I work with clients who are looking to advance in their business career and increase their contribution to an organization. This typically involves assessment of their interests, skill potential and current understanding of "how business works" and how they can best contribute their skills. Most clients are looking to move to (or have just moved to) a higher level in an organization and are confronted with the reality that what may have worked in the past may no longer be enough to be successful in a new role/level. Frequently, this involves moving from being a talented individual contributor to working more effectively with others. The most successful clients are willing to "own" their strengths yet respect the often differing contributions of others.
If a client is transitioning to a new role, success is often measured months later as they utilize new skills in the new role. Follow-up mostly involves soliciting feedback from the client on how they are performing against goals. If the client is moving up within an organization, success is measured by the goals of their manager/the organization and feedback from both the manager and the client on their business and interpersonal performance. In most instances, the engagement will have a "follow-up and refine" phase that takes place after the person has been in the role for a period of time. At best, a client can be 85% prepared for a new role - the "follow-up and refine" phase allows time to address previously unknown potential issues or skill gaps.
The first step is understanding and getting agreement on goals for the engagement. Trust between client and coach can't be built if there is not agreement on goals and the scope of the engagement. The first step typically also includes one or more assessment instruments (both predictive and descriptive) to provide quantitative data to better understand the individual - both their potential and their current or "usual" style/viewpoint. This also provides and opportunity for the client to understand the similarities and differences they may have with others in a work environment. One size does NOT fit all and this allows customization of the engagement to the specific goals and needs of the client.