“The coach does not have to play the sport as well as you do” said Venture Capitalist John Doerr to ex CEO of Google, Eric Schmit, when he advised the multinational technology company’s leader to hire one. In Schmidt’s words, this advice was the best advice he ever received. When we think of the top players in today’s market one can only connect business success to the coach hired whether it is Steve Jobs (Apple), Marc Benioff (Salesforce), or Roger Enrico (PepsiCo). The verdict is in: A Business Coach comes in to improve business results and boost growth.
With ever-changing market conditions, executives, entrepreneurs, and business owners are on the lookout for opportunities while staying focused on their desired vision. When Business Coaches step in, they help increase revenue growth, create effective work cultures and performance, and upskill leaders to become adept at handling challenges as they come. With this kind of value mentioned, it is natural for misconceptions to be made about what this professional really does. Let’s explore common assumptions and clear them with common expectations when hiring and working with a Business Coach.
It’s a tendency for some executives to box Business Coaching under “training”. And because those companies set budgets for training, the mindset here becomes “training spend” which is fueled by caution. While caution might deem helpful when mitigating risk, it does not enable desired growth especially when it is the primary vehicle for deciding on the necessary means for attaining success. This mindset is called playing not to lose.
Essentially, Executives do not “buy coaching” when hiring a Business Coach; they’re buying results. Working with the right Business Coach is a bold and indispensable investment in your liquid workforce, company, and yourself. For a higher return on your investment, a different mindset is required: playing to win; that is, a potential unleashing, identity evolving, and outcome creating attitude. This mindset puts you in the co-pilot seat of this investment.
Seat yourself in the position of an investor when hiring a Business Coach to increase your chances of success of hiring and utilizing one.
Because the word “Business” sits right next to “Coach”, action is associated with the service provider. While the assumption is not far from the reality, it is the approach that clears this misconception. Despite the uncertainties companies face every day, business and organizational success does not bank on knowing the way at all times. It’s about being masterful in navigating through it.
A skilled Business Coach creates clarity amidst the noise and is capable of speaking and understanding the business language that supports the growth of the company. A professional who advises or implements the advice for the business is a Business Consultant.
|Business Consultant – Does it for you||Business Coach – Does it with you|
|Finds solutions by telling||Find solutions by asking|
|Uses expertise for a specific issue or project||Turns you into a well-rounded & great leader|
|Is focused on a specific project at hand||Holds you accountable to stay focused on projects|
|“Rolls own sleeves up”||Show you how to “roll your own sleeves up”|
|Provides diagnosis and resolution||Provides insight, guidance, planning, and strategy|
|Likely to be short term focused||Likely to be long term focused|
|Tells you what to do so that you see||Helps you intelligently look and see|
Each profession has its time and need. The way I see it, the merit of hiring a Coach will be to guide long term change and transformation that builds and empowers the necessary capabilities to lead the company to the future. And this is why mindset, skillset, implementation, and growth are the key ingredients of successful coaching.
Bravo to the ones who desire results especially from working with a Business Coach. And let’s remember that the aim is not to get a fix done because problems occur all the time when running a business. This approach puts the executive in a risky position where the leverage is on short term wins.
For true change to take shape within a company, a different attitude is required: be an effective leader. This is the kind of leadership that makes the executive the protagonist of his/her desired outcomes. It is a proactive involvement in a collaborative partnership that brings out their best and maintains an unparalleled focus which positively impacts business results, empowers people, and boosts the creativity of talent when handling tasks and projects.
In today’s overly saturated market of Coaches, it can be a challenge for Executives and Business Owners to find a true Business Coach. Many in the market will offer a variety of rates and approaches, but seldom will they offer what clients are looking for. Here are 7 indicators that you’re about to hire or work with an experienced and skilled Business Coach. They will:
You can’t coach what you can’t measure. And because measurables are the oxygen to growth (especially in business), having a coaching process is necessary when Business Coaches implement a program with the client. The coaching process becomes the pace at which the client follows. Within this arena, the client is free to dictate the speed at which they take action on the insights and learning throughout the program.
Without a coaching process, it is easy for a Business Coach to lose grip on the areas of focus agreed between them and the participants in the program. In other words, it is unacceptable for said coach to “wing it” completely. If this happens, clients will express some of the following dissatisfactory statements:
The above statements might indicate the client is not seeing results.
Results take shape when the client sees a process to follow, notes progress in desired areas of growth, autonomy in speed of execution of learning, and momentum of taking action towards their goal(s). These are the benefits of having a coaching process in place.
A note on “certified coaches”: Expect to find many in the market. In fact, it is best practice to work with a credentialed Business Coach. Just remember that certification is not about holding a piece of paper with a stamp on it; it’s a way for the certifying institute to entrust the coach with utilizing their coaching modality professionally and follow a code of ethics. This is a green flag when hiring a coach.
While non-certified coaches bank on creating results, they do not abide by an international code of ethics. Much like a doctor would have to be part of a board, certified coaches get credentialed from world class institutes. It is alarming how many non-credentialed coaches criticize and reject certification with the justification that it’s about results rather than holding a piece of paper. This is a red flag. If a professional rejects the idea of mastery and ethics, what does that say about their style of work and the strategic partnership to experience with them?
A green flag in hiring a Business Coach, however, is their ability to embody world class professionalism while creating results for their clients. In other words, they respect time and value the investment you’re making. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) – the likes of it – is a great place to start searching from.
The coach-client relationship is the quintessential pillar that precedes the coaching itself. It is a unique dynamic where both parties serve a common direction, the client’s results. If this relationship is on shaky or unclear grounds, no matter what tools and techniques are used the coaching won’t be effective. Dr. Stephen Covey calls this Interdependence. The ICF calls this Contracting for Success.
Without this step, the need for and trust in hiring the Business Coach erodes and the investment fails to produce the desired results. A highly qualified and skilled coach takes the time to design this partnership from the beginning and is thorough about it. A direct result from this step is the awareness of evolving client needs throughout the coaching program duration. With this awareness, the parties involved increase their level of proactive engagement, lean in better into one another, and collaboratively hit the goals agreed on while transforming as people in the process.
While a psychotherapist helps clients talk about emotional problems, a Business Coach may help evoke emotion in service of improving the client’s well-being or psychology around how they handle their challenges or navigate towards their business, professional, and even personal goals.
At times it may seem strange to bring up emotions in a business context, yet it is wise to consider that behavior is driven by thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings are driven by values. And values are driven by needs and stories. This is some executives are exceptionally great at succeeding even during bad times, and others just can’t handle it. This is matter of mindset.
Business Coaches tap into your psychology and recognize the importance of creating tailored a transformational journey for their clients so that the business grows with the person, not without them.
Expect your coach to evoke growth and transformation by utilizing powerful questions. Even though your sessions seem like an environment that’s designed to bring you more answers, a real Business Coach helps you leave with more questions. Asking better questions stimulates the mind positively. It helps the person expand their thinking outside of the usual thought process. This by itself initiatives an upgrade in one’s internal operating system.
At times clients hiring Business Coaches expect them to be experts in their own line of business. It’s an indirect way of saying “I want my Business Coach to specialize in fin-tech”. The assumption here is that if the coach doesn’t know the industry, then they won’t be of added value. But because the coach works from an objective standpoint, that is not necessary. Yes, the coach could have experience in working with a certain industry, but their role is not that of a specialist. Unlike a consultant, the Business Coach’s expertise is in getting you to know how to better think about your business and what to do about it, not what to think about or what to do.
The best thing to do here is to keep improving your expertise in your business while your Business Coach continues to challenge and upgrade your mindset through their questions. It’s a thought-provoking dialogue between both of you that aims to inspire you to become the best version of yourself as you implement strategies of growing the company in whatever capacity agreed upon.
As your company grows, the tendency to stay on top things turns into tracking (or even worrying!) about the tiniest of details. As an executive, entrepreneur, or business owner your biggest asset is your time. The more time you spend on details, the less leverage you have on your business.
Your Business Coach steers your focus on what’s most important for the business. It is a strategic view that provides a clearer perspective on what your company needs to take the next step in its growth or scalability. We call this working ON the business. This is the very mindset that will reduce stress, burnout, and frustration from not creating long term success.
Today’s market is volatile and requires companies to make the best use of their investment. It’s why I bring a blend of coaching and consulting into what I do.
At the heart of what I do, I am a coach. I help optimize people in businesses and enhance the way they lead the company to the future. Founders, Business Owners, Executives, and Entrepreneurs have found this approach to simply figure out how they get in the way of the company’s success and in turn bring out their best throughout the process.
Wearing a consultant hate in the process allows me to assess, strategize, and at times critique implementation of strategies as we work on your goals. Meaning, I walk you through developing and deploying the strategic plans you need to get growth going again or to better levels.
Ready to take your company to the next level? Click here.
Get the 5 steps on how to create meaningful & impactful relationships in business and life that will accelerate your success!