Getting the Best from your Coach
As you prepare to achieve your professional and career goals with a coach/mentor, here are six tips for you as a coachee to get the most out of your new coaching relationship:
1. Be committed:
First and foremost, realize that this relationship requires active participation by both the coach and the coachee. To be a good coachee, you need to be a good listener and you need to have an open and receptive mind. You might like to make notes about insights gained during or after your session, for future reference, so be prepared to do so. Be responsive to questions and allow yourself time to reflect and respond. Think Big…. Coaching can transform your life! Be ready to accept and acknowledge what you learn and move ahead in your life, based on your learnings.
2. Be open and honest:
It would be a good idea to share with your coach/mentor what goals you would like them to help you accomplish. Write down your objectives and share them. Review your goals together from time to time to make sure you’re both getting what you expected out of the relationship. A good coach/ mentor will enable you to target weaknesses, build on leadership skills and help to identify and formulate your career plan and goals.
3. Be willing to work hard:
Expect your coach to be challenging and also expect new thinking to emerge for you and expect new energy to come to you with each of your sessions and meetings. Practice the skills that you learn, note down the insights that you get and be prepared and show up for sessions as well as for your work and your life, full of positive intent and commitment. It’s important to have an open mind to accepting, non-judgmental feedback, digesting and applying what you have learned. Don’t be defensive but instead understand more about yourself from your reflections and deep thinking. As Plutarch puts it… “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled” and let the coaching conversation kindle newer experiences for you.
4. Be patient but active:
While you should ideally remain open to your mentor’s ideas, don’t be afraid to ask and discuss. If you’re not sold on to something, ask a curious question to have a healthy debate with your coach/ mentor and make sure you are respectful and can defend your ideas. To be sure your coach will encourage you to open up about your ambitions and challenges that you foresee.
5. Be open to explore:
Exploring new ways of thinking about situations or finding new routes to reach your goals, now be ready to find new insights and be ready to being wrong!
6. Be clear:
Be clear about how you will be communicating. Figure out what works best for the both of you. How frequently will you meet? When and where? Find out if your coach/mentor is open to communication outside of scheduled meetings? Ask your mentor how long it might take them to respond to your email or phone inquiries. Respect the time of your coach/mentor, and don’t cancel meetings without providing an explanation for the cancellation and don’t develop the habit of constantly calling up to talk. You and your coach/mentor can benefit from a fulfilling and engaging relationship that may last for years to come. Eventually when you have achieved your career goals you will also be ready to coach/mentor someone yourself and carry the benefits forward.