Trust and mutual respect are essential parts of the work we do together.
It’s important for you to know the principles and ethics that guide this work. Unless noted otherwise, what follows applies regardless of the type of session or whether it’s a group or individual session.
The agreement below is presented to make sure we have clarity and mutual understanding about these matters. You should also know I subscribe to the Code of Ethics of the International Coach Federation (ICF).
I invite you to openly discuss any concerns or questions that may arise during our working together. I am happy to explain any aspect of your session or of the information on this page.
I appreciate the opportunity to be part of your growth and business development.
Agreement for Services
This document represents a business agreement between you as a client and Marketing Ad-vantage, LLC for coaching or consulting services, which may be delivered alone or incorporated into related services mutually agreed upon such as writing, project management, training or a group program, etc.
Services are provided by practitioners and others through Authentic Business Growth. The term practitioner is used to refer to the coach or consultant (singular or plural) providing the services to you. The term “we” and “us” is used interchangeably to refer to the those delivering services whether singular or multiple.
The services to be provided by the practitioner to the client that are covered by this agreement are coaching and or consulting or some combination thereof.
Professional Coaching is a thought-provoking and creative process that successful people use to help them pursue their passions and strengths. A coaching relationship is designed based on the client’s interests and goals. Discussion, questions and requests are used to assist the client as he or she reflects, identifies goals, develops strategies to reach them, takes action and adapts to challenges along the way.
A professional coach might brainstorm with you or make observations based on his expertise. While a coach may have expertise in a particular area, the primary focus of a coach is to help the client make her own choices and find what will work best for her.
Research has demonstrated that the relationship-based skillful listening and questions provided by trained coaches through professional coaching leads to reflection and new learning and successful application of the learning in clients daily lives.†
Coaching is not psychotherapy or counseling which deal with past events and how they relate to your thoughts and feelings in the present. While professional coaching does pay attention to your feelings, coaching focuses on the present and future, and is oriented towards the client applying learning to their life (and business) in order to move forward in practical ways.
About Consulting – Put simply, a consultant is an adviser or expert who gives advice based on expertise in a specific area. The main difference between a coach and a consultant is the focus. A consultant recommends certain actions and may also teach clients certain skills.
In short, a consultant brings expertise in a specific area. A professional coach brings expertise in helping people connect with their own innate wisdom to define and achieve the goals they have set for themselves.
While consulting may be sharply focused on one specific issue, coaching takes a holistic view, and it allows you to explore how all the different parts of your life and work are connected and affect each other.
Whether coaching or consulting or a blend of them is best for you depends on your needs and values, as well the complexity of the situation and your time constraints.
While it can is helpful to know the differences, we often work in hybrid mode, as both coach and consultant. This allows us the flexibility to give you the best of both professions.
† Griffiths, K. & Campbell, M. (2009). Discovering, applying and integrating: The process of learning in coaching. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, 7(2), 16-30. Retrieved from http://www.business.brookes.ac.uk/research/areas/coachingandmentoring
Policies and Logistics
Payment – The frequency and length of one to one coaching or consulting sessions and their cost will be decided in advance by mutual agreement. Payment is due before scheduling sessions. If you have any questions about fees please ask them.
Communication and support between sessions – If the client has contracted for a package of sessions or for ongoing monthly coaching that includes it, the practitioner will be available for communication between sessions for integration, questions and support. In most cases this will be done via email or online messaging,. Support between sessions is usually only available when sessions occur weekly. In some limited situations, email support may be offered for a week or other length of time after an longer, intensive session.
Scheduling– Unless agreed otherwise, it will be the client’s responsibility to schedule sessions in advance using the practitioner’s online calendar.
Cancellation – If you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment please contact your practitioner 24 hours in advance. Since the time is held for you, if you miss a session without notice, payment is still expected. True emergencies are the rare exception and will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If on occasion we choose to waive this, it does not mean the policy has changed. If due to emergency, the practitioner must cancel a session we will make reasonable efforts to be available for a rescheduled session as soon as possible.
Long-distance telephone charges are the responsibility of the client. Since most session calls are recorded this usually means calling in to a conference call line located in the United States. However, in many cases we can also provide local/regional numbers in several continents and Skype audio access to our conference line at no additional charge.
Venue – This agreement will be considered to have been made in and will be interpreted under the laws of the State of Virginia.
Confidentiality and its limits
Confidentiality and your privacy is a high priority. You are also expected to respect your practitioner’s privacy and confidentiality. While you’re free to share what you experienced and learned, please treat as confidential any specific personal or business details that you learn about him.
Part of respecting your confidentiality is to be clear and honest with you about the limits to confidentiality. This clarity is also an attempt to avoid areas of possible misunderstanding.
Coaching log – as part of an ongoing professional coach credentialing process, your practitioner may document client names, contact information and session times in a confidential log. The log does not include the topics discussed. Where meetings include consulting, teaching or other services in addition to coaching the amount of time spent coaching will be documented. This log of cumulative coaching hours is periodically submitted to certifying bodies (e.g. International Coach Federation) who also hold it in confidence. Occasionally these certifying bodies audit the submitted logs, so it is possible although unlikely you may be contacted to verify that a coaching relationship existed. In this unlikely situation we appreciate your cooperation which enables your practitioner to continue professional development.
Supervision and Call Recordings – calls may be recorded without further permission for confidential use for the practitioner’s professional development. Your practitioner may share these recordings and/or discuss sessions with mentors, supervisors, legal advisors or credentialing boards when he deems appropriate for his learning and professional development. The practitioner will make good faith efforts to ensure these parties keep everything strictly confidential. Whenever possible, client names are not mentioned and identifying personal details are omitted or changed.
Groups – for group coaching and classes we make reasonable efforts to ensure that everyone in the group is willing to keep things confidential, but we cannot guarantee the future behavior of group participants.
Teaching situations and case studies – your practitioner may mention topics or situations discussed but will be careful to not to mention personally identifying details without your permission.
Administrative help – From time to time administrative help may be retained for matters such as data entry, bookkeeping, etc. In the course of performing such duties these professionals may have access to confidential client data. Reasonable good faith efforts will be made to ensure that privacy and confidentiality is maintained throughout all such processes and by all such individuals.
Contact methods – our practitioners do use various social media websites and have been known to sometimes send physical cards for birthdays or other occasions to those who have provided a mailing address. If friendly contacts like that from us would bother you, please let us know.
Threats of violence – If you make threats of violence against yourself or others, we are not obligated to intervene or to report this. However we reserve the right to do so in our sole discretion. If you make threats of violence against your practitioner, yourself or others, you are by so doing giving your consent to us to disclose whatever information about you we deem necessary, in our sole discretion, to protect any person(s) directly or indirectly threatened.
Other risks to confidentiality – You should also be aware there are various risks to your privacy that are out of our control. Among them, email and the phone are not completely secure means of communication.
If, for example, you have concerns about being at risk for domestic violence, or child custody battles, or a dispute with a business partner, this may be an area of concern for you. In such cases you should seek help from legal and privacy experts to help you with that. While your privacy is important to us, you should know that we do not make any promise to fund a court battle in the highly unlikely case a court order required us to disclose information.
Commitment to you
Our commitment to you is that you will have your practitioner’s complete attention during your time together. Session times are clearly defined and we work to ensure we are complete when our time is finished.
Throughout the working relationship, your practitioner will engage in direct and personal conversations. You can count on your practitioner to be honest and straightforward in asking questions and making requests. You are always free to say yes, no or make a counteroffer to any request.
What’s expected from you
The power of a coaching or consulting relationship is ultimately granted by the client. The most important thing is that you be present and authentic. Say what you are thinking and feeling. Ask for what you want. Don’t worry about editing what you’re going to say. Your practitioner is an advocate creating a safe and supportive environment for you to explore and move forward with whatever is on your mind.
If you come to a place you feel the relationship is not working as desired, please talk with your practitioner about it. We want this coaching/consulting relationship to be powerful, meaningful, safe and helpful to you.
For questions about this agreement, contact:
Authentic Business Growth c/o
Marketing Ad-vantage LLC
Postal mail: PO Box 2251 Ashburn, VA 20146