by selecting images, photos, words, and names from the Internet, and combining them in a PowerPoint file
This can also be done by hand, using magazines and other resources! Tell them to have fun and dream big!
Identify foods, lifestyle habits, and spiritual practices that your client can “swap” for more ideal ones.
Now that you understand their symptoms and the protocol they will need to follow, you can start edging your client toward it.
For example, ask them to swap soda for water and reading news headlines first thing in the morning for a 10-minute meditation.
If you do this now, it will be much easier for your client to start following the protocol in the next coaching session.
Now that you have all the tools and steps you need for your first session, go out there and share your knowledge and heart with the world!
Remember that this is simply a layout, and personalizing this approach to what your client needs are key!
Have you started coaching yet? Tell us what practices you use in your coaching sessions!