A business coach is an investment in both your company and your own professional development.
Yet it's surprising how few entrepreneurs put as much effort into their coaching relationship as they do other aspects of their business. You wouldn't sink money in a piece of equipment you'll never use, so why invest in business coaching unless you're willing to make the most of the experience?
The key is getting your head around the idea that you are largely responsible for keeping your coaching experience on track and on target. Assuming you've done your homework and selected a qualified coach, your next step is to closely monitor the your coach's ability to help you achieve your goals and objectives. Along the way, pay attention for these common business coaching mistakes to avoid.
- Working with the wrong business coach. It's possible to hire a capable and qualified coach who is perfectly wrong for you and your business. For example, even though your coach has experienced success with Fortune 500 CEOs, he may not be able to deliver the same level of success to a small business owner. Instead of continuing to work with the wrong coach, cut your losses and move on to someone who is a better fit for you and your business.
- Focusing on the wrong issues. One of your coach's primary functions involves listening to your thoughts about your business and clarifying your goals and strategies. From time to time, either you or your coach can fixate on the wrong aspects of your company. If your business coach is a good listener, he'll refocus the conversation on more important topics. If not, you'll need to take the reins and do it yourself.
- Ignoring your coach's advice. Although your coach will avoid telling you what to do, he will encourage you and motivate you to achieve the deadlines and objectives you lay out for yourself. When you ignore your business coach's encouragements, you completely negate the value of the coaching experience. Listen to your coach and let him hold you accountable for progress.
- Neglecting life issues. Business coaches are trained to help you succeed in both your personal and professional life. If you refuse to give your coach access to your personal life, you'll only receive part of the coaching benefits that are available to you.