Coaching Relationships: How to Make them Great!

Jan 31, 2018

Five Tips For Making Any Coaching Relationship A Success

Having a coach is a key to success in any field and as a young entrepreneur it is especially important! There are many articles on how to start a mentorship relationship to realize your full business potential and most young entrepreneurs have coaches that have helped them along the way. But how do you make that relationship go from good to great? Here are 5 easy steps to fully realize the best coaching relationship with your mentor.

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1. Listen & Ask- Don’t just talk about yourself and your enterprise. You should also listen and actively ask about your coach’s interests, hobbies, goals, concerns etc. - show you are also interested in them. These details will help you learn more about your mentor as a person and also help discover things you have in common. You may find you have some unique shared interests or unexpected connections - you will never know unless you ask! These details will enable you to spark new conversations and choose unique mentorship activities that are original and tailored to both your interests. Knowing more than just their professional achievements will enable you to further connect with your coach.

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2.Share – Communication is important for any relationship and a good way to develop your relationship with your coach. Did you reach a goal or make a breakthrough? Let your coach know! They will be happy to hear about your success and growth. Are you facing a challenge or difficulty, make share these roadblocks! Your coach may guide you to the resources or answers you need, or at the very least help to put things into perspective. You should also share if you come across any exciting news that aligns with the business interests or personal interests of your coach. Is there a new art exhibit they may like? Let them know! Little actions like these can help to strengthen the relationship and make it more than strictly business talk. Through these actions, you show that their interests are important to you. Ongoing communication will help the relationship develop.  All this begins by sharing.

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3.Show Gratitude- Your coach may lead a busy life and go out of their way to set aside time to help you. Be sure to show them you are grateful! Below are three simple ways to show gratitude and you display your appreciation for their efforts.

  1. Send them a card for their birthday.

  2. Congratulate them on a new accomplishment, whether it be professional or personal.

  3. Whenever you achieve a goal, business or personal, where you feel their guidance or insight was instrumental, send them a meaningful thank you note. Don’t just say thank you, the little extra effort of writing out a card will display your gratitude and acknowledgement of how their help directly impacted your success.

Showing gratitude will show your coach they are spending their free time on someone who values and appreciates their efforts.  

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4. Be Open to Criticism- Feedback is important to improve your enterprise and grow, but it isn’t always nice to hear. If your coach points out a weakness, don’t take it personally- your coach gives you feedback precisely so you can make adjustments, change, and achieve greater success. Mistakes and missteps are inevitable in this process, but your coach is there to help you take them in stride and gain the most by learning from these mistakes. Feedback comes from the ability to see what an entrepreneur may not be able to as someone who is too invested in the enterprise. An experienced professional can see potential challenges on the horizon or they can provide honest criticism based on having already gone through a similar experience. Their experiences have taught them lessons and it is their job to provide you with guidance based on these experiences and lessons. The coaches feedback means you do not have to make the same mistakes they did. At the end of the the day, a coach wants you and your enterprise to be successful - keep this in the back of your mind when listening to their honest feedback.

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5. Be Open to Ideas- Even ideas that conflict with your own.  While trusting your gut is important, sometimes coaches can bring ideas and perspectives that may be different from your own. This may happen because they are looking at the business from an outsider’s perspective or that they come from a different business background.  Thinking outside of the box can generate an innovative solution or idea that can propel your enterprise to the next level. Your coach is there to provide a second opinion and share ideas that you may not have come up with on your own. You don’t have to agree with all their suggestions, but it is great to hear them out. Next time you hear a different or new idea, consider it and then determine if it works with your enterprise.  Ultimately, you know your business best.

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Karla Feijoo is a Ye! Community Marketing & Communications Intern. She holds a Master's Degree from Leiden University in the Netherlands where she studied International Relations.


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