Confirm areas of the financial wellness the participant would like to focus on.
Assess how ready they are to take action on their goal using the behavior change assessment. Focus on goals where they are closest to action and help your participant arrive at SMART goal(s) today that they can reasonably accomplish in three-four months.
Explore their focus areas. Use the C-O-A-CH approach.
Agree on participant commitment for the next session.
Review C-O-A-CH approach before session.
Some potential exploration questions:
What have they already tried?
What have been some past successes toward the goal?
What would be different in their lives when this goal is reached?
What is their self-talk around this area?
Who else supports them in this goal?
Likely next steps?
Participant may have multiple goals, bump the goals against the SMART criteria to help the participant prioritize and decide how many/which one(s) to take on.
Avoid being prescriptive ("This is how I would get started ..."). Explore ideas together. "What can you do to get started?", "What resources do you have/need to get started?"
It's OK to share how you do something. When doing that, also share some other approaches. (e.g. I use Mint for budgeting because that works for me. There's not one right way to do this. Another approach is ...)
The to-dos belong to the participant. Some of us have strong "helper" tendencies and want to offer to take an action item to help a participant. It's OK to help them find resources and help them get in touch with people. Leave the actual connecting to the participant.
As the participant sets their actions steps for the next meeting, ask, "How can I help you be accountable with this?"
Use the appropriate change stage resources and personal finance resources.
For participants who you think are doing OK and may be wanting reassurance that they're on the right track or way to do better, you may suggest The Balanced Money Workbook as a way to get started.
Take minimal notes during your session. Following the session take several minutes to document your conversation. Take it out again a few hours later and add anything more that has occurred to you after some reflection.
5 min. – Create connection, build relationship
40 min. – Explore goals, C-O-A-CH approach
10 min. – Next steps – agreement/accountability
5 min. – Confirm homework, Establish date/time/location for next session