The journey to building a successful and thriving business is difficult. Business coaching is perceived as a roadmap for success and a benefit. It’s an opportunity for you to grow and achieve optimal performance through consistent feedback, counseling and mentoring. Pragmatic leaders, those interested in the practical aspects of execution, understand that the key to their success and their teams is enhancing the capacity, competence, and skills of those they work with.
You’re looking for that right coach to help you achieve your business objectives and professional development goals. The challenge you face is that anyone can call themselves a business coach these days. So how do you know what to expect when you hire one?
Related Article: Coaching for Better Performance
Coauthor of SCALE Jeff Hoffman (co-founder of Priceline.com) put it, “What I get out of having a business coach is that my coach has run and worked with so many companies that they’ve seen every situation. So when I don’t even know how to handle a new situation, my coach says, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ve seen this pattern a dozen times. Here’s how to best handle it.”
- Accountability: An effective coach will recognize that h/she is not an expert on you or your goals, and they don’t have the answers for you. H/she will have questions. You will be required to have to determine the answers that are right for you. Your coach will provide feedback and advice at times. An effective coach will allow you to decide for yourself what to do with that information and then hold you ACCOUNTABLE to your decisions.
- Frequency: You want to meet often enough that you can have effective accountability (monthly is generally not often enough for this), but not too frequently that you don’t have time to get things done.
- Agenda: You’ll decide what issues or goals you would like to address. A coach will keep you on track, and prioritize accordingly. H/she will challenge you, raise certain issues and questions at times, drawing on their experience, but the agenda is ultimately your responsibility.
- Experience: The right coach will have a wealth of experience that you can draw upon. Many business owners don’t have an internal network of advisers to help you avoid a lot of the expensive trial and errors that most business owners make as they build a business. Situations will arise in your business that you will need an experienced sounding board, a wealth of knowledge to provide the clarity necessary moving forward. Your challenges and issues, although new to you should not be to your coach.
Remember, coaching is not a regulated profession. Ask about their credentials, training and, most importantly, their experience.