If you are a small business owner, you may have considered hiring a coach. But uncertainty about what a coach actually does may have caused you to think twice. After all, entrepreneurs are supposed to be able to do everything themselves, right?
What you may not have realized is that a coach can help you find a smarter way to do business. Think of a coach as a helping hand and an objective person to provide insights and to bounce ideas off of.
Coaches can help guide you through your toughest business challenges, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you decide if coaching is right for you.
What to Consider Before Hiring a Coach
1. Know what a coach can and cannot do.
A coach can:
- Help you focus on achieving specific, practical goals, over a short amount of time – from a few weeks to a few months
- Challenge your basic thinking and behavior, while providing useful insights and business techniques
A coach cannot:
- Help you delve into deeper issues that require the more intensive assistance of a therapist
- Be a cheerleader and simply boost your morale
2. Commit to working hard.
Just like other worthwhile pursuits, working with a coach is no cakewalk. Usually, coaches don’t tell you what to do – they help you figure out solutions for yourself, providing insight along the way.
Since you’ll be learning a lot throughout the coaching process, you can expect to be given homework assignments in between sessions. That’s right – homework! These assignments might include working on a business plan or trying out different management techniques.
The Coaching Relationship: What to Expect
Sometimes people confuse coaches with traditional consultants and mentors, so it is important to understand the coaching relationship. Rather than simply leading you and giving you advice, coaches help you discover for yourself where you are right now and where you’d like to go. Here are a few more things to consider so you will know what to expect from the coaching relationship.
1. Effective coaching is focused on you and your goals.
Coaching focuses on your goals and the future of your business. Unlike therapy, your coaching sessions will not emphasize past decisions or experiences. Instead, the coaching relationship helps you get to where you want to go.
2. Coaching is meant to reveal and release your potential.
The coaching relationship is not about creating potential, but releasing it. It is intended to reveal your strengths and guide you towards applying them to your business. An effective coach will help you uncover your deepest desires and unmask constraints that are preventing you from moving forward – all within the safety and confidentiality of the coaching relationship.
3. Coaching doesn’t stop with your professional life.
Coaching will impact your entire life because you will achieve the greatest satisfaction only when your professional and personal life are in balance. The coaching relationship is not about fixing; it is about listening and responding so you can transform into the successful person you want to be.