Coaching focuses on helping another person learn in ways that let him or her keep growing afterward.
The purpose is to increase effectiveness, broaden thinking, identify strengths and development needs and set and achieve challenging goals.
Always link the purpose and results of coaching to the business. Managers have to know the business case for coaching and developing others if they're to value it and use it effectively. Where is the business headed? What leadership skills are needed to get us there? How should coaches work with direct reports to provide the feedback, information and experiences they need to build those needed skills? Set strategic coaching goals, tactics and measures for the organization as well as including coaching as an individual metric.
A business coach can help you establish your role and responsibilities as CEO. Writing out your responsibilities in conjunction with your business’ strategic goals can help you directly connect your activities with the outcome you’d like based on the goals. A business coach can also help you let go of the impulse to do everything in the company.
While there is no definitive answer for when to hire a business coach, a good benchmark for knowing its time is when you say, “I don’t know what to do next.” Just remember, every business owner is different, and everyone’s progression in owning a business is different.
Research by the International Coach Federation has shown that, of small business owners that have hired a business coach, 70% have seen increased work performance, 86% have seen a return on investment and an impressive 99% of entrepreneurs were happy that they made the decision to hire a business coach.
This can apply to many aspects of your business.
Do any of these cases sound like you?
You are lost in terms of understanding your role as a CEO.
You don’t know what your day-to-day tasks should be.
The business’s direction changes multiple times over the course of several weeks.
You don’t have a clear set of priorities or plans written down.
Building the relationship. It's easier to learn from someone you trust. Coaches must effectively establish boundaries and build trust by being clear about the learning and development objectives they set, showing good judgment, being patient and following through on any promises and agreements they make.
Providing assessment. Where are you now and where do you want to go? Helping others to gain self-awareness and insight is a key job for a coach. You provide timely feedback and help clarify the behaviors that an employee would like to change. Assessment often focuses on gaps or inconsistencies, on current performance vs. desired performance, words vs. actions and intention vs. impact.
Challenging thinking and assumptions. Thinking about thinking is an important part of the coaching process. Coaches ask open-ended questions, push for alternative solutions to problems and encourage reasonable risk-taking.
Supporting and encouraging. As partners in learning, coaches listen carefully, are open to the perspectives of others and allow employees to vent emotions without judgment. They encourage employees to make progress toward their goals, and they recognize their successes.
Driving results. What can you show for it? Effective coaching is about achieving goals. The coach helps the employee set meaningful ones and identify specific behaviors or steps for meeting them. The coach helps to clarify milestones or measures of success and holds the employee accountable for them.