Starting out as a full-time coach, I offer a free session to many people, because in return for helping others, I am gathering experience and learning. Trying new things and failing constantly. Truly giving myself license to fail, which is something I've never done before.
Lately, I offered free session on a sharing and barter site. I've met a half dozen people, and had sessions that ranged from a complete fail to truly inspirational. I've learned the most from the failures, by far, and two of the most important lessons I've learned are to never assume, and to ask permission.
I tried to coach someone without asking permission, based on my own assumptions. I assumed that because I was a coach and because the person was responding to a coaching offer, that they agreed to be coached. But how could they? Not everyone understands what coaching is. And I had a discussion with someone that clearly didn't go well, and from which I left feeling terrible. I did nothing to serve that person or help them in their life. I failed.
That failure is beautiful, and I celebrate it, because of what it has taught me.
No assumptions. I have no idea what someone else knows or expects, unless they have directly told or demonstrated these things to me. I will not assume what you know, where you are, or who you are.
Ask before I offer. No matter how much I want to help, I will ask permission before I try to help. Because it's the only way it works.
Val Sanders is an Awesomeness Coach, helping people to transform themselves to become every bit as awesome as they were meant to be. She is a coach and she has a coach, because this stuff really works!