A Structured Intake Session Checklist Helps Manage Your Clients Expectations

We have put together this structured intake session checklist to help you prepare for your first coaching session. An intake session is about setting the scene, helping manage your clients expectations ie. what they can expect from you as their coach and vice versa, understanding what they want to achieve, ensuring any administrative processes are clear and answering any questions.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and the order is not cast in stone. What you will cover, and in what order will depend on what ground you have already covered prior to them deciding to undertake coaching.


  • Purpose and duration of the intake session
  • Clarification of what coaching is / is not


  • Agreement of number of sessions scheduled and dates
  • Payment terms
  • Coaching contract/agreement
  • What the service includes
  • What notes will be written up/fed back
  • Methods of communication
  • Ground rules for missed or late sessions

    The coaching session

  • Getting the most from your session – clearing inner space
  • Structure of session
  • Who will take notes
  • What is needed for each session – pens/paper, diary

    The coach –client relationship

  • What the client can expect from their coach
  • What client wants from their coach
  • Openness and honesty
  • Confidentiality
  • Equality in the relationship
  • Agenda belongs to the client
  • Responsibility and accountability for achievement of actions

    Assessment of where client is now

  • Wheel of Life
  • Pre-coaching questionnaires
  • Other assessments
  • What is important to the client – values


  • What the client wants to achieve from coaching – long, medium, short term
  • Priority areas

    Wrap Up

  • Any questions/concerns
  • Confirmation of next session – date/time

Recommended Further Reading:

Co-active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life (Paperback) by Laura Whitworth, Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phil Sandahl

See Also:-

Coaching Tools
Coaching Skills Assessment
Coaching Questions Toolkit
Pre-coaching Questionnaire
Sample Pre Coaching Questionnaire
The Wheel Of Life
Values Elicitation Exercise
Preparing for coaching

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