Business & Corporate Coaching
What Does a Business Coach Do?
Running a business can feel lonely. The buck stops at the top, and every decision rests on your shoulders. It’s inappropriate to ask your subordinates for advice or support, so who are you supposed to turn to when you need guidance?
An experienced mentor is perhaps the most valuable resource available to business owners. Hiring a business coach can help CEOs get the personalized guidance they need to make the difficult choices necessary to create a successful company.
What is a business coach?
Business coaches are typically expert entrepreneurs or executives who know how to grow successful businesses. They share that experience to help other business owners reach their goals.
Hiring a business coach is like having a highly experienced partner in your corner. They provide personalized advice that can help you navigate the rough terrain of running a business. That may include things like defining goals, crafting strategies for growth, or devising a plan for reviving a struggling brand.
Business coach vs. consultant
In general, a business coach will help an executive focus on where their business is now, where they want it to be, and how to bridge that gap. It’s less about giving advice, and more about asking questions that empower the CEO to come to his or her own understanding.
A business consultant or strategist, on the other hand, is about delivering practical, tactical solutions. They share knowledge, give advice, and create plans.
Where business coaches assist and guide, consultants may do some of the heavy lifting on behalf of their clients.
Coaching and mentoring can also sometimes be confused. Both roles bring years of experience to the table. The biggest difference is that a mentor focuses on advising, while a coach will assist the owner in goal planning and keep them accountable so that they achieve success.
What does a coach do?
A business coach helps business owners clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal goals. This allows the owner to understand the impact that reaching those goals will have on their life. If a business objective is not linked to the owner’s plans and aspirations, they are unlikely to passionately pursue it or, therefore, ever achieve it.
After clarifying the business owner’s vision, a business coach will assist in prioritizing the various goals. They can help owners see which items are just tasks and which are long-term objectives. From there, they may work together to determine which strategies will create the desired results.
Busy executives are so close to their businesses that they may fail to see the forest for the trees. As an outside observer, a business coach can more objectively see a company’s internal and external issues. They can help an owner better understand what may need to change, and can guide owners in craft an actionable plan to create desired results.
The coach will also lead the client in creating key performance indicators (KPIs), or metrics by which you can measure success. KPIs allow a coach to track their client’s progress, which is something a business owner might avoid if they are on their own.
Accountability is a critical component of business coaching. A business coach typically meets with a client regularly, either weekly or monthly, to check in on commitments made during previous coaching sessions.
Again, a coach isn’t a consultant who will do the work for you. Instead, they will keep you focused on the end result and remind you why it’s important. They’ll motivate you to keep your commitments, act as a sounding board, and hold up a mirror to help you see your personal and professional blind spots.
Hard vs. soft skills
A business coach will most likely focus on helping a business owner develop their soft skills, such as communication, flexibility, leadership, problem solving, and time management.
Hard skills, on the other hand, are quantifiable technical competencies. These include things like language or technology proficiency. These are the types of skills you usually learn in school, in a certification program, or on the job.
This distinction between hard and soft skills is important as it relates to coaching. Excelling at soft skills is what sets leaders apart from doers. A business owner may be weak at soft skills, however, if they started as an employee and never learned how to manage and lead.
Working with a coach to improve your soft skills will help you step fully into the CEO role. Rather than working in your business, like an employee, you’ll learn to work on it, like the visionary CEO.
Why Hire a Coach?
Do you feel something’s keeping your company from reaching its full potential? If so, it may be time for a business coach. Here are three telltale signs you would benefit from coaching:
You frequently wish you could delegate things to someone, but you’re not sure who.
You think you need to grow your team but aren’t sure who to add. Another sales rep? A marketing manager? A system support specialist? You constantly feel shorthanded, yet can’t pinpoint what position is missing.
Perhaps the answer isn’t more staff. Maybe your retail manager is better suited to outside sales, but neither of you can see it. Or your accounting employee would be more productive in customer service, but no one’s picked up on it yet.
A business coach offer perspective to objectively evaluate your needs. Correct staffing will not only alleviate the feeling that you can’t delegate the way you want to, but it will also cut costs a well-placed employee is more productive, happy, and profitable.
You regularly think, “If I just had the answer to this question, I’d be more successful.”
No one can be a master of everything. Even if they could, no one has time to do it all. The successful companies aren’t the ones with the most individual brains, management guru Peter Drucker says, but those that have the most brains acting in concert.
Can you execute a marketing plan without breaking a sweat, but lack the knowledge to draft the plan itself? Are you excellent at hiring great employees, but terrible at writing help-wanted ads that attack top-notch resumes? Not sure where you excel and where your skills are lacking?
A business coach won’t coddle you. They will dig and help you recognize your strengths and weaknesses so you can shore up skills, outsource tasks, and focus on your best attributes to turn your business into a well-oiled machine.
You believe your company could do more and be better, but you’re not sure how.
No one builds a business empire alone. No matter how talented or experienced Sir Richard Branson or Meg Whitman are, they needed help creating Virgin Airlines and eBay, respectively.
Even the smartest business minds can benefit from a business coach. They bring different ideas to the table, offer a different perspective, possess a different skill set and outlook. With a coach in their corner, leaders like Branson and Whitman can push beyond their own limitations.
Business coaches have seen it all. Learning from the mistakes (and successes) of others through your coach’s experience, you can save yourself time, energy, and headaches. That allows you to stop sweating the small stuff and instead focus and what really matters.
Benefits of business coaching
What makes coaching worth the investment of time, energy, and money? There are many benefits of business coaching, but here are six of the most important reasons to enlist outside help.
The support of a great coach, who gives you encouragement and space to work out challenges on your own, will boost your confidence. It can help you handle conflict, crises, and challenges with greater ease.
We don’t know what we don’t know. With a fresh set of eyes and vast experience, a coach can help you see and mitigate your blind spots. They can ask questions that challenge you to think critically and creatively, and also act as a sounding board for your ideas.
Leave the comfort zone
It’s easy to fall into the “we’ve always done it this way” trap. A business coach can push you to try new things, but also help you weigh the risk vs. rewards of a new challenge.
Most coaches will offer insights and exercises around personality and leadership styles. By assessing your strengths and weaknesses, you can delegate certain tasks and stay in your zone of genius—all of which will make you a better and more strategic leader.
Doing what you do best, and helping your team do the same, increases efficiency and morale. That’s a recipe for massive productivity gains. Plus, a coach will also hold you accountable for the goals you set, which increases the likelihood you’ll meet them.
Make more money
A good coach will help you clarify your goals, craft a solid strategy, identify which actions are most likely to increase profits, and hold you accountable for implementation. That usually adds up to more money in the bank.
Unleash the Power of your Brain
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Specializing in the science of neuroplasticity and biofeedback, Dr. Sunita is able to assist individuals and groups achieve new levels of mental and physical performance. She is focused on addressing the cause of the challenges that individuals face to create solutions that last and are sustainable.