Since business coaching is about you doing all the heavy lifting when it comes to setting goals and implementation, it's important to be prepared for the experience and see if it fits your needs. With the choices of having a mentor, consultant or coach to work with, it's important to determine what approach would work for you to overcome your business challenge.
In a nutshell, mentors show you what to do, consultants tell you what to do and coaches work with you to accomplish your goals. The common example used to explain the difference is learning to ride a bike. A mentor would get on the bike and you would learn from watching their riding experience. A consultant would tell you how to get on the bike and then tell you what you are doing right and wrong. A business coach would get on their bike, as you get on your bike and would be partnering with you on the learning journey, encouraging you to stay on the bike, brainstorming ideas to make the ride easier and identifying your strengths and what you are doing well.
The following seven questions will help you to clarify what it is that you are really looking for in terms of professional development and if the time seems right for hiring a business coach.
- Am I ready to make changes in my business?
Change for some people can be scary, and for others, it's rejuvenating and exciting. When you think of changes in business, it could be material changes like taking on an assistant or coaching could explore changes in your behaviour, attitudes, habits and beliefs. The answer to this question about being ready usually lies in how much discomfort you are currently having and how much more discomfort you would have if things continued on the same path.
- Am I ready to commit time and energy to reach my goals?
When you set those New Year's goals you know that you are probably aiming high and want to make big changes so you can have a great year. Some people fall off the wagon by the end of February, as the enthusiasm wears off and reaching those goals no longer remains a priority. In coaching you are setting goals that you feel are attainable. Coaching will prevent you from falling off the wagon by keeping you committed, focused and able to break down the barriers holding you back.
- Am I willing to be held accountable for my actions?
Once you put a goal on paper and commit to a task, a coach will hold you accountable. That's not to say there won't be challenges, delays and excuses but the coach will be asking you whether you want to recommit to your task and if there is any holding you back from completing it. The moment of truth is whether you are feeling able to be held accountable.
Tips for Networking - Rosemary Smyth, MBA, CIM, FCSI, ACC, is an author, columnist and an international business coach for financial advisors. She spent her career working at leading investment firms before pursuing her passion for coaching. She lives in Victoria, BC. Visit her website at www.rosemarysmyth.com. You can email Rosemary at: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @rosemarysmyth