Business coaching may be regarded as a newer profession in the world today, but the concept has been around since Ancient Greece. One of the earliest examples that come to mind is the relationship between Socrates and his student Plato. In mainstream business, one often finds that someone is appointed as a mentor to show a newbie how things are done. Non-executive directors in large corporations then serve as a sounding board and offer an objective opinion on matters of business.
Coaching can take many forms , and need not be limited to one’s professional persona alone. Many people work with life coaches to help them deal with an array of personal, developmental and other issues. Business coaching, executive coaching and mentoring are some of the terms that one comes across, and there are as many definitions as opinions on the subject matter.
The difference between a consultant and a coach is fairly straightforward to me: a consultant is appointed to perform a task for a client, whilst a coach will strive to empower the client to do it themselves. My approach to business coaching is to help the entrepreneur learn to work on the business as opposed to in the business.
Executive coaching aims to unlock the full potential of entrepreneurs by instilling a discipline of continuous self-monitoring and development. What then is a mentor you may ask? To me this relationship is underpinned by the principle that the mentor has a superior knowledge of the subject matter to that of the mentee, and aims to pass that on. A mentor shows you the way… But no one knows you, nor your business, as well as you do… Thus a good coach helps you find your way… And this is an ever-turning wheel of growth.
As a business coach I work with my clients to help them identify and focus on areas that are important for their specific situations. I do not purport to know what’s best. Instead, my aim is to help develop them into the best possible owner / manager for their business and implement the best possible solutions for their situation. Throughout this development process we make use of the lean start-up methodology and GrowthWheel toolkit. I also try to impart as much of my skill and knowledge as practically possible, primarily by letting the client find the solutions best applicable to themselves. In the process the entrepreneur, or team, gets a better handle on the business as well as grow as individuals.
Probably one of the most important principles that I instil in my clients is never think that you can stop learning. No matter what form your learning takes on – always endeavour to improve yourself in one way or another. This can be anything from enrolling in a formal course to spending time with someone smarter than you and chatting about something more substantial than sports or the price of fuel – why not try a business coach?
Scheduling time out to learn is a discipline all of us can benefit from. Read, watch or listen to something outside your fields of expertise. No time for this? Simply limit the time you spend browsing Facebook or Instagram – remember they make money by selling your face time to advertisers and will aim to keep you constantly engaged.
In summary, I believe all of us can always do with a coach or two to help us along the way, in business, in sport, and in life. And never think that you have reached the pinnacle – remain humble and strive to learn something new all the time.
Contact me today to see how I can be of assistance.