Business coaching is about taking your business from where it is now to where you want it to go through a process of clarifying goals and maximizing personal effectiveness. Successful business and executive coaches are experts at helping clients achieve their goals through personalized processes that enable business owners to draw on their innate abilities to drive their business forward and achieve success.
Definition of Coaching
Coaching is all about unlocking an individual’s potential and maximizing their performance. It focuses on the inner obstacles to success and how to develop the skills and personal attributes needed to achieve their goals. A coach will know how to ask the right questions and act as a sounding board rather than teaching or providing the answers.
Professional coaching can be defined as the process of engaging in a regular structured conversation with the focus of improving performance so as to achieve personal and organizational goals and objectives.
This coaching definition differs from other types of coaching in that there is a clear focus on organizational goals and success and well as improvements in personal performance. A coaching relationship will work on utilizing the client’s innate strengths and talents while overcoming obstacles that might stand in the way of business success.
Types of coaching
There are many different types of coaching including relationship coaching, leadership coaching, career coaching, and executive coaching each with different areas of focus and expertise. Life coaches will have different skill sets to career coaches and executive coaches are much better placed to help you with becoming an effective manager and driving your business forward as they have experience of professional coaching in the business world.
It is also worth being aware that while there are a great many people calling themselves coaches you do not need to be an accredited coach or even have received any coaching training to set up a coaching business so it is always worth checking references and reading testimonials when choosing a business coach.
Common Business Coaching Outcomes
Although the outcomes of any professional coaching process will be highly personalized to the individual needs of the client and organization there are some common outcomes that result from successful business coaching.
Building Actionable Plans
To begin with business coaching sessions will focus on getting really clear on goals and objectives of both the client and the organization and creating actionable plans that can be followed to achieve the desired outcomes.
This is about getting really clear on your goals as well as what you are capable of doing to achieve them. Helping you become more productive and effective by improving focus and working with your strengths.
Focus on Accountability
Another key element of the coaching process is the focus on accountability. Helping clients achieve their goals by holding them accountable and supporting them when difficult situations or obstacles arise.
Coaches aren’t there to do the work for you. Instead, they are there to keep you focused and motivated, hold a mirror up or ask the difficult questions when needed, and act as a sounding board and outside perspective.
Greater Personal Effectiveness
Empowering individuals to take action to achieve success leads to greater job satisfaction and motivation, while focusing on an individual’s strengths and developing their skills and confidence has the outcome of improving effectiveness in many ways. This could be better time management, building more effective teams or relationships, or being able to clarify their vision and communicate this more clearly.
Business and executive coaching is all about helping you achieve your goals quicker. Focusing on the areas that are of greatest importance in driving your organization’s success.
Better Leadership and Employee Management
One of the key outcomes of an effective coaching relationship is changing the way you view yourself and others, the way you react to situations and the relationships you build.
Being able to see yourself and others more clearly will allow you to view your own and others strengths and harness them to maximum effect. Better self-awareness and awareness of others also improve empathy which is an attribute long associated with effective leaders
Building effective teams is key to the success of any organization and working with a coach can be a useful tool in improving relationship building and management style.
The Difference Between Coaching and Consulting
If you are wondering whether you should hire a business coach or consultant there are a few key differences that should help you decide which support will be best suited to the requirements of your organization.
Business consulting focuses on providing quantitative analysis and providing answers and solutions. Business consultants will provide specific expertise and focus on identifying areas where you can improve your organizational systems and structure. A consultant may deliver reports and even undertake specific tasks.
The coaching process is more collaborative by nature with a key difference being that a personal or professional coach is there to hold you accountable for the actions you have identified that need to be taken. Business coaching sessions will offer support and expert guidance in following a strategic plan to move your business forward. Focusing on your strengths and identifying and working on your weaknesses, not unlike a sports coach.
Many businesses may benefit from working with both a professional business coach and a consultant for different reasons.