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Tips for great chemistry calls

The key to a successful coaching engagement starts with the chemistry call. It's a chance to set expectations for both sides and for the coach and client to get to know each other and what they're hoping to achieve from the coaching process.

Chemistry calls are a great way for coaches to have an introductory session with a potential client to get a feel for what the coaching relationship might look like. It helps the coach understand how coachable the client is and whether they're a good fit for each other before moving on to formal coaching sessions. It’s the beginning of a coaching relationship and an important ingredient of the ‘contracting’ phase.

Chemistry calls can vary in length, but the most important thing is to give the client a chance to experience rapport and connection with the coach. They need to feel like they can trust the coach and that they're a good fit for the coaching process.

One common mistake that coaches make on chemistry calls is to teach and tell the client what coaching is and isn't. Instead, the coach should focus on coaching the client and letting them experience what a coaching conversation feels like.

A powerful chemistry call will leave the client feeling like they want more of the same. They should feel compelled to say, "I want to get on board with coaching right away." This experience is what matters most to the client. It's not about showing off the coach's power, but rather the intrinsic value of the coaching process.

Here are some key ingredients for creating powerful chemistry sessions:

  • Unravel the coachability versus compatibility of the coach-client relationship. This means helping the client to identify whether they're ready to commit to their success and whether their coaching styles and approaches are compatible.

  • Pre-frame the call by clearly setting boundaries and expectations. This will help the client to understand the purpose of the call and what will be required of them. It also allows for shared visioning and a co-creation approach to coaching, which can help to prevent misunderstandings.

  • Enter the call with a "know nothing" state. This means avoiding pre-judging the client based on what they say or the issues they present with. Pre-judging can lead to fundamental attribution errors, biases, and beliefs that can hinder a successful conversation. The client will also come to the session with their own thoughts and concerns, and it's important to address these before moving on.

  • Have unconditional positive regard (UPR) for the client. This means creating a safe space where the client feels comfortable being themselves. The coach can do this by building rapport and commonality with the client.

Three essential steps to creating powerful chemistry calls that are built on ethics and principles:

  1. Connect with the person, not the problem. Connection and trust are essential for a successful coaching relationship. The coach can build connection by reflecting, sharing insights, observations, and inquiries. They should avoid using a didactic approach, which can make the client feel like they're being judged or lectured.

  2. Help the client to identify the root cause of their problem and how the coaching process can help them to achieve their goals.

  3. Invite the client on a journey. Invite them to co-create an experience and solutioning process that will help them to create a compelling future and move towards their desires.


Chemistry calls are important conversations. They're about having a heart-to-heart conversation. It's about being real and authentic, and it's about two people coming together to create change through masterful coaching conversation.

The coaching process can be a great catalyst for clients to experience breakthroughs in their lives.

Additional tips for a productive chemistry coaching call:

  • Start by asking the client what they hope to achieve from the coaching relationship. This will help you to tailor the call to their specific needs.

  • Be present and engaged. Listen attentively to the client and ask clarifying questions.

  • Offer support and encouragement. Let the client know that you believe in them and that you're there to help them succeed.

  • Be honest and direct. If you don't think you're a good fit for the client, be upfront about it.

  • End the call on a positive note. Summarise the key takeaways from the call and leave the client feeling hopeful and inspired. 


By following these tips, you can create chemistry coaching calls that are productive and beneficial for both you and your clients.

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