Book Excerpt: Is the Parent Ready?

Prescreening can begin as soon as the parent makes contact with the coach. When the parent initiates contact, the coach should listen, ask, observe, and feel, with the goal of assessing whether the parent is really ready for the kind of coaching offered. Parents give off all kinds of messages when they first call for coaching, but if coaches are not tuned in to what parents are communicating or do not make a concerted effort to gather all of the information needed to determine whether this parent and young person are a good match for coaching services, coaches can end up going down a road to nowhere. Prescreening is an essential first step to the coaching process, which enables the coach to assess whether the parent is truly interested in coaching (as opposed to, e.g., tutoring or therapy) and to assess whether the parent is willing and able to allow coaching to take place directly between the coach and the young person, without the parent being present.