Why Would I Hire A Business Coach?
If you’ve ever considered hiring a business coach, or know someone who has, you may have had a few of these thoughts swirl through your head.
No one knows my business as well as me, so how can anyone else give me advice on it?
If I pay someone, they better have all the answers and fix things fast!
What if they uncover things I don’t want to see?
My business/company/team are very important to me, can I trust an “outsider?”
These questions and statements are common and very normal anytime you’re thinking about going outside your comfort zone, which is what considering hiring a coach is. The questions and doubts start flying. As a business coach, I thought I’d share a few things in response to those thoughts, and a few examples of what a coach is NOT.
THE ANSWER MAN
A good coach does not provide the answers. To the contrary, they help you come up with them. A good coach will ask questions until a clear path is seen. They provide the feedback and “echo” to the client, which allows them to see things more clearly. How often do you think something sounds good, then say it out loud, then think differently of the original thought? Having a person available to you, who is skilled at listening, cautious with feedback, knowledgeable about how businesses operate, and a genuine desire to make a difference for you and your company is invaluable.
AN EXPERT ON YOUR INDUSTRY
Though the person you hire might be well-steeped in your industry, funny enough, a lack of direct knowledge about your industry can actually be a plus. Just the process of a client explaining their business to a coach can unearth many hidden issues and opportunities that would have been otherwise missed. If there is a lack of full understanding, it is less likely that preconceived notions and ideas will be interjected that have little to do with the client’s reality and more to do with the coach’s perceptions from history. The question, “Why do you do “x” in that way?” may be lost as the coach plows ahead with their own agenda.
Friends have a weakness many times. They don’t want to hurt each other’s feelings and they want to protect each other from negative experiences. In a coaching relationship, those negative experiences need to be had in order to move forward. Have you ever heard the old adage, “you must first admit there’s a problem?” A coach can become a confidante, but the foundation of the interaction is based on the willingness to give feedback. Friendships, many times, are not. A good coach puts the welfare of the organization first, the friendship second. This is probably one of the hardest lines to walk. In order to progress, the client has to have a hard conversation at times and the coach shines a light on topics that don’t want to be seen.
A business coach can be an amazing asset to a company in order to push a group off of a plateau and provide the lift needed to fly again. However, choosing the right person for the job is more than just a web search. For it to work, your coach will need to be privy to nearly every piece of information about your operation. Your greatest triumphs and strengths, coupled with your darkest fears and weaknesses all need to be brought to the surface to effectively create a plan for success. Where do you want to go? What heights could your company reach? What is in your way? All of these are the questions you and a coach should be answering. You don’t have to bear the entire burden. Get some help.