Jan 9, 2023
**This is not legal advice and is not intended to be legal advice; please seek out support from a lawyer**
I just wanted to talk to you about the importance of contracts and agreements in the coaching world. I know they may not be the sexiest thing, but trust me, they are crucial. Without them, you can end up with mud on your face when an angry client starts slinging blame and shame your way. And let's face it; if you're in the business of supporting people, you'll get some praise and blame. It's just part of the gig. But clearly defined boundaries can provide safety for both the coach and the client. Think of it like the banks of a river - they create structure and boundaries, but the water can still flow freely within those boundaries. It's the same with contracts - they create structure and boundaries for the coaching relationship, but within those boundaries, there is still room for flexibility and growth. And just like a river wouldn't flow without its banks, a coaching relationship wouldn't be able to thrive without clear boundaries and agreements in place. There are a few reasons why some people may avoid contracts or defining their offer as coaches. One reason could be a lack of understanding about the importance of these documents. Some coaches may not fully understand the role that contracts and agreements play in protecting both the coach and the client, and as a result, they may not prioritize them. Another reason could be a fear of confrontations or difficult conversations. Discussing contracts and agreements can sometimes involve setting boundaries and having tough conversations about what is and is not included in the coaching relationship. Some coaches may be uncomfortable with these conversations and may prefer to avoid them altogether. Finally, some coaches may simply be too busy or overwhelmed to prioritize the creation of contracts and agreements. They may have a lot on their plate and may not see the creation of these documents as a high priority. Overall, while contracts and agreements are an important part of the coaching process, it is possible that some coaches may not use them for a variety of reasons. It is important for coaches to consider the benefits of having clear agreements in place and to make an informed decision about whether or not to use them in their coaching practice. So, they create structure but still allow for flexibility and growth within the coaching relationship. Just like the banks of a river, they are necessary for the relationship to thrive. Some of the key elements that a coach could include in a contract. Some potential items to consider might include: Scope of work: This should clearly outline the specific services that the coach will provide, what will you do or not do. Duration of the coaching relationship: This should specify the length of time that the coaching relationship will last, as well as any options for renewal or extension. Payment terms: This should specify the fees that the client will be responsible for paying, as well as any payment schedule or deadlines. Confidentiality: This should outline the coach's commitment to maintaining the confidentiality of the client's personal information and any limitations on that confidentiality. Termination: This should outline the circumstances under which the coaching relationship may be terminated, as well as any provisions for refunding fees or completing any outstanding work. Liability: This should outline the coach's liability for any errors or omissions in their work and any limitations on that liability. Dispute resolution: This should outline the process for resolving any disputes that may arise between the coach and the client. Overall, these are just a few examples of the types of elements that a coach might include in a contract with their clients. It is important for coaches to carefully consider their specific needs and goals when drafting a contract, and to seek legal advice if necessary.