If you are experiencing a complicated management situation that you seek to understand, are wondering which solution would be the best to solve it, maybe the concepts of coaching contracts will enable you to light of the problem with a different perspective.

What is it about? To be able to make the difference among mutual commitments, explicit or implicit, between you and your employee, by referring to the 7 types of contracts that we are familiar with as business coach.

1. One contract for commercial and administrative agreements

As with any field of service provider, coach contract with their client, company or person, with a document “governing the capacity of the parties”: it is the business contract (1), defining for example the number of coaching sessions, invoicing, cancellation and payment conditions. In a working relationship, we can of course sense the parallel with the working contract, in which in France, let’s remind it, includes the default setting of subordinate relationship between the employer and the employee. Concept useful when we “disagree”, as this founding act enables to go back to the genesis of the situation: how did we plan to work together, or to end our working relation? What are we both engaged to?

2. Three contracts to define the work to be done

A coach has to offer his client a contract of objectives (2), including indicators of measurement: these objectives are defined after a client’s demand analysis, following a specific process designed for this purpose. This contract of objectives, when the coach works for a company, is validated during with a “tripartite contract (3)”, an exchange between the coachee, his/her manager and the coach. It will be read again at the end of the coaching program, to evaluate its efficiency, guaranteeing in the meanwhile the total confidentiality of the exchange between the coach et the coachee.  

In a company, it may refer to the concept of the assessment interview and the definition of objectives, often shared in. A rather useful concept when it comes to reflect upon efficiency, skills, results achieving…etc.

The coach also needs to follow a session contract (4), which will have the duration of the coaching session, in order to make sure that the coachee is working on the problem concerning them. Let’s say, at work, that it may be compared to regular management interviews, made throughout the year, to reach some agreement. Provided that the manager knows how to lead the process to enable employee to find their own solution.

These 4 first contract types are well known by managers who know how to refer to them when needed. What about the relational contracts?

3. Three contracts to run the relation

Consider again the coach concepts to this issue: there is for example the relational contract (5), the way the coach shares his way to work, and the feedback by the coachee of the way they perceived it. One talks about the relation coach & coachee through elements such as: confidentiality, delays, process, authenticity, in-between session work, or coaching assessment.

We can add the concept of process contract (6), enabling the coach, consciously, to use relational techniques, such as simple rewording, to maintain the relation. When a managerial relation has become an issue, how do you wonder about what links you, with regards to interpersonal relation, to your employee? How would you grade the quality of your relationship on a scale of 1 to 10? What room is made between each to express oneself in a calm state of mind? What are your conversations like?

Finally, a coach pays attention to the hidden contract (7): non-formalized, it contains the hidden major issues of the parties involved (coachee, coach, company), what anyone is looking for, indirectly or unconsciously. You could also question these points in working relationship: what was understood or presumably understood as such? What “secret » objective could motivate you or your employee? Are there other issues overcoming the present situation, what are they, why?

Taking a few precious minutes to look at what could be at stake under 7 different viewpoints could be an interesting way to think before acting, and to spot various links existing in any managerial relation. The solution you will offer will be even more adapted. Enjoy the coming weeks!