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Emerging Lane | Success Culture Is Buildable

By Kathie Stamps

Colene Elridge is a certified mediator and better known  by her clients as Coach Colene.
Colene Elridge is a certified mediator and better known
by her clients as Coach Colene.

Who brings out the best in you? If you’re an actor, it is a director and for musicians, a producer. Athletes rely on a coach. Individuals and corporations who are ready to up their game also turn to a coach.

Colene Elridge, known as Coach Colene, is the owner of Be More Consulting. A certified mediator, Elridge had eight years experience facilitating meetings when she started her company in 2014 to help people “realize their full potential through creating experiences that engage, inspire and produce results,” she said.

Based in Georgetown, Ky., Elridge meets with nonprofit and for-profit clients around the United States and the world in person or online.

“I love to work with organizations who are ready to see next-level results and have the courage to try something new,” she said. “We look at everything from hiring processes to employee engagement, to creating cultures of inclusion, and everything in between.”

Employee engagement improves a company’s bottom line, because employees who feel valued, respected and supported are more productive. With her HR background, she offers consulting on policies and procedures and how to keep great talent in-house.

“I’ve done organizational surveys that can correlate organizational inclusion with turnover, employee happiness with the bottom line, and other metrics that can improve productivity and performance,” Elridge said. “Internal PR can save you a lot of money.”

Before stepping into human resources, Elridge was Transylvania University’s first anthropology major in 2005.

“I love anthropology,” she said. “I was studying cultures, and I could see how it applied in so many other ways. I think that’s how I got really interested in workplace cultures.”

She earned an MBA with an emphasis in HR from Sullivan University and worked for the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s training and development branch, then moved to the state’s EEO and Diversity Office.

Elridge is comfortable in a one-on-one setting or in front of a crowd of hundreds or thousands, but her work is much more than good conversation skills.

“Coaching is not just talking to people,” she said. “If you just think it’s talking to people, you’re probably not going to have as successful a business.”

Still, she encourages young professionals to go into coaching if they are drawn to it.

“It’s a great time to start a service organization,” she said. “People
will pay anything to make their lives easier or improve their quality of life. I think now is a great time to be in the service industry, from cleaning services to training and everywhere in between. The key is how you distinguish yourself.”

Elridge recommends networking as a major part of growing a new service oriented business.

“Make sure you’re really good at building relationships. Most of my business has been built on the relationships I’ve built, and some by marketing efforts,” she said. “If you can grow your business while working your day job, that’s even better.”

This spring, Elridge is launching a new program for women’s leadership called EmpowHer.

“I’ve coached so many amazing women who literally could not see their own potential,” she said. “There is so much research that supports that when women are in leadership, organizations thrive. It’s not a lack of competence that stops women, it’s a lack of confidence. EmpowHer creates a supportive environment for women to develop practical, hands-on leadership skills, and create the mindset of a leader.”

For more information, visit coachcolene.com.