Being a business owner can be lonely at times. Who do you talk to when you are not sure of what you need to do next? If you have staff to look after it’s important you behave as a leader and your workforce will want to see you as one – and this is where a good business coach can come in.
In this great INSIGHT post Caroline Rust, Managing Director of Workshops Work shares her hints and tips on business coaching and gives her views on why a business coach really is worth it.
What is coaching?
In its broadest sense, business coaching is about enabling individuals to achieve their potential and make changes through a process of enquiry, reflection and action.
A coach will encourage others to explore problems and opportunities from a wide range of perspectives before encouraging you to choose and commit to a goal or course of action. Coaching styles range from forms which may be almost passive in their delivery to more provocative and directive approaches.
Is a Business Coach worth it?
A key to being successful in business is asking the question, ‘what is the return on my investment?’ Whether that’s time or money, business coaching is both. Business owners need to be crystal clear about what they hope the coaching will help them achieve.
Business coaches can help support growth and change, by helping business owners to think through their options. The truth is that return on any sort of investment is not always easy to express directly in monetary terms. An effective business coach will recognise the need to demonstrate value and relevant business objectives should be identified at the start of the coaching process.
So why hire a coach?
There are many ways that a coach can help to support businesses. On a personal level business owners may need additional skills outside of their area of knowledge to help grow their business. A coach can help the business owner identify their own skills and knowledge gaps, and that of their workforce.
A good coach should provide a fresh pair of eyes. It’s not always easy to see what needs changing and using a coaching service for a short period of time can provide the nudge that many businesses need to get on track or seek out new opportunities. The right coach for you will help you spot what is working and what isn’t. In short a coach can help business owners see things from a fresh perspective (they just need to be willing and open to take part in the process).
A coach will provide a very welcome and safe sounding board for you to explore possibilities without having to commit to action before you are sure it’s a direction you want to travel in.
Typical coaching topics
The following list is not exhaustive and in general business owners may find benefit in coaching by exploring:
- New skills and knowledge
- People management issues
- Ways to grow business
- Ideas that increase profits
- Personal development and work/life issues
- Or to act as a confidential sounding board
How to choose a coach
Recommendation is best and it’s crucial that you trust and feel at ease with your Coach. However the truth is we don’t always get on with everyone we meet, so you may need to search before you find someone who works for you.
Most Coaches are willing to meet up for an informal interview to establish fit before being engaged, so don’t be shy of asking to meet for an non-obligation cappuccino! An effective coach will always have your best interests at heart and should be looking for new ways to stretch you.
As such Coaches will ask lots of questions, after all that their job, but it’s also your time to think and talk about your issues. Beware of anyone who spends most of the time talking about their experiences and themselves!
Professional Coaches work hard to understand firstly what it is their services are required and why. Best practice expects that they provide a ‘terms of engagement’ contract or document, if they avoid this, then avoid them!
For more information about coaching go to Workshops Work or email firstname.lastname@example.org