Book Excerpt: Unplanned Termination

Although it would be nice if every client a coach works with were able to remain in coaching from start to finish—engaging in the full process, complete with PCA, executed action steps, and accomplished goals—there are times when coaching will come to an end before that is the case. Sometimes coaching ends unexpectedly, abruptly, or before all of a client’s stated goals have been met. When this situation occurs, it is referred to as unplanned termination.

Unplanned termination happens when coaching obstacles occur and make it impossible for the coaching process to continue. As explored in Chapter 9, some coaching obstacles can be overcome. Exploratory discussions between coach and client may help move things forward: Restructuring the PCA, revising action steps, or trying out new strategies may get coaching going again. When coaching gets difficult, the assumption need not automatically be that it’s time to terminate. Nonetheless, there are times when coaching is no longer at a point where it can or should proceed.