How to drive the maximum benefits from coaching
Business coaching is on the increase, as more and more small business owners experience real benefits for both their business and themselves through working with a coach.
In a survey* of 305 small business owners, they said the most significant benefits were;
- Accountability – having someone to hold them accountable for getting things done
- Growth/Profitability – seeing a return on their investment by increasing revenue and/or reducing costs
- Discussing business concerns – having someone to talk to about business concerns.
If you have decided that it’s the right time to invest in business coaching here are my 5 top tips to ensure you get the maximum benefits from coaching.
Have clear objectives
Before you start to look for a business coach, think about the specific coaching support you are looking for, after all a key part of what you are paying for is the access to their expert knowledge and experience. If you have 10 years + experience in your field, you are unlikely to need an expert from that field. Think about the areas which aren’t your strengths, such as managing people or creating a business strategy and look for a coach to complement you.
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When looking for a coach, consider their background, qualifications and experience as a match to your needs. Business 20 years ago is very different to the business landscape today so look at their current work, check out their website, blogs and recent testimonials. After all business coaching is about the future, not the past.
Be mindful of any personal bias – it can be comfortable to choose a coach who is similar to yourself, yet would you benefit more from a completely different perspective to your own. What different background/experience could really be useful to challenge your current thinking and ways of working?
Think about how you like to work – face to face or virtually? Individually or as part of a group? Whilst group coaching sessions can also provide a network of other business owners you will work to a group programme whilst 1-2-1 coaching is bespoke to your needs and moves at your pace.
Take the time to meet, or video call with a few coaches – after all this will be an ongoing relationship. Besides their professional expertise do you feel some rapport with them and does their personal style suit you.
Commit to the process
There is no doubt that working with a business coach is an investment, in money but also time.
Often at the first session clients have an ‘aha moment’ which can have an immediate impact however there is no magic wand that will instantly change your business.
Committing to the coaching process for at least six months, ideally a year, will ensure that you will gain the maximum benefits from coaching, allowing for planning, doing, reflecting and adjustment to move your business forward.
A business coach should be your trusted adviser. To get the most from a coaching relationship you need to be open. It’s not always easy to admit our weaknesses or perhaps share the underlying issues and challenges at the heart of your business. However, a coach is not there to judge and will be objective and supportive, with a focus on the future.
Also, be open to new ideas and ways of working. The role of the coach is to get you to look at things differently and provide a supportive environment to enable you to step out of your comfort zone.
Remember the expression – If you want things to be different you must do different things.
A coach is not a consultant who comes in and does the work for you. It’s a bit like going to see a physiotherapist, whilst the consultation is valuable it’s only by doing all the stretches and exercises (the work) between the sessions that things improve. – hopefully this metaphor speaks for itself!
If you want to drive the maximum benefits from coaching be prepared for each coaching session, it can be useful to send information to your coach prior to the session for review to make the most of the time spent together working on the next steps.
Simply put, the more you ‘put in’ to working with a business coach the more you will get out.
(* Small Business Pulse Survey -TAB September 2015)
Being clear on what support you need, picking the right coach to complement your skills and business needs then embracing their advice and challenges will enable you to get the most out of your business.
How to drive the maximum benefits from coaching – straight talking advice from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Now you’ve read our article on getting the maximum benefits from coaching – have you any more questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know: