6 Positive Ways To End A Coaching Relationship with Kayleigh Alexandra
Nothing lasts forever, and every coaching relationship must one day reach its conclusion.
Maybe it was never the right fit and one or both of the parties involved want a change, or the original goals have been achieved, or it’s still working well but circumstances mean that it can no longer be maintained — whatever the reason, the time arrives to part ways.
As a coach, it’s extremely important that you make sure that the ending to each of your coaching relationships is as graceful and positive as possible. You may want to work with them again down the line or benefit from their recommendation, and there’s a good chance you’ll consider them a friend that you don’t want to lose.
To help you bring things to an end as productively as possible, here are 6 positive ways to end a coaching relationship:
Offer a meaningful parting gift
Throughout your time spent coaching someone, you’ll probably have learned a lot about them — how they think, what they enjoy about life, and where they see their future going. Draw from that knowledge to get them a small but significant gift of some kind. It doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated, it’s just about commemorating the time spent working together and leaving things in a friendly position. You could send cookies as a gift or even gift them a free session with a fellow coach, perhaps in a different discipline to help them expand their horizons.
Good gift ideas:
- Books that will help them on their journey
- Podcasts or subscriptions
- Any products you have mentioned as part of your coaching
- An experience that they will find fulfilling
- Even a powerful introduction may count as a gift…
Recap the progress you’ve made
When you’re making progress throughout your time coaching someone, the improvements will be gradual, and they might not ever really notice how far they’ve come. By looking back at how things were when you first started working together, you’ll be able to establish a direct comparison that will show your client exactly how much progress they’ve made, giving them further confidence that they can thrive without your assistance. A look back is a powerful reminder of progress and will keep the focus on the positive impact you have made in their lives.
Make a clean break
If you’re working with someone who really wants to keep working with you, it can be really tempting to take half-measures when ending the arrangement — you might feel bad and offer to continue coaching them on a reduced schedule. This isn’t good for anyone. While it might be difficult, it’s better to clearly and conclusively end things — you’ll feel better about it, and your client will eventually appreciate that you were looking out for their interests as well.
Plan to reconvene later
That you want to end a coaching relationship doesn’t mean that you never want to see the person again, and if they’re very reliant upon you, it can help to make a plan to catch up with them after some time in a friendly capacity. Knowing that they’ll be able to talk to you at least one more time, they’ll be able to focus on moving ahead until then, making as much progress as possible so they can prove that they’ve learned from your teachings.
Recommend a replacement
Instead of leaving a client in the lurch when you end the professional relationship, you can line up a viable replacement. Maybe you know a coach who’d be ideal, or you can simply do some research and pass on some contact details for prospective coaches. Knowing that they’ll be able to find someone new to help them will likely make your client much more positive. If you pick the pairings really well, this can also be a strong positive for networking by establishing you as someone willing to support other coaches in your wider community.
Tell them they’re ready to go it alone
You may not need to recommend a replacement, because your client might be ready to continue without any further assistance, even if they don’t realize it. If you’re sure that they’re going to be fine without any support, let them know. You might want to suggest some resources to follow (everyone needs inspiration — I follow uplifting blogs from Lori Deschene and Stephan Spencer, for instance), but otherwise, explain to them that they’re ready to fly solo. They’ll feel ready to take on the world, and you’ll be able to continue to your next project with zero doubts that you left them in a strong position.
Just because a coaching relationship has to come to an end doesn’t mean that you need to part ways on bad terms.
Even if the relationship never really worked you can still approach the conclusion in a way that helps you both carry on positively — try one or all of these 6 tips and see how you get on.
About Kayleigh Alexandra
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to following and supporting the work of entrepreneurs and self-starters everywhere. Head to the site for the latest industry news, and follow along with all the updates on Twitter @getmicrostarted.