Book Excerpt: A Snapshot of the PCA

The PCA (personal coaching agreement) is designed to be simple and straightforward, with clearly defined goals and action steps. When creating the PCA, the coach invites the client to choose up to five goals in a variety of life areas. Goals should be kept very clear and simple.

Next, the client will design action steps, with the support of the coach, to help the client move forward, step by step, toward achievement of the chosen goals. For example, if the goal is to improve organizational skills at home, an action step might be to spend 15 minutes each day cleaning up the bedroom or study area.

A check-in plan is also designated alongside the action steps, to help clients stay committed, report progress, make adjustments as needed, and receive promised rewards—in short, be accountable.

Last, the client brainstorms on desired and realistic rewards and has a conversation with his or her parents to determine whether parents are willing to provide these particular rewards. For example, the client may indicate that she would like to reward herself for a week of completed action steps with a trip to the movie theater on Friday night or a weekly manicure. These rewards could get pricey or may not work with the family schedule, so she will need to make sure mom and dad are in agreement. Young adults will choose their own rewards and review the plan with the coach.