How to Create Powerful Chemistry Coaching Calls - International Coaching Federation
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How to Create Powerful Chemistry Coaching Calls

Posted by Jedidiah Alex Koh, MCC | November 20, 2020 | Comments (2)

Chemistry calls are one powerful way coaches can have a strategic session with a potential client to help frame what the coaching session will look like. It helps the coach understand the coachability and compatibility factors of the client in the coaching relationship before proceeding to formalizing the sessions. The key to a successful coaching engagement begins with the chemistry call, which helps set the right expectations for the parties and allows the coach and client to understand the intended outcome and desires of the coaching process.

The key to chemistry calls, which can vary in length of time, is to allow the client to experience a rapport and connection with the coach and see if they are the right fit for the process together. Sometimes these chemistry calls are called strategy sessions, they are used to layout a general plan for the overall engagement, expectation for each session,  and the intended homework or accountability and commitment the client needs to put in for a successful session.

As you engage a prospective client in the chemistry call, remember that coaching is not a concept to be taught but a journey to be experienced. Many coaches make the mistake of teaching and telling the client what coaching is and isn’t rather than just coaching them and allowing them to experience what a coaching conversation feels like.

Powerful chemistry coaching calls will produce a compelling resonance in the client to say, “I want more of such conversations” or “I want to get on board with coaching right away.” That experience matters to the client. It does not show the power of the coach but rather the intrinsic value of the coaching process. The outcome of a powerful coaching call will allow the client to feel like they want to put in the action right away, commit, account and look forward with expectancy.

Here are some key ingredients to creating powerful chemistry sessions:

  • Unravel the coachability versus compatibility of the coach-client relationship by helping to identify if the client is ready to commit to their success and identifying the compatibility of styles and approaches.
  • Pre-frame by clearly setting boundaries and expectations of the coaching calls. This will allow the client to understand the intention and the requirements during the sessions. Pre-framing also allows for shared visioning and a co-creation approach in coaching lest there arise misunderstanding outcomes.
  • Enter the call in a “know nothing state.” Too often, we pre-judge people by the things they say or the issues at hand, and that might lead to fundamental attribution errors, biases and beliefs that might hinder for a successful conversation. The client will also come to the session with certain thoughts in their minds, and it is important to address those concerns and desires before proceeding to the closing the sale.
  • Have Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR). Building trust and creating the safe space for the client in the chemistry call is key to allow the client to be comfortable in the process. The coach should apply UPR in the process to build commonality and rapport to deepen engagement.

Infuse these ingredients into the conversation for a more effective chemistry call. Then, take the call to the next level with the following three essential steps to creating powerful chemistry calls that are built upon ethics and principles:

  1. Connect – Create a deep connection with the person and not the problem. Connection and trust are an ongoing process. The coach role is not just questioning but reflection, sharing insights, observations and inquiries. Having a didactic approach in conversation allows the client to feel that the other party is empathetic and understands them.
  2. Create – Clients are created. Helping them realize the real issue at hand and framing them to see how the coaching process could help them actualize their vision.
  3. Invite – Invite them on a journey to co-create an experience and solutioning process that will allow them to create a compelling future with a strong compunction to move forward and towards their desires.

Chemistry calls are conversations that matter, and it’s not just about closing the client, but it’s also about the conversation of the heart. Its about the realness and authenticity of the call. It’s about two people coming together in a masterful coaching conversational process to create change. And the coaching process becomes the great catalyst for the clients to experience the breakthroughs in their lives.


Jedi Alex headshot

Jedidiah Alex Koh, MCC

Jedidiah ‘Jedi’ Alex Koh, MCC, is the internationally sought-after Next Gen Leadership and Team Coach, Mentor Coach and an award-winning coach. He is the creator of metaphorium™—a revolutionary transformative conversational process. He is the founder of Coaching Changes Lives, Asia’s leader in coaching, leadership and team development. Coaching Changes Lives is the transformative learning partner for organizations and HR practitioners. Jedidiah is also the author of an upcoming book OMG! Coaching is Conversational Mastery, which is launching at the end of 2020.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts featured on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the International Coach Federation (ICF). The publication of a guest post on the ICF Blog does not equate to an ICF endorsement or guarantee of the products or services provided by the author.

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Comments (2)

  1. says:

    Thank you for this very useful article :)!

  2. Tex Hooper says:

    I like what you said about how didactic approaches are the best in chemistry. It sounds like you need a lot of information to get started. I’ll have to consider getting a teacher to tutor me.

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