When I first started training as a coach, I talked to prospects about how behind every great sports person is a coach (or 2) – to highlight the point that you don’t just need external help when you business is struggling indeed, a coach should help your business flourish. The same message is true 10 years later, although the market place is starting to come around to the idea.
What is coaching all about? Well simply put, it’s about helping your business (and people) grow in the most pain free way. Of course the style of coaching you receive very much depends on the coach you select (and the areas to focus on). Some coaching programmes and coaches are very process driven (the process could be the selling point) whilst my style of coaching is very much more flexible, listening to the clients needs, identifing the priorities and building the approach accordingly using many tried and tested templates and processes.
I often think that if some of my great coaching teachers were to observe me during a coaching session they would tell me I am not a coach. This is because I strongly believe that different companies and people need different things at different times. So I need to be a bit of a chameleon:
- A coach – when decisions need to be made or longer term plans need to be developed
- A mentor – when sharing experience and wisdom (and bear in mind my niche is the service based sector – where i have ‘been there and done it’ having started, grew and sold my own agency)
- A facilitator – to get team working together and drive discussions forward
- A consultant – to help develop and review documents, plans and programmes
- A listening ear – after all ‘it can be lonely at the top’ and every leader needs that devil’s advocate perspective who isn’t scared to question decisions to ensure they are the best decisions
Bill Gates agrees with my sentiment. Have a watch of his TedTalk on this very topic. It talks about giving the client perspective and helping them see themselves as other do.
In the UK there is a big push to help the SME sector grow and the Government sees coaching and leadership & management training as the key to achieving this. Consequently there is now Government Funding available to support a business (in some cases subsidising the coaching by 2/3rds) in hiring a coach. It makes the idea a no brainer.
Please get in touch to discuss how a funded coaching programme could help your business grow.