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The Power of Coaching Relationships in Learning and Life

by Story2 Guest Author, on Jun 1, 2016 5:00:00 AM

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I can’t say I was surprised. I read a story recently about The Grant Study -- a research project lasting more than 70 years, aiming to understand the classic question, “What makes us happy?” The study looked at every conceivable contributor to happiness and found that the “power of relationships” played an indispensible role.

Relationships. How we treat each other. Our connections with one another. The ways we interact. How we support and care for one another. This is the key to happiness?

Like I said: I can’t say I’m surprised.

Relationships matter in school. Relationships matter at home. Relationships matter in sports. Relationships matter in college success.

Bottom line: relationships are critical. That’s why we put relationships front and center, as coaches work with students one-on-one, helping them advance in the direction of their dreams.

The best coaches come from all backgrounds -- from urban to suburban to rural, from the Ivy League to small liberal arts colleges to large public institutions, from the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between. Such a rich pool of experiences enables coaches to connect with students on multiple levels, helping to build trust, as they offer insights and guidance to students looking to transition to the next phase of their lives.

Students come to Story2 for different reasons. Some seek guidance and technical support for their college application essays. Others are looking for help to develop a strategy to approach the college admission process. And still others don’t know where to begin.

No matter the student, we begin our work by getting to know the student -- their practical goals, perceived strengths and concerns, interests, quirks and tendencies, aspirations, and more. It’s important for the ultimate success of the student to ensure that we all start from the same place, with the same expectations, working together toward the same objectives.

Across all contexts, quality relationships don’t always form organically, though. In fact, they often take intentional work and attention.

Here are three ways students can build strong relationships with the coaches, mentors, and counselors helping them on their way:

  • Take initiative. The people helping you are likely to follow your lead. If you’re serious about your stuff, then they’re more likely to invest their maximum time, energy, and effort on your behalf.
  • Ask questions. If you want help, ask for it. Ask follow up questions. Ask clarifying questions. Ask “stupid” questions. Your questions help the person helping you help you more effectively. Ask ‘em.
  • Be receptive to feedback. You might not agree with everything you hear, but you’d be wise to figure out where it’s coming from and how you can incorporate it. Listening between the lines also reveals new opportunities for questions, clarification, and growth.

Relationships are too important in all domains of life to let them get away from us. Do you know where yours are heading?

Begin your relationship with a coach today with Written Feedback and Essay Coaching. Story2 coaches are here to support you in your journey to college and life success.

Michael Crawford is a Learning, Innovation, and Social Impact Strategist. He's also a PhD Candidate in educational psychology, specializing in adolescent development and non-formal learning environments.