While it's true that many highly successful business people have used coaching to grow their companies and advance their careers, business coaching may not be the right resource for everyone.
Far too many entrepreneurs jump on the business coaching bandwagon only to discover that they misunderstood the nature of the business coaching process.
To help you determine whether business coaching is right for you, here are a few things you might want to consider.
What Business Coaching Is
Business coaching is designed to help you grow as a business owner. A trained and experienced business "coach" will meet with you on a regular basis to help you achieve specific goals for your business or for your own personal development.
Business coaches are quick to say that their job is to bring out the best in you. At various times, they may engage in a wide range of activities like suggesting new directions, questioning your decisions, maintaining your focus, reviewing your progress, and more.
One of the greatest strengths of a qualified business coach is that he gives you an impartial and confidential perspective on issues that are critical to the success of your business. When you wander off-track, your business coach is the one who will help bring you back to a place of focus and productivity.
What Business Coaching Is Not
Business coaching is commonly confused with several other business advisory mechanisms. Unlike a consultant, a business coach does not offer advice about your company. In fact, a good business coach will go to great lengths to avoid giving you advice about anything. Instead, your coach will work with you to clarify your goals and provide the support you need to make them a reality.
A business coach is also very different from a board of directors. Although you will give your coach progress reports, the coach's role will be to help make you accountable to yourself – not to board members. Ultimately, the coach has no fiduciary or organizational authority other than the authority you give him to speak into your life.
What to Expect From a Business Coach
Business coaching relationships can be either short-term or long-term even though most business owners and coaches are in for the long haul. You should expect to have contact with your coach at least once or twice a month – it's common for coaches and entrepreneurs to communicate via phone or email since your coach may live in a different city or region of the country.
Despite the fact that your coach will disagree with you from time to time, you should expect your coach to be positive and encouraging. Likewise, you should always expect your coach to maintain complete confidence. If you believe there has been a breach of confidence, talk to your coach about it and (if necessary) seek out a qualified replacement.