After a rough year for many in business, I have been heartened to see renewed interest and a returning appetite for our business and executive coaching services. Many businesses have realised they can’t put their growth on hold indefinitely. Furthermore, it appears that a number of business coaching myths are being dispelled.
These myths are often what hold people back from exploring business and executive coaching as a technique to improve business and leadership performance. I am experiencing bullish positivity at the moment. The time feels right to discuss the three biggest business coaching myths again.
Myth #1: Coaching is only for underperforming leaders and businesses
Nothing could be further from the truth. Business coaching is not remedial, nor is it about business rescue. In fact, coaching is less successful as a last-ditch effort to “save” someone. Poor performers generally don’t take coaching seriously and often resist being coached. They rarely deliver a good return on the coaching investment.
So, if it’s not about fixing problems, what is it about? Coaching is about creating new possibilities and helping talented leaders use their skills more effectively. Our best clients are those with potential that is not being realised, or those that are plateauing in their development and need to break through to the next level. Coaching helps the good and the best get even better. We support leaders and performers through difficult challenges, act as an objective sounding board and help them avoid potential blind spots.
Myth #2: A business coach needs to be an expert in the client’s industry
One of the major objections I encounter is “What do you know about my business?” While helpful, having a similar background doesn’t guarantee that the coach will be effective. In our experience, business challenges boil down to one of three things – Time, Team and Money. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, the business challenges are all the same. We’ve coached everyone from florists and hairdressers to digital agencies, manufacturers, IT innovators, financial institutions, executives and chairmen of boards. They all have the same issues that are mostly unrelated to the industry they operate in.
What we can do is give you a completely objective view of your business. We introduce you to a new way of thinking about your business that will change the way you approach things. You can’t expect a different result if you keep doing the same things, and sometimes your years of doing things a certain way make you blind to alternative strategies. It’s more important for the coach to have the skills and abilities to help you transform yourself and acquire the skills you need. The most helpful coach is one who listens to you and helps you reflect on your choices, behaviours, interpretations and judgements.
Myth #3: Coaching is the same as consulting
Although there are similarities between coaches and consultants, their functions are fundamentally different. Consultants are more concerned with project-level pictures, and often have a hands-on role in the company’s work. Conversely, coaches are more concerned with the big picture. A consultant provides a solution for the client, often does the work and implements the solutions. As coaches, we ask the right questions so that clients can discover the solutions themselves. The role of the business coach is to transfer the knowledge to the individuals and to challenge business owners to make changes for themselves. By guiding business owners and leaders to find results through their own problem-solving skills, coaching leads to longer-term results and growth of the individuals as well as the business.
Business and executive coaching continues to grow in popularity as the results speak for themselves. If you’ve been curious, or sitting on the fence, or believing one or more of the many business coaching myths, now is a good time to put it to the test. Ask me for a complimentary coaching session to find out for yourself.