Communication Outside of Sessions
The company allocates 5-15 minutes of outside communication time per client, between each of the client’s sessions, to write and reply to clients’ messages and emails. This time does not include the time it takes for the company to respond to issues and inquiries related to payment, paperwork, and scheduling. This communication time is free out of the coach’s kindness and is not included in the services or cost of the 'Coaching and Client Agreement'. The company can suspend this aspect of communication if the company feels it is being abused. The company allocates this time for clients because the company believes continuous communication between coach and client creates better outcomes for clients. The following guidelines are included in this document in order to protect the coach’s personal boundaries around time.
Guidelines for Communication
If the client wishes to receive a thoughtful and thorough reply from the coach, the client will put “please respond” at the beginning of the email/text sent. The coach will then give a thoughtful reply to the email/text.
If the client sends a text that does not require a thoughtful response, the client may receive a simple ‘‘thumbs up’ emoji via text to show their message was read, or a brief response to a yes or no question.
The client will not be notified when the client’s emails are read when a thoughtful response is not requested. If the client wishes to be notified of the email being read the client will either include “please let me know you read my email,” either in the email or in a separate text. In that instance, the client will receive a ‘thumbs up’ emoji via text once the email is read.
The coach will not go over 15 minutes to communicate outside of sessions, but it is understood that predicting how much time reading and responding takes is hard for the client to predict. The first 3 times correspondence goes over 15 minutes, the coach will send a text or email responding to the inquiry while also giving a warning that what has been said has gone over time. These warnings are issued to help clients gauge and adjust the amount of written text that can be read and produced by the coach. The fourth time the client goes over 15 minutes, a text or email will be sent along the lines of “I do not have the time to read or respond to you for the remainder of the week as I have already spent 15 minutes corresponding with you. I will not be reading or corresponding to this email/message. I look forward to you filling me in at our next session.” The coach will not be upset if this happens, this is simply a boundary set to manage time. The company hopes to never have to send this statement and that 3 warnings will be enough information for clients to be able to assess and understand how much written text can be sent and responded to in a week.
The coach will do their best to respond to texts within 24 hours of receiving them and to emails within 48 hours of receiving them on business days (located on Acuity). If the coach has not responded within these guidelines, the client is encouraged to text the coach a reminder. The coach will do their best to follow these guidelines, but outside communication is not a guaranteed aspect of the services provided and is subject to change. Response cannot be promised.
Interaction in Public Spaces
If the coach runs into a client in public outside of sessions the coach will be outgoing and courteous with the client and follow the clients lead when it comes to what is okay to be talked about in the space. The coach will not initiate conversation with the client if the client is with other people unless the client engages with the coach first. The coach will not discuss any aspect of coaching, unless the client mentions it first. The coach is unable to distinguish what information told in sessions is confidential and what information is safe to talk about with others, thus all information and knowledge of the client is kept confidential unless the coach is explicitly told otherwise. If the client wishes to engage with the coach in public while other people are present, it is recommended the client say something like “Hi coach, nice to see you. I am okay with speaking about anything we talk about in our life coaching sessions as long as it isn’t health related,” or something along those lines according to the client’s own comfort so that conversation can be had if the client wishes to do so.