A Shortcut to Making An Informed Decision

Business Coaching and Operating Challenges

If you want to move your business to the next level, you may have considered engaging a business coach to help you achieve this growth. The problem is that if you're like most people, you may not know exactly what a business coach is or does. If you've never experienced working with a business coach, how do you know this is the right solution for you and if you will gain the breakthrough you desire?

Choosing the best route to improve the performance of your business needs careful consideration. The decision you make needs your full commitment for it to deliver the success you desire. You can't commit yourself fully to a process that you don't understand.

Should you decide to work with a business coach, a good first step is to determine what support you need and who might be the most appropriate match. This article will focus on providing a basic introduction to business coaching, what it is, what it's not, and how it could help you get on track to achieve your professional goals.

What's the difference?

The first thing to address is the difference between business coaching and other forms of support. There are five other types of professionals who can offer career support services, each of which plays a slightly different role in improving clients' professional abilities or job prospects.

Consultants

A consultant typically has the inherent expertise and often provides answers to those difficult questions. This type of relationship is often more in-depth and collaborative in approach.

Mentors

From leadership development to executive support, much of the assistance hinges on personal development work. They may offer specific advice based on their experience and training knowledge, taking a directive approach to helping the person being mentored solve problems.

Counsellors

Counsellors focus on personal issues that occurred in the past but may be holding you up in the present. Going to a counsellor provides people with the opportunity to explore specific concerns and issues.

Trainers

Trainers make it easier for people to digest the off-the-shelf training information often provided by employers. They focus on what each person needs to do to fulfil his or her position's responsibilities and how they need to do it.

Life Coaches

A life coach focuses on helping clients define and meet goals in their personal lives. However, these professionals don't cover business processes or business growth.



So What Are Business Coaches?

A business coach assists, challenges, and encourages. Through effective questioning and discussion, these professionals help to find solutions that are right for you and your business. Most coaches like to ground themselves in the present and focus on the task, goal, or objective at hand.

 

The most similar field is career mentoring, but these two approaches to supporting business professionals are still very different. Mentors take a directive approach to helping people, offering guidance and advice that directly pertains to the problems at hand. While a mentor tells people what to do, a business coach helps them find solutions to their own problems in a non-directive manner. Let's break down the difference a little further.

A mentor might: 

  • Instruct
  • Offer concrete advice
  • Provide direct guidance
  • Make suggestions
  • Offer feedback
A business coach will focus more on:
  • Reflection
  • Paraphrasing
  • Summarizing
  • Asking the right questions
  • Active listening
  • Offering feedback

As you can see, there is some overlap between mentorship and business coaching. However, they both serve different purposes. A business coach empowers individuals to create their own methodologies for tackling problems. Mentors tell their mentees how they would handle the problems.

Added value of a business coach

It's the combination of developing the right strategies AND supporting the implementation where real success is enjoyed. At TMD Coaching, business coaching is treated as hybrid activity incorporating all of the points below:

  • The regular challenge of accountability coaching
  • The strategic planning born from robust consultation
  • The mentoring or leadership development support where required
  • The accelerated success of both the individual and his or her business
  • The drive to deliver higher performance by focusing on fundamentals and taking consistent action
Business coaches don't stop at helping clients find the right solutions to individual problems. They focus on imparting the tools, knowledge, and skills required to tackle similar and diverse problems the next time they come up to ensure a business's long-term success. Effective business coaches try to challenge individuals in addition to providing support because it helps to build critical thinking skills and other deeper strengths.

 

There is a huge amount of satisfaction in rolling up one's sleeves and getting involved, providing an extra pair of hands to make sure you bring about the changes that will make the biggest difference. This is what clients truly value. An adviser that has become a trusted friend, sitting in on tricky meetings, helping to formulate the proposals and reimagine the business strategy or operating model.

What to Expect

Business coaching is a bespoke field, meaning that every session is tailored to the client's needs. That said, there are still a few things you can expect from coaching sessions.

The coach will start by asking questions to form a clearer picture of where you are in your professional development and what your career history looks like. In fact, much of the session will consist of answering questions.

It's best not to think of it as being like an interview, though. The questions asked by business coaches come from the perspective of active listening, and they are designed to get clients thinking for themselves. There aren't any right or wrong answers, and you won't be graded. Over time, you'll learn new skills and be able to apply them in conversations with the business coach to prove that you've internalized the lessons.

Conclusion

Every business' needs are different, and so is every business coaching session. The first step is always to discuss and understand the challenges you face. From there we will work together to create an attack plan to address and resolve your issues and support you through the implementation process.

Need more Accountability and Direction?

Book a call today!

Our team will be happy to talk through any coaching or consultancy options.

Tim Hatari

Tim Hatari helps businesses improve performance, creating strategic development plans and establishing structure via the 5PX Executive Business Coaching System. As CEO and Founder at TMD Coaching, he oversees the vision setting process with clients, leading on sales acquisition, the drive for operational excellence and market leading innovation. For Tim, helping others is the most rewarding part of the role. Follow or connect with Tim on Linkedin - www.linkedin.com/in/timhatari

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Topics from this blog: Coaching, CPD

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