Tips To Choose the Right Coach for your Business Success
In my previous post, Is executive coaching an answer to take your startup to the next level?, I shared my views on how a coach can help you stay focused and achieve your goals. This post shares tips on how you can go about selecting the right coach for your business.
Like most business owners, you start a business to achieve a personal goal or financial freedom or freedom to control your time. Once on that path, you realise there is something bigger at play – something that is beyond your personal success.
Along the journey, you realize you need someone who can help you identify your blind spots, stay focused on accomplishing your goals and tasks, keep you on track, and help you develop new competence. Yes, you can very well do this on your own, but working with a coach just makes things move more quickly. The challenges and opportunities your business faces is different, and the path to success is different for every individual or business, so the support you need from a coach has to fit in with what you need and want.
Although business/executive coaching has been in existence since the early 90’s, the services were availed by large enterprises and Fortune 500 companies. As a profession, coaching is still in its infancy. This makes it more taxing to find a suitable fit when looking to engage a coach or business mentor. This is where choosing the right business coach becomes critical, as a business owner.
Understand Coaching Relationship
It’s essential that you have a basic understanding of how a coaching relationship works.
Coaching is a conversation, a dialogue between a coach and a coachee (i.e. you). Through discussions, suggestions, brainstorming and refection, the coach helps you give a fresh look at an issue and find alternative solutions and eventually let you decide what’s best.
Coaches are trained to listen, to observe, and to customize their approach to meet your needs. A skilled coach also knows when you get off track and will jump in to provide the direction.
Through coaching, you will learn how to:
• Focus better
• Gain greater clarity and balance priorities
• Better understand strengths
• Communicate better
• Find ways to work around your weakness
• Identify new competencies needed and what resources or actions are needed in order to achieve this
• Renewed commitment and confidence
• Understand the blind spots and find ways to deal with it
There are numerous types of coaching to choose from
Business coaching – It focuses on the matters of running a business. It includes coaching individual executives to teams, to coaching owners of businesses. The coach helps the executives to improve, promote, and grow the business. You may also open to explore that your business many need multiple coaches because of your unique needs and specialised nature of your industry.
Executive coaching – This is a one-to-one collaborative relationship only with one/multiple individual(s). The intent is to reduce stress and bring sustained behavioural change and improve your performance and personal effectiveness.
Life coaching – Focuses on developing a better sense of self and stimulating life-transforming experiences. These include: uncovering what’s blocking you from achieving your goals and learning to let go of old fears and doubts, creating personal joy and freedom.
Once you can pick the best type of coaching for you, it would be easier to select the coach with the relevant experience, education and skills. But beware: There are few without formal training or backgrounds who call themselves coaches.
How to Choose a Good Business/Executive Coach
To assist in your pursuit to identify the best fit for you, here are few tips to get you started:
Speak With the Coach
A one-to-one conversation will help you understand if they have been in your shoes and can speak your language. The discussion will also give you the comfort that he/she has the knowledge and experience that makes you feel confident that they can help.
Ask the coach to explain how they conduct coaching sessions and what sort of availability they have, to see if it meets with your expectations.
A coach knows they do play a role in pointing out the opportunities and help in sort out the various alternatives, before taking the strategic decision and are not wholly responsible for the results a client achieves. The bottom line is that a coach should be able to state the results of how they helped clients “get there” achieve their goals.
Experience Them for Yourself
Many coaches, offer a free initial consultation or coaching session. This helps in getting to know one another and see if there is a good fit.
During the session, check if the coach
a) Asks you a lot of questions, which helps you understand yourself or triggers your thought and gives you those “a-ha”moments of insights.
b) Challenges you and makes you accountable for getting things done? Or the coach lets you get away without committing?
Enquire into Them
The way you find out if a particular coach measures up, is to start by finding out what other people are saying about them. Also investigate if the coach has a wide breadth of experience, to handle your unique situation.
• Check out if the coach speaks, writes and teaches on business topics: strategic planning, (marketing both traditional and digital marketing), customer service etc.?
• Is the coach learning new business and coaching skills on a regular basis?
• Search online to see if they’ve been quoted or published in magazines, newspapers, books or journals
• Look for testimonials on their website or in any marketing materials they provide. If they don’t have a website, ask them to give you references and find out what they have to say about the coach, would they hire his/her services in the future
• Find out if the coach can share any case studies based on the work with any client (please note the client-coach relationship may often prevent them from sharing this).
• Look also for affiliations, association memberships and certificates they have.
Choosing Your Coach
It is essential to have a coach with whom you have a good rapport and whom you can trust. Once you are though with your research, one-on-one conversation, it’s time for you to filter those who are not meeting your criteria and arrive at the shortlist.
When you select the right coach for you and your business you are bound to get results. It’s important you are clear about: What is the change you want to achieve and what is the value of this change to your business and the coachee?
So, ascertain what a fruitful engagement looks like, and outline your plan of action and act on it. Without that, it’s all just wishful thinking.
Innovatus Marketers Touchpoint LLP is a customer experience, marketing, service design, design thinking and business innovation consulting firm, based in India. We offer go-to-market and digital strategy consulting and help our clients rethink and redesign customer and employee value in the digital era. We offer design thinking workshops and consulting, tailored to enable, accelarete or transform your business. We are laser-focused on the problem at hand and your opportunity space, and optimize process to make design thinking and service design principles accessible to your employees who’ve never done it before or stuck-up, and provide “just adequate” theory to help you get moving and achieve outcomes.
You may reach out to Vidya Priya Rao @ +918080015500 or email @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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