Coaches Questions and Answers

Our volunteer coaches know that every widow client is different, each having their own set of unique challenges.  However, we do see some questions come up repeatedly.  If you have a question about one of your widow clients, please look through our list to see if it’s already been answered for you.  If not, you can join our community of coaches on Linked In where you have an opportunity to share your situation or question with other coaches for feedback.  Click here to request to join this private group.

As you ask and receive answers to your questions, this list will grow and our coaching community will have more information at their fingertips.

Your goal is to address each and every checklist in the guidebook.  It is best to work through the guidebook as it was written, as there is a natural flow to the topics.  However, if it makes sense for you to jump ahead to address a “hot topic,” then do so.  Just make sure that you keep track of what you “jumped over” so you can go back and address those topics and checklists.
Remember, most widows don’t know what they don’t know.  They may think they only have one or two questions, but you will usually uncover many other issues they didn’t even know needed to be dealt with simply by working through each of the checklists.
Our goal is to provide excellent service to our clients and to ensure our coaches have a great experience.  To this end, we are constantly soliciting feedback, including sending each client a survey following her engagement.  We count on this client feedback, which is why it is so important that you encourage your client during your last session to complete the survey when they receive it.
You might say something like this: “<Name>, I’ve really enjoyed working with you these past few weeks/months.  I hope I have made a difference.  You’ve made great progress, and you should be proud of yourself.  I wanted to let you know that Wings for Widows will be sending you a brief survey about your experience when we’re done, and I encourage you to complete it.  It lets them know how they’re doing and it’s the only feedback I get so I know how I’m doing.  I’d really appreciate it.”
The Widow’s Guidebook serves a few purposes.  It provides you and your client a path through the coaching engagement; this means you don’t have to “recreate the wheel.”  If you stick with the guidebook, you’ll answer 95% of the most common trouble areas for newly-widowed people.  Using the guidebook ensures you’ll provide a thorough review of your client’s situation.  When your engagement is over, the guidebook will continue to be a resource for your client who will likely still have work to do.
The guidebook provides both worksheets and checklists. The worksheets are optional; the checklists are not.
Some clients race through the book and complete their worksheets before your first meeting, though this is rare, as most find them daunting.  The point is the worksheets are for the client to complete to help you understand her financial situation.  However, most will wait for your direction, so it is completely up to you whether or not a particular worksheet needs completing.  Most coaches use the worksheets as a guide to what questions need to be asked and information to be collected, and will use a downloadable worksheet (available here) for notetaking (since your guidebook only includes one set of worksheets) as they work alongside their client.


When you work with a Wings for Widows’ client, you both sign an agreement that states you are offering pro bono services and will not charge for any of the work you do during the engagement.  Similarly, it states that you will not solicit your client during the engagement.  But what if the client solicits you?

The best course of action is to defer this possibility until after the engagement is completed.  It makes sense for you to “know your client” before entertaining the idea of a more permanent advisory relationship.  If you are solicited, you might say something like this: “<Name>, that might be a possibility, but right now let’s focus on all the work we have to do during our engagement.  Okay?”

If, after the engagement is completed, your client solicits you, you are free to accept them as a client if you wish.  You’ve already developed a trusted relationship with them and have a great foundation of knowledge, so it may make sense for you to continue the advisory relationship once the engagement concludes.  This could well be a win-win scenario.