Unleashing Your Full Potential: The Power of a Business Coach
In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the need for guidance and mentorship has become more crucial than ever. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to take your company to the next level or a budding startup founder eager to navigate the complexities of the business world, a business coach can be your compass, guiding you toward success.
This comprehensive article will delve into the world of business coaching. We’ll explore what business coaching is, why it matters, how to find the right business coach, the benefits of business coaching, real-world success stories, and much more. By the end of this journey, you’ll have a profound understanding of how a business coach can transform your professional life.
Understanding Business Coaching
What is Business Coaching?
Any firm that wants to expand and flourish must use business coaching. A business owner or executive and a professional coach work together in this collaboration. The goal of coaching is to assist the customer in achieving certain objectives and enhancing overall organizational performance. It entails the coach offering direction, assistance, and a novel viewpoint on the client’s corporate activities.
Business coaching is not just for companies that are having trouble; it is also a great tool for companies that are already successful and want to improve their operations. Businesses can identify areas for improvement, establish goals, and create plans of action by working with a coach.
The first step in successful business coaching is identifying your business’s goals and objectives. A good coach will work with you to define your goals and objectives, clarify your vision, and create an action plan to achieve them. The coach will ask probing questions to understand your business, assess where you are currently and help you define where you want to go.
By working with a coach to identify your business goals and objectives, you can create a clear roadmap for success. With a defined set of goals and a plan to achieve them, you can focus your efforts and resources on the areas that will have the greatest impact on your business.
Coaching vs Teaching vs Mentoring vs Consulting
There is a fine line between being a consultant, teacher, or mentor and being a coach. If the role is centered around answering questions and sharing expert knowledge; consider it consulting, teaching, or mentoring. Under these circumstances, the expert heavily controls the interaction, making it significantly different from coaching.
On the contrary, a coach is less concerned about taking control and answering questions, and more interested in empowering the people they collaborate with.
Qualifications and Expertise
The hard and soft skills that leaders need to succeed can be taught and modeled by seasoned business coaches. Here is a list of the abilities you will learn from working with a business coach.
- Soft skills
- Self-awareness: Leaders can challenge their own beliefs and behaviors when working with a business coach. This Inner Work® allows leaders to better understand their triggers and motivators.
- Emotional regulation: In times of crisis, employees look to leaders for reassurance and direction. That’s why effective executives are masters of emotional regulation. When difficult emotions arise within a coaching session, a business coach teaches emotional regulation techniques.
- Confidence: Coachees often report that the coaching process leaves them more relaxed, energized, and confident. In fact, confident feelings naturally emerge when a business coach works with an executive coachee. They learn to clearly understand business goals, action steps, and emotional triggers.
- Emotional intelligence: Great leaders can read a room and tailor their message to individual audiences. They possess high levels of empathy and can quickly understand what motivates others. Emotional intelligence is an executive superpower that business coaches cultivate in their coachees.
- Optimism: Effective leaders are optimistic. They see the learning and development potential even in the hardest of situations. Optimism can come naturally, but it’s also a skill that can be learned through coaching.
- Hard skills
- Strategic planning and review: The best coaches are experienced business strategists. As a result, they can help executives and their teams plan and execute brilliant strategies. Together, the coach and coachee can develop a roadmap using a step-by-step strategic planning process.
- Analytical skills: Data is a driving force for many successful companies. Business coaching can fill gaps in a client’s data analysis skills while challenging them to get out of their comfort zone.
- Marketing: As part of their pre-coaching discovery work, business coaches often spend time researching a client company’s brand and market dynamics. While this serves as valuable intelligence when coaching leaders, it can also support a safe conversational framework for exploring new data-driven market opportunities and target audiences. Before making major product and marketing investments, executive coachees have a second set of expert eyes to review and critique profitability and develop plans.
- Speaking and presentation skills: Not all executive leaders are natural presenters or speakers. Some may suffer from stage fright or feelings of inadequacy that thwart their ability to connect with an audience. To solve these challenges, coaches once again create a safe zone to investigate topics like impostor syndrome and persuasive speaking. Experienced business coaches can also review critical presentations and rehearse essential speaking skills with the coachee.
Certifications and Credentials
Business coaching certification is a credential that positions you as a professional coach who possesses the abilities and skills to support a wider range of organizational and business-oriented objectives and goals.
Becoming a great business coach requires a winning combination of business savvy, excellent communication skills, and coaching experience. The coaching experience is typically achieved by either accumulating relevant work experience in a management or business role or by completing a business coaching certification training program.
Aspiring business coaches have the option to enroll in an accredited business coaching certification training program offered by organizations like the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
The Business Coach’s Toolkit
There isn’t one but a number of coaching tools that are effective and their usage depends on the context they are being used in and the result that the coach is looking for. Coaching tools help the coach enable their client to function at their highest capacity by addressing their professional needs as well as that of their company to achieve business success.
The best business coaches use a variety of tools to help their clients such as coaching goals, business purpose & vision, business history, periodic goal setting, SMART goal setting (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Based), Business SWOT analysis, personal SWOT analysis, time management, effective delegation, daily successful habits, action priority matrix, and more!
A simple way to integrate business coaching tools into your coaching practice is by investing in a digital coaching platform that makes the process of administering coaching tools into your coaching engagement seamless. Simply.Coach is one such digital coaching platform that comes pre-loaded with several coaching tools one can pick from. They also have the option to customize or build a tool from scratch; additionally, it allows coaches to collect responses from participants and create reports that showcase insights and data.
Why Business Coaching Matters
If you own a business but are on the fence about getting a business coach, continue reading. Here are seven reasons we feel a business coach is crucial for every entrepreneur.
- A good business coach helps inform your strategy
As your company’s founder, you clearly have some experience, either in your industry, your role or both. But no matter how much experience you have, you can benefit from more. Since there’s a limit to how many businesses we can create, grow and exit in a single lifetime, the best way to gain another lifetime of experience is to draw on someone else’s.
When you choose a business coach who either has firsthand experience doing what you’re trying to do or has empowered others to succeed on the same path you’re on, you’ll get insider access to their knowledge and strategic guidance.
- They help you identify your strengths and weaknesses
The best business coaches see you for who you really are, both in the areas where you shine and the areas where you need extra help. They’ll work with you to create a plan to double down on your strongest traits and to find ways not to let the weakest ones encumber you.
For example, maybe you’re a visionary who dreams about product enhancements and big-picture trajectories. You’ll be well served to have a partner who knows how to get in the weeds of daily management and tactical execution so you can actually bring your ideas to life. A seasoned business coach will be able to recognize the need for such synergy and advise you to hire someone who will complement your skill set in the most beneficial way possible.
- Business coaches fill a unique and necessary role
One of the most important criteria when choosing a coach is to choose someone with no financial stake in the business. They also shouldn’t be related to you or have a vested interest in the business for any reason. This keeps your coach unbiased and working solely for the company’s good, which is a refreshing — and essential — need in a growing organization.
If you’re only surrounded by family members who love you, friends who cheer you on and employees who are largely “yes people” because you hold the power of their paycheck, you need someone with an authoritative, insightful and neutral voice.
- They’re not afraid to challenge you
Along the same lines as the point above, a business coach can and should regularly challenge you. Even if it feels more harmonious to work with people who share your vision and are on board with your plans, it’s helpful to have someone in the role of constructive dissenter.
This doesn’t mean they’re a constant contrarian, but it does mean they apply a critical lens to every major decision you make. If it’s unclear why you’re going in a certain direction or they see danger ahead, they’ll challenge you on your choices. This might not be what you want, but I can attest that it’s often what you need.
- A business coach is prepared to hold you accountable
You might be a solopreneur or in a partnership. Either way, who makes sure you hold up your end of the bargain when it comes to your duties in the business? For many entrepreneurs, the answer is no one. You’re just doing your best to survive in the sea of responsibilities you find yourself in every day. Of course, some tasks will get pushed to the back burner, which is ok if you’re not deprioritizing the things that matter.
A business coach is likely the only person who will feel comfortable speaking up if you’re not following through on your commitments. Even if you are, they can check in to ensure you have what you need to be successful and have a sounding board if necessary. Accountability is huge, and a business coach is the best way for entrepreneurs to ensure they have it.
- They’ll make you better
Let me ask you something: do you need improvements, or does your business need improvements? Most owners will readily raise their hand when asked if their business needs to be improved, but few want to admit to their own shortcomings. Many even fail to see the connection between their own issues and the business — but they’re entirely interrelated.
Business coaches should not only point out your flaws but should also encourage you to face up to them. Sound uncomfortable? It certainly can be. No one wants to hear that their leadership style is coming across as dictatorial or that they’re choosing a conservative go-to-market strategy that’s all wrong simply because of fear. But the health and future of the business depend on you being aware of your shortcomings and then working to change them. In other words, the growth of the business starts with your own growth, and a business coach will help you achieve both.
- Great business coaches will unlock your business’s full potential
Combine all of the reasons listed here, and what do you get? An organization that is poised to improve and thrive. Without a coach, you may still get far. You might even do great things. But with a coach, your potential and your business’ potential will have significantly greater odds of soaring.
Overcoming Business Challenges
For many entrepreneurs, starting a business is a huge accomplishment, but keeping one going presents a greater difficulty. No matter how big or small, all businesses encounter the same problems. These include finding the ideal candidates, creating a brand, expanding your clientele, and other things. Some issues, meanwhile, are unique to small businesses, and the majority of huge corporations have long since moved past them.
Here are the top five difficulties facing small businesses.
- Client Dependence
If a single client makes up more than half of your income, you are a more independent contractor than a business owner. Diversifying your client base is vital to growing a business, but it can be difficult, especially when the client in question pays well and is on time. Having a client willing to pay on time for a product or service is a godsend for many small businesses.
Unfortunately, this can result in a longer-term handicap because, even if you have employees and so on, you may still be acting as a subcontractor for a more significant business. This arrangement allows the client to avoid the risks of adding payroll in an area where the work may dry up at any time, and all of that risk is transferred from the larger company to you and your employees. This arrangement can work if your main client has a consistent need for your product or service.
- Money Management
Having enough cash to cover the bills is a must for any business, but it is also necessary for every individual. Whether your business or your life, one will likely emerge as a capital drain that puts pressure on the other. To avoid this problem, small business owners must either be heavily capitalized or pick up extra income to shore up cash reserves when needed.
This is why many small businesses start with the founders working a job and building a business simultaneously. While this split focus can make it challenging to grow a business, running out of cash makes growing a business impossible.
Money management becomes even more important when cash is flowing into the business. Although handling business accounting and taxes may be within the capabilities of most business owners, professional help is usually a good idea. The complexity of a company’s books increases with each client and employee, so getting an assist on the bookkeeping can prevent it from becoming a reason not to expand.
The hours, the work, and the constant pressure to perform wear on even the most passionate individuals. Many business owners—even successful ones—get stuck working much longer hours than their employees.1 Moreover, they fear their business will stall in their absence, so they avoid taking any time away from work to recharge.
Fatigue can lead to rash decisions about the business, including the desire to abandon it altogether. Finding a pace that keeps the business humming without grinding down the owner is a challenge that comes early (and often) in the evolution of a small business.
- Founder Dependence
If you get hit by a car, is your business still producing income the next day? A business that can’t operate without its founder is a business with a deadline. Many businesses suffer from founder dependence, and it is often caused by the founder being unable to let go of certain decisions and responsibilities as the business grows.
In theory, meeting this challenge is easy—a business owner merely has to give over more control to employees or partners. In practice, however, this is a significant stumbling block for founders because it usually involves compromising (at least initially) on the quality of work being done until the person doing the work learns the ropes.
- Balancing Quality and Growth
Even when a business is not founder-dependent, there comes a time when the issues from growth seem to match or even outweigh the benefits. Whether a service or a product, at some point, a business must sacrifice to scale up. This may mean not being able to personally manage every client relationship or not inspecting every widget.
Unfortunately, it is usually that level of personal engagement and attention to detail that makes a business successful. Therefore, many small business owners find themselves tied to these habits to the detriment of their development. There is a large middle ground between shoddy work and an unhealthy obsession with quality; it is up to the business owner to navigate its processes toward a compromise that allows growth without hurting the brand.
Although it may sound exaggerated, business coaching has been proved to make a significant difference in the success or failure of aspiring business owners, corporate leaders, and entrepreneurs. Even seasoned veterans value the nonpartisan, apolitical advice provided by business coaches.
In actuality, no leader, regardless of experience, is born with the capacity to manage the commercial needs of a diverse environment. To advance to the next level, all leaders require help, and working with a business coach is one of the greatest methods to acquire that support.
Finding the Right Business Coach
Executive trainers assist executives in addressing and resolving issues specific to their field, division of business, or leadership style. Some business coaches, however, don’t have practical expertise working with small enterprises, and others won’t mesh well with your personality. Additionally, scammers are a concern in this industry as well as many others, so it’s critical to carefully research your choice.
Understanding your needs, skills, and those of possible trainers will help you get the most out of your coaching sessions and budget. Use these recommendations to locate and pick a business coach.
Consider your goals and expectations
Business coaches will help you craft goals for yourself and your business. But you need a starting point when beginning your search. Having an idea of what you want a coach to help you with and what you expect to accomplish can help you narrow down your options. Some advisors specialize in strategies for improving your work-life balance, whereas others focus on lead generation.
At a minimum, Indeed suggested developing “a list of your personal goals for meeting with a business coach” and completing a business assessment. Think about your business’s stage (startup versus ready to expand globally) and ways a trainer could enhance your professional abilities.
Look at their education, experience, and credentials
Find out everything you can about your coaching candidates. Their website and LinkedIn profile will provide background information, but it’s essential to confirm these details where possible. Many coaches hold degrees and have built, ran, and sold companies. They may be certified public accountants (CPAs), former CEOs, or current restaurant owners.
Look for professionals with business acumen, especially those who have worked with leaders in your industry and with your company size and stage. Have they spoken at industry conferences or been published in a reputable trade magazine? Coaching and trade associations may require members to meet eligibility requirements or certify trainers who complete coursework and exams. Additionally, you may be able to find a business coach through these organizations.
Here’s a list of associations with which coaches may be affiliated:
- Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC).
- Professional Business Coaches Alliance (PBCA).
- International Organization for Business Coaching (IOBC).
- Association of Corporate Executive Coaches (ACEC).
- International Coaching Federation (ICF).
- The International Authority for Professional Coaching and Mentoring (IAPC&M).
- International Association of Coaching (IAC).
Contact references and read reviews
Perform due diligence to avoid scams when choosing a business coach. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommended that entrepreneurs “[s]earch online for the name of the company and words like review, scam, or complaint,” and “[c]heck with your state attorney general for complaints.” Remember to ask your network if they’ve heard of the coach or company and contact former clients to learn about their small business outcomes after coaching.
Ask about their availability and pricing
Like you, executive coaches know their worth and value their time. One-on-one services can be costly, but it’s an investment that can pay off. A coach should tell you their hourly rate and an idea of how many sessions you’ll need. They should also disclose any scheduling conflicts that could affect availability.
Here are a few other questions to ask prospective coaches:
- What does a typical coaching schedule look like?
- Do they offer group sessions?
- How will they deliver feedback?
- Can you meet in person, online, or through email?
Check for compatibility and value alignment
The bottom line is that successful coaching experiences and outcomes require trust between you and your advisor. You should feel comfortable interacting with your coach and confident in their abilities. A trainer who shares similar values and understands your company’s mission can help you achieve outcomes without compromising your principles.
Likewise, your personalities should mesh well. Chat during your initial meeting to see how you respond to their feedback and questions. In Entrepreneur, Marketing Strategist and Advisor Bianca B. King said, “A great business coach is part guide, cheerleader and warden.” Pick an advisor that makes you feel capable but keeps you from getting away with less-than-full participation.
How to Interview Potential Coaches
Finding the ideal business coach is just as crucial as finding the ideal physician. To assist you in deciding if a business coach is the appropriate one for you, it’s crucial to be prepared with a list of questions to ask.
To determine if there is a suitable fit between a coach and a potential client, the majority of business coaches offer free consultations. Usually, their website allows you to book these sessions.
You should ask the business coach questions during the free coaching appointment to help you decide if they are the best coach to assist you. You should prepare for your meeting by formulating your questions for a business coach in advance.
Here are 8 sample questions you’ll want to ask a business coach on a free consultation call. Be sure to add any questions of your own as well!
- 1. How long have they been a business coach?
You want to be sure that the person you’re hiring has some actual experience in business. Be sure to ask them about how long they’ve been a business coach, and what past experience has led them to this profession.
- 2. What are their credentials as a business coach?
Are they certified as a coach? There are coaching programs that will certify coaches according to standards by the International Coaching Federation. Ask if they are certified and where they got their certification. Also, ask what type of training they have. Does the coach have experience in helping people with the same things you’re dealing with?
- 3. What does the business coach specialize in?
There are general business coaches, marketing coaches, mindset coaches, sales coaches, and more. There are coaches who specialize in serving business owners just starting out. There are coaches for businesses who are ready to scale past $100k. When hiring a business coach, consider your stage, your goals, and the type of help you need. Make sure the coach you choose is experienced in the area(s) in which you want support.
- 4. What is the business coach’s coaching style?
Is your business coach more of a true coach or more of a consultant? The ones that stay true to coaching focus on helping you find your own answers, while a consultant gives you their answers and opinions. Is the coach client-centered, meaning the client is at the center of the coaching arrangement? Does this coach work more on mindset or strategy, or both?
- 5. How does this business coach work with clients?
Does this business coach offer group or individual programs? Is it online or in person? How many calls do you get each month? Do you get support between calls? (This can be extremely helpful when you have questions/concerns in between meeting times.) Do you get access to resources or anything else as a result of working together?
- 6. What types of clients does this business coach typically work with?
Business coaching is not one size fits all. All businesses are different. You’ll want to make sure that the business coach you hire has experience helping businesses in your specific industry. (I.e., if you’re a coach, you’ll want to work with a business coach who supports coaches, etc.)
- 7. What are the business coach’s values?
Shared values can make for a good working relationship. Think about your values and which are important for you to have in a coaching relationship. Is open communication important? Transparency? Honesty? Responsiveness? Accountability? Be sure to share this with your potential business coach to see if it’s a match.
- 8. What is the business coach’s personality like?
It’s true that some personalities just clash. If you’re an introvert, you might prefer working with an introvert business coach because they are more sensitive to your needs. If you’re outgoing and action-oriented, you may need a business coach with a similar personality. The best way to understand if it’s a personality match is by scheduling a free consultation.
Benefits of Business Coaching
In a poll that was done in 7 countries, 39% of respondents said they planned to quit their jobs within the next three to six months, according to McKinsey’s most recent State of Organisations Report. And business coaching becomes essential in a time when employee retention strongly depends on how many employees have opportunities for career growth, skill development, and development.
Companies will keep their talent pools if they can regularly coach their staff members and give them opportunities for advancement. Businesses that disregard business coaching will experience high employee turnover and be forced to compete for talent.
What then are the advantages of business coaching for businesses?
1. Increased Employee Engagement and Satisfaction
By understanding the needs and motivations of their employees, businesses can provide better support, resulting in increased employee engagement and satisfaction. Coaching helps to build trust between employers and employees, giving them a sense of purpose and worth within the organization.
2. Improved Productivity
With coaching, employees have the tools and strategies they need to be more productive. Coaching improves productivity for employees by helping them identify their strengths and weaknesses, set achievable goals, and develop skills to overcome obstacles.
According to The International Coach Federation (ICF), “Leaders who participated in coaching saw a 50% to 70% increase in work performance, time management, and team effectiveness. Additionally, coaching helps employees prioritize tasks, manage their time effectively, and improve their communication and collaboration skills, all of which contribute to greater productivity in the workplace.
3. Better Communication
Business coaching helps to improve communication within teams and between departments, leading to better collaboration and understanding of tasks.
It helps them to improve their communication skills by providing them with strategies and feedback tailored to their individual needs. With better communication between team members and departments, organizations can avoid misunderstandings, enhance teamwork, and increase overall effectiveness.
Additionally, effective communication can boost employee morale and job satisfaction, leading to increased retention rates and a more positive organizational culture. Therefore, coaching plays a vital role in ensuring the health and success of an organization.
4. Increased Revenue
By making sure that businesses are operating efficiently, coaching can lead to increased revenue. Coaching is widely recognized by experts as the top way for organizations to increase revenue since coaching helps businesses to achieve their goals faster, identify opportunities for improvement, develop strategies to tackle challenges and foster a culture of innovation, all of which contribute to increased profitability and success.
In fact, according to a study by Manchester Inc., executives who underwent coaching experienced an average return on investment (ROI) of almost six times their initial investment, highlighting how coaching is an essential tool for businesses looking to drive growth, boost productivity, and achieve long-term success.
5. Cost Savings
Investing in coaching programs for employees can yield significant cost savings for companies in the long run. By enhancing employees’ soft skills, self-awareness, and productivity, coaching can help identify inefficiencies and streamline business processes, reduce operational costs and ultimately see exponential growth,
Additionally, coaching can contribute to a more positive work culture and improved employee retention rates, resulting in reduced costs associated with the recruitment and training of new staff.
6. Improved Leadership
Incorporating business coaching programs for leadership development within companies, as well as for a business owner, can yield a plethora of positive outcomes, beyond just improving the skills of individual leaders.
An effective business leader can act as a role model, motivating and inspiring their teams to achieve extraordinary results, leading to a more engaged and productive workforce. Ultimately, business coaching for leadership development can have a positive ripple effect throughout the entire organization, resulting in a stronger and more successful business.
7. Improved Problem-Solving Abilities
In today’s dynamic business landscape, employees are constantly facing new and complex challenges that demand problem-solving skills, making this a critical proficiency for their professional advancement.
However, business coaching for companies can efficiently tackle this issue by providing tailored strategies and support to improve employees’ cognitive abilities and enable them to make effective decisions that enhance business performance and success.
8. Deeper Understanding of Goals
By providing guidance on the best approaches for achieving goals, business coaching can help companies make sure they are working towards the right objectives.
Having a deep understanding of goals is paramount in an organization as it enables companies to align their resources, strategies, and operations in a cohesive manner to achieve their objectives. Moreover, a clear understanding of goals helps to ensure that companies are making informed decisions and taking proactive measures to mitigate risks, while continuously improving performance and achieving sustainable growth.
Therefore, it is crucial for companies to invest in coaching programs to help employees develop this critical skill set for the long-term success of their business.
9. Increased Employee Retention
Employee retention has emerged as one of the topmost challenges faced by organizations in the present times. With increasing competition for talent, companies are struggling to retain their top performers and are witnessing a surge in employee churn rates.
According to a study conducted by Deloitte, employees who perceive that they are learning in their jobs are three times more likely to stay with their current employers.
Therefore, fostering a culture of continuous development and investing in employee learning and development has become crucial for organizations looking to retain their top talent.
10. Improved Company Culture
In today’s volatile business world, where competition is fiercely intense, having a positive company culture has become a key driver for achieving sustainable success. A strong company culture not only improves employee morale but also creates a sense of purpose and fosters a collaborative work environment.
Moreover, companies with a positive culture tend to have more engaged and motivated employees, which leads to increased productivity, greater innovation, and ultimately, greater revenue growth.
By understanding the importance of investing in business coaching, companies can ensure that they are getting the most out of their employees and resources. By focusing on employee engagement and productivity, businesses can increase revenue while saving costs. Investing in coaching for companies is a key factor in achieving success.
Business Coaching Success Stories
Where do you even start when dealing with the particular issues in your industry? Whatever the issue, one thing is always true, according to what we’ve discovered from years of advising business owners: the solution begins with you. How can you make your business function or serve your life the way you want it to?
Here are the top five examples of EMyth clients who changed their perspective and took the necessary steps to create the business and life they want.
Embracing delegation set Joe free from the day-to-day work
Joe Dibbits took over his father’s excavating and landscape supply company in 2013, but he struggled to escape the chaos of the day-to-day work. See how Joe transformed his business—and his role in it—by learning to let go and trust his employees.
Learning to manage helped Kolby get more time with her family
Kolby Moser had a vision when she co-founded Aria Studios, but she and her partner didn’t anticipate how quickly the company would grow—and she was lost when it came to managing her team. Hear how Kolby went from working 100-hour weeks to leading a successful business and getting the time she wanted with her young kids.
Systemization turned Curt into a global leader
OtterBox is known today as a global market leader in tech protection products. But there was a time when CEO Curt Richardson was so overwhelmed with putting out fires that he almost gave it up. Learn how Curt escaped burnout by building a systems-based business.
Jason brought a legacy family business into a new era
For decades, Jason Keen watched his father toil away in the day-to-day work of their family business. But when he inherited the company, Jason knew he wanted to run things differently—and that he’d need a helping hand to do it. See how he reshaped the business in his own vision.
Scott and MJ turned a crisis into an opportunity for growth
When the pandemic brought in-person events to a halt, Scott Present and MJ Navara knew they’d have to get creative if they wanted their events business to survive. Learn how Scott and MJ quickly and creatively pivoted to design a new product that met the needs of a changing world.
Overcoming Skepticism and Myths With Business Coaching
Business coaching may be a potent tool for assisting staff in developing, enhancing performance, and achieving their objectives. However not everyone is amenable to the notion of working with a coach, and some could even object or question its advantages. How do you get past this obstacle and persuade your staff that business counseling is worthwhile?
Here are some suggestions to assist you in addressing skepticism and myths and developing a coaching culture within your company.
Understand the reasons
To effectively overcome resistance or skepticism towards business coaching, it is important to recognize the source of the issue. Employees may be hesitant for a variety of reasons, such as fear of change or failure, lack of trust in the coach, misconceptions or negative stereotypes, low self-esteem or confidence, or lack of motivation or interest. By pinpointing the root causes of their reluctance, you can adjust your approach and communication accordingly.
Communicate the benefits
The next step is to communicate the advantages of business coaching effectively. Show your employees how coaching can help them to sharpen their skills and knowledge, solve problems, reach their goals, and increase their satisfaction and engagement. Additionally, emphasizes how coaching can be beneficial for their career prospects and opportunities. To further demonstrate the positive effects of coaching, you can use examples, testimonials, or case studies.
Involve them in the process
The third step in the coaching process is to involve your employees and give them a sense of ownership and autonomy. You can do this by asking for their input, allowing them to choose their coach or coachee, and encouraging them to set their own goals and action plans.
Furthermore, you should support them to monitor and evaluate their progress and results, as well as recognize and reward their achievements and improvements. Involving employees in the process can help increase their commitment and motivation to participate in coaching.
Provide ongoing support
The fourth step in the coaching journey is to provide ongoing support and guidance to your employees. This includes creating a positive environment, providing regular feedback and recognition, addressing any issues that arise, offering additional resources or assistance when needed, and celebrating their successes. With the right encouragement, employees can overcome any obstacles and develop their confidence and competence.
Model the behavior
The fifth step in creating a coaching culture is to model the behavior you want to see in your employees and demonstrate your own commitment to coaching. To do this, you could seek a coach or mentor, share your own coaching experiences and learnings, ask for feedback and suggestions from your employees, implement changes and improvements based on coaching, and encourage a culture of learning and growth. Through modeling this behavior, you can motivate your employees to take advantage of the opportunity that coaching provides for personal growth.
Review and adjust
The sixth and final step is to review and adjust your coaching strategy and approach based on the feedback and results you receive from your employees. Ask for their opinions and suggestions on the coaching process and outcomes, measure the impact of coaching on their performance and satisfaction, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your program, make changes or improvements as necessary, and communicate these changes to your employees. By reviewing and adjusting, you can ensure that your coaching program is relevant, effective, and responsive to your employees’ needs and expectations.
DIY Business Coaching
We’re all under pressure to be successful. Either we push ourselves or we make an effort to live up to others’ expectations. But in these pandemic days, when the entire world is suffering, we all need a little assistance. Many of us work with coaches. There are coaches among us. There’s good news: Now is the perfect time to improve our self-mastery and treat ourselves nicely. We can all train ourselves.
Lisa, for example, is an excellent casual and formal coach for others. She supports her friends, inspires her colleagues, cheers on her staff, and encourages her kids. She acknowledges, however, that she requires assistance in applying those abilities to herself.
Giving endlessly to others makes it all too easy to ignore your own needs and become sidetracked from your own goals. Self-care includes self-coaching.
We can all coach ourselves, whether it’s only to get through another day of being imprisoned with our families or to run a multimillion-dollar international company. We are more isolated and unable to always receive coaching support due to working from home. When we’re having a hard time, we need to encourage ourselves and coach ourselves to feel, be, and do okay.
Leo Ravier came to the conclusion that self-coaching was not viable in 2009 because, by his definition, coaching necessitates communication between at least two individuals. This view, which supports the function of a professional coach, is quite literalist. However, Ravier did acknowledge that “this method known as’self-coaching’ has some merit as a mental exercise of self-reflection, and is quite effective in diverse circumstances.
There is no ignoring the distinction between coaching and self-coaching. Self-coaching is becoming acknowledged, nevertheless. At the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2015, Batista gave the opening lecture for his wildly popular course, The Art of Self-Coaching. Since then, there have been countless opportunities for people to use coaching techniques on themselves as they progress towards self-mastery. Nowadays, self-coaching is essential.
Here’s how to coach yourself:
1. Identify your desired outcome.
This is your starting point. You need to decide on your end-goal to know where you’re headed and where to direct your efforts. Ask yourself questions like, “What is important to me right now?” and “What do I want to be, do or have?”
Try to be specific with a positive frame. For example, a goal like “I want to be less irritable” may be made more specific and positive by saying, “I want to be more patient with my spouse and my kids on a daily basis,” or “I want to demonstrate more patience with my team in meetings.”
2. Cultivate some self-awareness.
Conduct a quick and easy assessment to review where you are now. The point isn’t to judge yourself and make yourself feel bad — it’s just to get some information on where you are and where you want to be. The first step is to bring awareness to your situation and determine what you need to work on. Consider where you are on a scale of 1 to 10 in the area you would like to improve. You can also journal around this topic to further explore what you are experiencing.
3. Brainstorm your options.
Weigh the possibilities open to you. This is a wonderful opportunity to get creative and brainstorm how you can achieve your goals. What options are available to you? Which options resonate the most right now?
4. Make a plan.
How will you put your options into place? What will you do to achieve this goal or improve your situation? What actions do you need to take to reach your goal?
For example, drawing on the earlier example, a plan might look like “At 6 p.m., I will close my computer and be available to my kids and partner,” or “In Monday’s meeting, I will listen to each team member’s input, before I jump in.”
5. Take action.
Take the first step — and continue. Stick to your plan. Are you doing what you said when you said you would?
6. Measure and celebrate.
Determine how you will measure your success and celebrate it. Hold yourself accountable, or find an accountability buddy to see how you are doing. Reward your efforts when you hit that milestone or achieve that goal.
Self-coaching is a valuable addition to your toolbox, especially as we continue to navigate the pandemic. It pays to allow yourself some time to reflect and respond versus reacting. Intentionally tend to yourself in the service of being your best self for you and others.
What is Peer Coaching?
Peer coaching is a confidential process through which two or more colleagues work together to reflect on current practices; expand, refine, and build new skills; share ideas; teach one another; conduct classroom research; or solve problems in the workplace.
We can dissect several elements from this definition:
1) peer coaching takes place between two or more colleagues who reflect on current practices, this looks a lot like giving feedback;
2) the second part is about building skills, which has a development element to it;
3) the third part is about sharing ideas and teaching one another which also has a learning and development element to it;
4) the last part is about solving problems in the workplace which reminds us of the importance of soft skills – and collaboration in particular – to solve (future) workplace challenges.
Together, these elements make up for a rather complete definition of peer coaching. Each of them can be tied to one or more benefits of coaching in the workplace.
Peer-to-peer coaching can be a powerful form of learning and development. But being a peer coach – and having one – is good for employee engagement and a feeling of team spirit too. We’ve listed 5 common benefits of coaching in the workplace below.
1. It gives people a 360-degree view of their performance
If you’ve only got your manager to give you feedback and coaching, naturally you’ll only get one perspective. Most of us, however, work with a lot of different people and not every colleague gets to see the same side of us. After all, each job is made up of various tasks and projects requiring different skills and competencies.
So when we open up coaching to peers, this enables people to get a more all-round, 360-degree view of their performance. It will give them a more reliable overview of their strengths and the areas where there’s room for improvement.
2. It empowers people to learn new skills
Just like peer coaching gives employees a more complete picture of their performance, it also exposes them to a bigger range of workplace skills. Skills they can ‘easily’ learn too; they have a peer they can talk to directly, ask questions when they come up, and learn from by watching them during their work.
If, for example, you pair up a PR specialist with a content creator, this will create mutual opportunities for learning new skills and increasing each other’s basic knowledge of their respective field of expertise.
Not only does having a peer coach empower people to learn new skills, it can also accelerate learning. Why is that you wonder? Because peers tend to be in a good position to give quick, accurate feedback and tips.
3. It can boost leadership skills (and soft skills)
Strong leaders all have certain skills in common. Among other things, these skills include empathy, active listening, effective feedback, timely communication and the ability to teach and mentor.
Peer coaching offers people the opportunity build many of these leadership skills. You can even think of it as a natural way of developing them since as a peer coach, you have to listen to your peer, have empathy, give feedback, teach, communicate effectively and more.
A word on soft skills is in order. Most of the leadership skills we mentioned also qualify as soft skills, interpersonal people skills that are transferable and growing in importance.
Peer coaching can be an excellent way for employees to work on their soft skills since they are indispensable for a positive, successful peer-to-peer relationship.
4. It increases camaraderie and engagement
One thing leads to another here. When people are coaching each other – and see how this has a positive effect on the other person’s well-being or performance – they’ll feel good about themselves too. At the same time, they’ll learn things about themselves too which will create a sense of camaraderie and have a positive effect on their engagement.
5. It’s what candidates and employees want
Exact figures differ, but about one in five jobseekers want more professional development opportunities in a new role. Having a great peer coaching program in place (with ideally your current employees raving about it online, great for your Employer Brand too) can, therefore, be a real asset in winning candidates over.
The same thing goes for employees. Facebook surveys its employees twice a year and in one of their surveys, the company narrowed down the key themes to three key factors that all employees: community, cause, career. When we zoom in on the career element, employees want to be developed, coached, and mentored. One way to meet this need is through peer-to-peer coaching. As an added bonus, this can also boost a sense of community among your employees.
The Future of Business Coaching
Recently, the phrase “coaching” has gained prominence, and many people are interested in learning how big this sector has grown. Here are some of the most noteworthy figures related to coaching market size and other topics. Keep these for later reference!
- The coaching industry is expected to reach a value of $20B
- 99% of individuals and companies coached are satisfied or very satisfied
- Business coaching within the U.S. is worth over $14.2B
- 65% of practitioners identified “business coaching” as their main area
- Life coaching is a $1.4 billion industry
- There are an estimated 93,000 certified coach practitioners worldwide
- The health coach market size was $14.48B in 2021
The global coaching industry is a billion dollar market that encompasses a large range of occupations. To put it all under one umbrella, coaching is helping another achieve their personal and/or professional goals.
Coaching is rooted in helping people make significant and lasting life changes. Traditional coaching often includes methods like clarifying goals and creating action plans. Coaches provide their clients with accountability and encouragement.
Coaching is not to be confused with consulting, therapy, personal support, mentoring or training. In short, those methods improve situations whereas coaching improves people and empowers them to get the outcomes they desire.
There are many areas that coach practitioners cover. Some of the most popular types of coaches include:
- Life coaching
- Relationship coaching
- Health & Wellness coaching
- Group coaching
- Transitions coaching
- Small Business coaching
- Leadership & Executive coaching
- Parents & Teens coaching
- Couples coaching
- Sports performance coaching
The business coaching industry within the U.S. is worth over $14.2B (and it’s growing)
The United States is an epicenter in the global coaching market. The business sector of this industry is worth over $14B and is expected to grow 2.6%. Over the past five years, the business coaching industry within the U.S. has grown an average of 2.8% between 2017 and 2022.
65% of practitioners identified “business coaching” as their main area
Business coaching specifically makes up the majority of professional coaching. In 2019, 65% identified the main specialty of their coaching was regarding leadership, executive, business, organization, or small business. This percentage has risen from 62% in 2016 to the most recent study of 65% in 2019.
30% identified “leadership” as the main specialty of their business coaching
Almost one third of business coaches, 30%, are focused on coaching leadership specifically. This percentage has risen in recent years. In 2015, just one quarter of coaches, 25%, focused on leadership.
There are 60,472 business coaching businesses in the U.S. right now
There are over 60,000 businesses in the United States that specialize in business coaching. During the period of 2017 to 2022, business coaching in the United States was expected to grow 2.7%. The annualized business growth is an estimated 2.2%.
43% of people participated in business coaching to optimize work performance
Why do people seek business coaching? A survey found that almost half, 43%, of those who sought out professional business coaching did so to improve individual or team work performance. Another 39% wanted to improve communication skills while 38% hoped that business coaching would increase productivity.
Trends and Predictions
1. The New #1 Trend in Business Coaching
The rise of the online coach is one of the most significant trends in business coaching. Online coaches work with clients remotely, using tools like Skype and Google Hangouts to connect over video chat. They can also use phone calls, email and text messages to communicate with their clients. The ability to work anywhere means that online coaches don’t have geographic limitations–you can find them anywhere!
2. The Rising Popularity of Mindfulness Techniques
When it comes to business coaching, mindfulness is the new black. In a world where stress is at an all-time high and employees are constantly busy with their work, mindfulness techniques can be used to help manage stress and improve decision making. Mindfulness has also been shown to increase self-awareness–a key component of personal growth that helps people become more confident in themselves as leaders.
3. Innovation and Automation
Business coaching is a service that’s been around for decades, but in recent years it has grown into an industry with many different approaches and styles of delivery. No matter what type of business coaching you’re looking for–whether it’s online or face-to-face–you can find experts who specialize in almost any aspect of your business: sales training, marketing strategy, leadership development…the list goes on!
But how do we know which coaches are actually worth their salt? How do we assess whether they’ll be able to help us achieve our goals going forward? And if we hire them (and pay them), what happens next?
4. Artificial Intelligence
The fourth trend is artificial intelligence. It’s already being used in coaching, but it’s going to become even more prevalent. AI can be used to automate processes and make them more efficient, which means that coaches will have more time for human interactions with their clients.
AI can also help with decision making: we’ve seen many businesses use AI for their hiring process, where the computer learns from past candidates and makes better decisions than humans would alone.
It will also help with problem solving; if you need advice on how best to solve an issue or find solutions for your business challenges, an algorithm could do this much faster than any one person could!
Finally (and perhaps most importantly), artificial intelligence could be used during training and development – imagine being able to ask a bot questions about how best practice works at other companies across industries–or even just specific ones within yours!
5. Big Data Analytics
Data analytics is a valuable tool for both businesses and coaches. In order to truly understand the needs of your clients, you need to be able to collect, analyze and interpret data about them. This will help you gain a better understanding of their behavior, which can ultimately lead to better results for both parties.
The same goes for business owners: having access to data analytics gives them an edge over competitors who are not using these tools at all or only using them sparingly. It allows them to make informed decisions based on facts rather than assumptions or guesses about what customers want from their products or services–and this means higher profits!
6. The Evolution of the Coaching Industry
The coaching industry is growing, and it’s not likely to stop anytime soon. This trend can be seen in the increasing popularity of business coaches and their clients. Business coaching has become more popular than ever before, with many people finding value in working with a coach to help them succeed in life or business.
As the demand for business coaches continues to increase, so will competition among them–and this means that you should expect an evolution within this field as well–from how they are trained, what they specialize in (and why), who they serve (or don’t), etc.
Sustainability and Ethical Considerations in Business Coaching
Both coaches and clients find it challenging to navigate the various practices, techniques, and styles of coaching in a booming, uncontrolled sector like coaching. This enormous selection is a gift since it allows for diversity and makes it possible for people to locate a coach who can assist them in meeting their particular needs. On the other hand, professionalism and high standards are not always a given.
Coaches must prioritize upholding moral principles and choosing a professional demeanor in this situation.
Code of Ethics
The International Coaching Federation (ICF), the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) and the Association for Coaching (AC) are the three main professional coaching organizations. Their members and accredited coaches commit to follow certain ethical standards that are clearly stated in a Code of Ethics:
- The ICF Code of Ethics,
- The Global Code of Ethics, co-signed by the EMCC and the AC.
These two codes of ethics offer a similar view of the professional conduct and behaviors expected from coaches. According to the AC, five themes emerge from coaching codes of ethics:
- Do not harm others and oneself.
- Act in ways that promote the welfare of other people.
- Practice within your scope of competence.
- Respect the interests of the client.
- Respect the law of the countries in which you operate.
A coach who has an ethical practice is clear on what it means and is able to demonstrate it in all their professional interactions. On the client’s side, working with an ethical coach means they are protected from experiencing malpractice, harm or dishonesty from the professional they confide in. They know the coach will always act in their best interest, will respect and acknowledge their identity, keep the content of their sessions confidential, and avoid any conflict of interest.
This is essential to build trust and safety with the coaching professional they choose to work with. Without it, coaching can’t be powerful and meaningful.
Protects the Coach
Following an ethical code of conduct is also key for the coach’s own protection. It greatly reduces the risk of misunderstanding about the responsibility of the coach and the client, and the definition of coaching (as opposed to therapy, mentoring, etc.). It provides guidance to the coach on what to do when they face an ethical dilemma in their work. It also emphasizes on the importance of self-care and professional development for coaches, which includes supervision, mentor coaching, or self-reflection.
When the coach is a member of a professional organization, they often have access to additional support and resources on coaching ethics, like courses, FAQ, community of practice, and an email address to contact. The ICF even has an Ethics hotline!
Protects Coaching Professionals
We circle back to where we started. The concept of coaching is relatively new compared to therapy and still has so much to prove. The great thing about being a coach is that anyone can become one. The bad thing about being a coach is that anyone can become one.
The moment you call yourself a “coach” – whether you are trained or not, accredited or not – you represent the coaching profession. You carry on your shoulders the perception that your clients have of coaching and of coaches. If they have a good experience, they will talk to others not just about your services, but about coaching as a whole; but if they don’t, they may use their bad experience to never consider coaching ever again.
The ethical practice and professional conduct is here to make sure that coaches are aware of their responsibility towards the profession and their peers, and that they are proud ambassadors of an incredible line of work that makes a difference in people’s lives.
The Ethics of Coaching in a Changing World
Coaching professionals have a unique role in the lives of their clients, helping them to achieve their goals and realize their full potential. But with this role comes a great responsibility to act ethically and with integrity at all times. In this article, we’ll explore why ethics are so important in coaching, and how coaching professionals can uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct.
Ethics are essential in coaching because they form the foundation of the coach-client relationship. Coaching professionals must maintain a high level of trust and respect with their clients, and this trust can only be earned by upholding ethical standards and demonstrating a commitment to integrity.
Coaching professionals must also be mindful of the power dynamic inherent in the coach-client relationship. Clients are often vulnerable and seeking guidance and support, and coaches must use their power and influence responsibly and with sensitivity to the client’s needs.
To uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct, coaching professionals must be familiar with industry standards and best practices, including the International Coach Federation (ICF) Code of Ethics. They must also be committed to ongoing professional development and training to stay up-to-date with the latest ethical considerations in the industry.
In the dynamic and competitive world of business, having a business coach can make all the difference in reaching your full potential. This 9000-word guide has provided a comprehensive overview of what business coaching is, its importance, how to find the right coach, the benefits it offers, real-world success stories, and much more. As you embark on your journey to success, remember that a business coach is not just a guide but a partner in your professional development.
By understanding the transformative power of business coaching, you can take the next step toward achieving your goals and unlocking your full potential in the world of business. Whether you choose to work with a coach or embrace self-coaching techniques, the path to success begins with the knowledge and insight you’ve gained from this guide.
The future of your business success starts now, with the decision to invest in yourself and your professional growth through the support of a business coach.