In my last Inc column, I offered seven credentials that every executive coach should have to help you find the right coach for you. Once you have chosen the right coach, you have another step to take, which is thinking about what will make you the best "coachee." How do you make the most out of a coaching experience?

There are many positive outcomes that can come from coaching, like setting concrete goals and having a step-by-step path to achieving them in a realistic timeline, finding deeper fulfillment in what you do, and being more productive without sacrificing your personal life.

But achieving those outcomes depend on your ability to maximize the experience. Here are three priorities for coaching that drive an optimal coaching experiences:


  • Clarity: As you work with your coach, make it a priority to drive toward clarity. Get as clear as possible on your goals, outcomes and objectives. Doing this step will produce long term benefits beyond the coaching engagement.
  • Focus: Once you're clear on your goals and outcomes, use coaching to make them a focus. It's easy to drift into deep and meaningful conversation with your coach, but let your coach guide you and get you back on track to the results you want to achieve. A great coach will help you prioritize what's essential.
  • Ownership: Being successful when it comes to the coaching process is about you owning the process. Commit to the idea that it's an investment in time. Read what your coach recommends. Reflect on the conversations. Take action to move yourself forward.


Whether you're engaging in a coaching session for one month, one year or even multiple years, you can get the most out of your experience by being clear about your goals, focusing on the essentials steps on achieving them, and putting in the effort to extend your education beyond what's required. An ideal executive coach can help you do all of those things and contribute to your overall success and fulfillment.