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5 Secrets to a Successful Business Coaching Relationship

By Michael Zipursky


I want to share with you why every investment that I’ve ever made in our company has ever made into coaching and mentoring has produced a positive ROI.

We wouldn’t be where we are today if we had not invested in working with coaches and mentors. We’ve done it consistently year over year and we work with many different kinds of coaches to support our businesses.

If you look at the top performers in any given industry, whether they’re athletes, artists, in business — they all have coaches.

You have to keep an open mind and you have to understand that it is you that will create your success and no one else — but a good coach will get you there a lot faster.

There is no Olympic athlete who does not have a coach. There is no artist that never had a coach or a mentor or someone to help them to bring out the best inside of them — to unlock their potential, to get a certain result faster than them trying to figure it out themselves.

When I want to share with you is the real secret to why we have always seen a positive ROI working with a coach.

1. It’s On You

We never go into a situation where we work with a coach or a mentor and we think that it’s their job to make us successful.

It’s our job to find the right coach that can help us to get to where we want to be, but it’s not their responsibility to ensure our success.

That’s our responsibility. This is really important because I see a lot of people who will reach out to work with with a coach and they almost expect the coach to make them successful.

They’re looking at putting in the minimal amount of work and they’re expecting the coach to do all the hard work for them. That’s not how it works. If you expect that, you’re setting yourself up for some real disappointment.

2. You Control Your Destiny

It’s fine to work with a coach, but if you’re not prepared to put in the work or to follow the recommendations that you receive, or you delay on taking action on those recommendations, you’re not going to get the results that you’re hoping for.

Understanding that it’s on you and that your actions are ultimately what will create success is critically important.

3. Go Full-on With Implementation

We’re always thinking…

  • Who should we work with?
  • What are specific areas of our business we looking to improve or tighten up?
  • Who’s expertise can benefit from?

We may already know some or might have someone in mind, or we might spend some time searching for that person.

But once we find them, once we say “OK, let’s do this.”

Then we go into action. We don’t just sit back and do the minimum amount required to be successful. We do as much as we possibly can. We go full on.

business coaching

When we start an engagement with our own coach I’ll wake up earlier if I need to. I’ll stay up later when my family is asleep. I’ll put in an extra hour to work if, if that’s what I need to do. I’m fully committed to implementing as much as I possibly can.

I want to take as much action as I can based on the recommendations that the coach that I’m working with is providing us.

Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself: you buy a book or a course or program and you don’t really do that much with it.

You feel excited and empowered that you’ve made the purchase, but then you don’t implement it, and then you look back and kind of regret it.

Or maybe you even have been in a situation where you blamed the person or the creator of the product or program or whatever it is because something didn’t work out well.

If it’s working for some people, then it means that there’s a possibility that can work for you.

The question is how committed are you to ensuring that it’s going to work?

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

My style is to always ask questions. There’s a lot that I don’t know. I think there’s a lot that all of us don’t know.

If you think you know it all, then be prepared for your learning to die. There’s no excitement in that.

When I started working with a new coach, I’m going to ask a lot of questions. If I don’t know something, I’m not going to be shy. I’m not going to keep it all inside hoping that somehow it will resolve itself.

It doesn’t mean that I am asking so many questions that I’m avoiding doing the work. I’ll always do the work. I’ll put in as much as I possibly need to, but as I’m working through the process, if there’s something that I don’t yet understand or something that I’m wondering about, then I’ll ask the coach because that’s why I hired them.

I’ve engaged them to learn from them, to benefit from their knowledge, their expertise, their advice in that specific area — so don’t be shy to ask questions.

5. Finding the Right Cultural Fit

I’ve learned this the hard way over the years.

I would find someone who I thought could be a really great coach. I would reach out to them and some cases I would engage them, but I would then find that there wasn’t the best cultural fit.

Sometimes you’ll be open to that. The way that an expert does something may be different from the way that you do it, but it doesn’t mean that your way is right and their way is wrong.

It simply might mean that you just take and have a different approach, so you always want to keep an open mind.

But what’s been more and more important for us as a company and for the coaching work that we do and the clients that we work with, as well as when we go in and work with our own coaches, we want to ensure that there’s a good cultural fit.

We want to make sure that we feel good with that person, that we feel that they understand us, that we like how they approach things, their way of interacting, their level of attention and responsiveness and intimacy and so forth aligns with what we’re looking for in that specific situation.

It’s really important because if you don’t feel good about the person that you’re working with, you’re probably not going to give it your all. You’re going to hesitate or delay taking action and that’s not what you want.

When you join a coaching program or you start working with a coach, you’ve got to be all in.

taking action

You have to be fully committed. You have to own it yourself. It’s up to you 100 percent to make it successful — and to be successful you have to take action and implement their advice.

You have to keep an open mind and you have to understand that it is you that will create your success and no one else — but a good coach will get you there a lot faster.

They’ll guide you through the process, they’ll be there to support you and answer your questions along the way, but it’s on you to take that action.

That’s why, regardless of what we’ve experienced over the years, 100 percent of the time we’ve seen a positive result of a positive return on our investment.

We’ve always made more and in some cases significantly more than what we’ve invested into that program or into that coach.

Interesting in working with a coach to help grow your consulting business? Check out our exclusive coaching for consultants program. 

2 thoughts on “5 Secrets to a Successful Business Coaching Relationship

  1. I do like it when you pointed out that executive coaching will only be successful if the person is willing to do their part and take action on the recommendations. My friend needs to hear about this since I know him to be the passive-aggressive type. He plans on hiring an executive coach soon, so I will see to it that I manage his expectations by telling him to be obedient. Thanks!

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