Coaching and mentoring can have a huge impact on how fast you’re able to achieve your business goals and achieve success. In fact, virtually every successful person I know makes use of coaching in some aspect. My own coaches and mentors have helped me to gain clarity, become more productive, market my business better so I could get more clients, improve on projects and ideas, and so much more.

Coaching just works. But it works best when you know how to get the most out of it. So here are five ways to get more out of your coaching or mentoring sessions:

1. Choose Your Coaching Partner Wisely.

It helps if you start out right and there’s no better way to start than by choosing your coach or mentor wisely. Make a list of what you want a coach to help you with. What are the most important goals for your business? Also think about how you want someone to help you. Are you looking for someone to help you find the answers within (a coach) or are you looking for someone who can tell you what the answers are (a consultant) or both (mentor)?

When you search for your coach, consultant, or mentor, make sure you find someone who’s a good fit for your goals, how you want them to help you, and your personalities. Have a conversation with your potential partner in success (be wary of anyone who won’t have an initial conversation with you without charging you!) and pay attention to how that conversation goes. Ask questions about how they work with their clients. Do they have a system? What techniques or methods do they use to get the best out of you? Have they had success in the areas you need help with the most? While you may not need someone who has an advanced degree or certification, you shouldn’t work with someone who can’t answer these basic questions.

2. Know Your Outcomes.

Before you start working with a coach, consultant, or mentor, know what your outcomes are. Is your goal to get clarity? To become more productive? To figure out what’s holding you back? To get more clients? To learn strategies for marketing your business more effectively?

What are your goals and how will you know when you reach them? Knowing your outcomes will help you to set an agenda for every session so you make the most of your time.

3. Design the Relationship.

The relationship with your coach or mentor is a special one that you should design together to be the most effective for you. As you get to know your coach and how he or she works, don’t be afraid to speak up and say what you need. Your coach needs to know if there’s something you don’t understand or if you need something different from her.

4. Keep Your “Kitchen” Clean.

Ever hear the phrase, “too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth?” Well, if you’ve got too many people giving you advice, you’ll spoil the direction of your business. I’m a firm believer in keeping your “kitchen” clean—just keep one cook in your kitchen at a time and you’ll have a lot more clarity about what you’re supposed to be doing.

5. Respect the Space

When you meet with your coach or mentor, respect the coaching/mentoring environment. Give each session your full attention and energy so that you can get the most out of every minute. I ask all of my clients to make sure they’re in a quiet place where they can really focus on our work together so that we can be super-productive and make progress toward their goals.

Coaching, consulting, and mentoring can make a big difference in your business. Working with someone who can hold you accountable, help you gain clarity, improve your workflow, teach you new strategies, and help you achieve your business goals means you can get where you want to go faster and easier. But please, make the most of each session so that you and your coach can be more successful.