Vital Questions for Effective Life Coaching Intake Forms For a Smooth Client Onboarding

November 23, 2022
Client onboarding

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More and more people are prioritizing positive lifestyle changes. And did you know that as many as 73% of life coaching clients have admitted to witnessing positive changes in their relationships, communication skills, work-life balance, wellness, interpersonal relationships, etc. with the help of coaching?  

With a high demand for life coaching, newly-established coaches are entering a hot market full of potential clients. However, it can be overwhelming to keep a tab of everything – every client’s information, challenges & aspirations, goals, and so on.  

In this case, a smooth coaching client onboarding process helps set the tone for the whole program for both you as well as the client —after all, a job well begun is a job half done. In the life coaching business, the life coaching intake form, also known as the coaching client intake form or life coach intake form, plays a very important role in ensuring a smooth coaching client onboarding process.

What is a life coaching intake form? 

When it comes to life coaching, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to guide each client through their unique issues. A life coach intake form is essentially a pre-coaching client onboarding questionnaire that will help you understand what are the unique requirements of each client at the very onset.

At the time of coaching client onboarding process, the life coaching intake forms will help you tweak your signature life coaching program specifically around his/her goals and expectations, character attributes, attitude to life, etc. The life coaching intake questions must also be crafted in a way that the form remains a resource you can refer to over the course of the program.

As you go back to the life coach intake form from time to time, you’ll also be able to ensure that your client is on the right track to progress, from the time of client onboarding to the end of the program. In other words, it also acts as a coaching follow-up form.

Let’s look at the client onboarding questionnaire that should be present in all effective life coaching intake forms.

Cover 3 major angles with these impactful life coaching intake form questions 

Your life coaching intake form may differ with each client based on specific offerings and your client’s goals and expectations. It should be truly insightful and hence must include some questions that remain constant across clients.

Here’s a client onboarding questionnaire with a list of questions that cover three major aspects of any effective life coaching intake form:

a. The basic details 

A very common yet significant formula for designing an effective life coach intake form is to begin with questions on some basic client information. Make sure to include the following set of basic questions for a smooth coaching client onboarding process:

  1. What is your full name? 
  1. Specify your gender 
  1. What is your date of birth? 
  1. What is your residential address, email address and primary contact number? 
  1. Provide the required billing information (e.g.: mode of payment, etc.) 
  1. What is your marital status? 
  1. What is your profession? 
  1. Do you have any specific medical condition worth mentioning? 
  1. Are you on any medication currently? 
  1. Can you describe your daily routine? 

b. Coaching questions for goal-setting 

When clients wish to enroll in a life coaching program, they have certain goals in their mind or an expected outcome that they foresee. Hence, goal-setting coaching questions that help you comprehend their future goals (career and personal), objectives, and obstacles are the bedrock of any life coaching program.

Mostly the life coaching client onboarding questionnaire gives a sneak-peek into the client’s personal life. It helps you fathom the extent to which their current environment or past experiences are affecting their ability to achieve their goals. Here are the goal-setting life coaching intake questions that you must include in your client onboarding intake form:

  1. What are your short-term goals (specify a time period)? 
  1. What are your long-term goals (Specify a time period)? 
  1. Why have you set these goals? 
  1. Have you ever tried achieving these goals in the past? If yes, with what outcome and learnings? 
  1. What were the deterrents you had in the past? How did you overcome them?  
  1. What are your fears? 
  1. What do you value the most in your life? 
  1. What is it that makes you feel low? Rate your present stress level on a scale of 1 to 10 
  1. What makes you feel like you are on cloud nine? Rate your current state of happiness on a scale of 1 to 10.
  1. What do you think success is? What is you biggest success? How did you achieve that? 
  1. What positive changes do you wish to bring about in your life? 
  1. How do you wish to attain these goals? 
  1. What are the roadblocks you have currently? Why do you think you aren’t motivated enough? 
  1. Where do you wish to see yourself at the end of the program? 
  1. Who are the most Important people in your life and what is your relationship with them? 

Questions are a gateway to transformation

Learn the art of asking powerful questions with the help of our guide, which contains the wisdom of veteran coaches!

c. Program-based 

As a coach, everything trickles down to designing a coaching program that’s tailor-made for a particular client. Program-based life coach intake questionnaires help you understand what coaching approach you should adopt to drive the best possible outcome for your client. Some program-based questions include:

  1. What is your take on criticism? How do you handle it? 
  1. Are you quite focused on your immediate task? Or do you need constant reminders to stay on track? If yes, how frequently do you need to be nudged? 
  1. What is your preferred mode of communication—digital (video, text, etc.) or face-to-face, or phone calls? 
  1. What motivates you and what demotivates you (people, situation, interaction, etc.)? 
  1. What is your preferred way of learning that brings about best results—reading, listening, seeing or doing? 
  1. What is your expectation from the program? How do you want me to support you? 

These questions give an insight into the “what”, “who” and how” a coach will be dealing with. They help set the tone of the program, steer clear of any doubt and kickstart the program with your client on a solid note. 

Looking for life coaching questions that will help you understand your clients better? 

Here’s our deep dive into the 5 most insightful life coaching questions here! 

Tools to your rescue 

A smooth client onboarding experience is essential in any coaching program, and an intake form is an essential part of that experience. There are quite a few tools you could use to make this easier on you to execute. 

Best free tool: 

One of the most trusted, well-loved, and simplest ways to create free life coaching forms is Google Forms. The best thing about the tool is its simple interface, great user experience, and little or negligible learning time. The Google Form allows you to add specific question types and questions in order to carry out a coaching questionnaire and gather information.

But yes, on the flipside, not everything is automated. So, you have to add the link to the emails you manually share with your clients for information. Another limitation of free life coaching intake forms like Google Forms is that they don’t give respondents the option of filling them up halfway and returning later – which is likely to be an irritant for your clients.

Best paid tool: 

We’re going to go ahead and plug in Simply.Coach here. Our Digital Coaching Tools feature allows you to create a custom coaching questionnaire, or you can use/adapt one of the ready templates! It will allow you to create and send it to clients from one place, automatically nudge them to respond, and it will gather responses and create reports.

Sources: Paperbell, Hellobonsai, Contentsnare, Coachfoundation, Luisazhou, Contentsnare 


1. How to create a coaching intake form for a smooth coaching client onboarding process? 

The vital thing is that you should know what kind of data or information you need from your clients. Once that is decided, the rest should be a cakewalk. 

An ideal life coach intake form comes with various sections starting with client information – think name, date of birth, gender, etc. – and details about the client’s business, contact details, including email and social handles. The rest of the pre-coaching form should deal with specific questions to know your client better and in-depth. Think business goals, prior experiences, challenges faced, outcomes desired, sources of motivation, time targets, and so on. Intake forms for life coaching should have a confidentiality agreement as well that indicates that the data won’t be disclosed to any third-party vendor, and will be used for coaching only. For a better understanding of how to formulate the intake form questions, do not forget to refer to the sample ICF coaching intake form.

2. What is pre-coaching client onboarding questionnaire in a life coaching client intake form? 

A pre-coaching client onboarding questionnaire is like a soundboard in the form of a list of questions that lets the coach know clients better before the actual coaching begins. Intake questions for life coaching help you with all the required information and a character study of the client before the coaching sessions actually begin. This lets you avoid awkward and shallow conversations on the first call since you already have a fair idea about what you are going to begin with.  

Along with discovering basic information about the client, the aim of pre-coaching questionnaires is to find out the actual reason behind the them taking up coaching and to get a clear picture of the role that the coach is going to play and to what extent. 

3. What kind of questions do life coaches ask?

Life coaches ask questions around 3 key angles:

  1. Questions based on basic client information like client’s name, gender, birth, etc.
  2. Goal-setting coaching questions like clients’ long- and short-term goals, what they value most in life, their fear and roadblocks, etc.
  3. Program-based questions like how your clients would handle criticism, what motivates them, etc.

About Simply.Coach

Simply.Coach is an enterprise-grade coaching software designed to be used by individual coaches and coaching businesses. Trusted by ICF-accredited and EMCC-credentialed coaches worldwide, Simply.Coach is on a mission to elevate the experience and process of coaching with technology-led tools and solutions.  

About the author
Content Specialist  @Simply.Coach

Jayashree Mukherjee is a content specialist by day and a content junkie (on OTT) by night. Passionate about traveling, street food and overturning the underuse of em dashes — she would have been a globe-trotter if she hadn’t been so lazy.

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