How to Maximize Your Coaching Relationship

© gstockstudio - Fotolia.com
© gstockstudio – Fotolia.com

There are coaches for everything today, from teaching you what food to choose and consume from the grocery store, through to the most seemingly obscure life issues.

No matter what you’re looking for or going through, or the expertise you seek, the key to the overall success of a coaching program revolves around one word:

Chemistry.

Without chemistry, a coaching relationship will either flounder or won’t bring the maximum return on investment of either your money or your time.

Coaching is a two-way street where challenging and confidential issues are discussed, addressed, and hopefully resolved, with the coach acting as a guide, supporter and cheerleader.

Without a solid, deep and trusting relationship between the two, neither the coach nor client will find the end result satisfying.

When selecting coaches, look at their marketing materials, web presence, designations, and client recommendations – be aware that these may or may not be easy to find, as coaching is generally a confidential agreement between the coach and the client.

Ask the potential coach about their qualifications, how long they’ve been in the business, and how knowledgeable they are in your particular industry or function. The more they are, the stronger the relationship and bond there will be.

When a potential client asks about my coaching style and direction, as we talk I am also completing my own due diligence to see if there is clarity, open communication, enriching dialogue, and chemistry. If not, my ethics tell me that I should politely bring the conversation to a conclusion, and perhaps recommend a peer.

It’s pointless to engage a coach if you aren’t going to participate fully and open up 100%. Your honesty and open dialogue will also help the coach suggest options for the path ahead, and set goals for your work together.

It’s also very important to be realistic, and that sometimes means toning down your ambitions. Don’t expect a coach to help you become a NASA astronaut. On the other hand, you should also choose a coach who challenges you and fortifies that relationship, and sees bigger things in you than you may see in yourself.

Working with a coach is like any other confidential professional relationship in your life, such as with a doctor or lawyer. If you treat it as such, then that mutual trust and respect will help you to attain your career goals.

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