There are lots of “coaches” out there…almost as many as there are “Consultants”. How do you tell one from the next? How do you decide if you can benefit from working with a coach? Gozde Kar from Performance1 has some advice:
What is Executive Coaching and Do You Need It?
As a small business owner, you’re under a lot of pressure and you have high expectations for yourself—so you need a way to express your vulnerability and doubt while maintaining authority. An executive coach isn’t just there to listen to you (although they’re great at it), but to clarify your thoughts by reflecting them back to you. Here are some other aspects of coaching:
- Industry expertise: A professional coach from an accredited program has worked in the field in which they’re coaching, so they’re the voice of experience.
- Analysis of strengths and weaknesses: Coaches use both formal and informal tools to pinpoint areas of strength and vulnerability.
- Specific goal- and schedule-setting: Coaching is much more effective when you and your coach work together to draft a schedule regarding goals, meeting frequency and the length of the engagement.
- Honesty: A good executive coach will point out your behavioral and language inconsistencies in a clear way. They don’t have to be rude about it, but sugarcoating everything takes away your opportunity to grow and develop.
- Suggesting an alternate point of view: When you’re seeing a business situation in a negative light, your coach can reframe it in a better way.
- Practice exercises: Each coaching session will focus on how your behaviour can be encouraged, minimized or adapted in order to meet your goals. Between sessions, your coach will give assignments to reinforce what you’ve learned.
- Attention to you AND your business: You’re a business owner, but you’re also a human being—so your coping skills, doubts and work/life balance are all part of the strategy.
- Help so you can make the necessary changes: Here, your coach’s help can take the form of either accountability checks or encouragement. You’ll progress toward your goals while keeping up with current opportunities and challenges.
Like many small business owners, you’re probably skeptical about what executive coaching can do for you. When your behaviors or doubts are affecting how you manage or operate your business, your coach can step in and help.
Does Executive Coaching Work?
Most research that’s been done on the efficacy of coaching has been based on larger businesses; it can offer a return of anywhere from seven to 49 times your initial investment. However, you should keep in mind that at your results will depend on the length of your coaching agreement and your goals.
Professional athletes have coaches to help them become more proficient, and there’s no denying that coaching works. As a small business owner, you can realize the same benefits. Hiring a coach will help you put your business in the best possible position to increase your sales and client base.
Executive coaching starts with you, and it’s a reflection of your team’s values and behavior patterns. Proper coaching will help you find new ways to bring your entire staff together, and it will teach them how to work as a cohesive unit.
Written by Gozde Kar for Performance1: Business Leaders in Coaching