The right business coaching service can be just what you need to take your business to the next level.
On the other hand, the wrong business coaching service can send you and your company into a nosedive from which it may be impossible to recover. Fortunately, finding the right business coach isn't difficult – all it takes is a little effort and a few common sense evaluation tips.
The best way to locate qualified business coaches and business coaching services is to get recommendations from trusted friends and colleagues. However, be careful to get firsthand recommendations from those who actually participated in a coaching relationship – not people who heard that the prospective coach was good. Also, be cognizant of the fact that even a highly-recommended coach may not be the right choice if he doesn't have the experience or expertise to address your specific concerns.
Identify Your Needs
Until you identify your needs and the reasons why you are looking for a coach in the first place, it will be impossible to find the right coach. Ideally you are looking for a coach who understands your industry and has coaching experience in your specific area of concern. For example, if you are primarily interested in increasing your company's profitability you will need to find a coach with a demonstrated ability to help entrepreneurs address profitability concerns.
Assess Specific Coaching Styles
Every coach and coaching service works a little differently. Communication methods, frequency of contact, length of the coaching relationship – there are a lot of variables that need to be considered. Even more, you will need to consider how well your personality meshes with each coaching prospect. The goal is to find a coach who fits with your working style and approaches problems in a similar way.
When it comes to coaching, there's simply no substitute for interviewing candidates. Remember, a coach is someone you are going to trust to share in both your successes and failures. On occasion, it will be necessary for him to challenge you to grow as a business owner and as a person. If the interview leads you with a bad taste in your mouth, it's always better to move on to the next candidate than to settle for a coach you aren't completely comfortable with.