I know the type of leader and a business profile most likely to benefit the most from our cooperation. In my experience, I have also come across a few that were saying they wanted to work with a coach but really did not.
Here are some tell-tell signs. Where do you see yourself?
Your business is doing well
I mentioned this in my previous blogs, and I mention this often in conversations with colleagues: businesses that benefit most from working with a coach are doing well. Those that I work best with are past the start-up stage, have established themselves on the market, and have a relatively stable market position. If they want to break that stagnation and move up a tier, or two, they are ready.
You are tired of firefighting
The business is doing well, yet you – the founder, leader, top manager – are finding yourself pulled in many directions. You know you would like to dedicate more time and think about the big picture: the vision. However, the day to day urgent business seems to be winning. If you find yourself in the firefighting mode often enough to become your usual, not the exception, there may be room for improvement.
You know you could be doing better, but…
There’s often a but. But it will take less time for you to do it yourself. But there is this situation that you need to resolve personally, and it’s now urgent. And the vision is still a vision, yet another quarter passes with an OK (but not great) result.
Books are no longer enough
Personal development is a crucial element of your entrepreneurial journey, and you are enjoying it. But lately, you have felt that there is only so much you can get from books alone. Peer discussions are good too, but you are looking for a slightly different perspective – a perspective without judgement, just insight into your business and how it could develop. You are looking for an in-depth conversation, one that is private and professional.
You are researching coaches and coaching
People in your network have been mentioning it for some time, and now you started looking into it. You asked them about their experiences and are intrigued. You see them getting results, and it seems an attractive proposition. You are tempted.
You have many ideas and do not want to miss out
Ideas are how businesses begin – strategies are how they grow. Having a sounding board, one with years of experience, enables you to choose which concepts are viable and can boost your brand. With a coach, you get someone to talk to and – even more importantly – someone who listens.
You are looking for strategic accountability
Choosing the path is the first stage. Agreeing on which steps to take is the next. What is essential to making all this happen is the willingness to walk the walk. And checking up on the progress is part of that. It’s not about punishment – we are beyond the carrot and stick level. Nobody is going to put you in the corner. You know full well that if nothing changes, well – nothing changes.
In many cases, that is punishment enough. Accountability is about adjusting your path as circumstances flex. Many enterprises pivoted in 2020 – and some businesses are doing well because they could adjust their steps and still fulfil their strategic objectives. And you want this for your business as well.
Does that resonate? If yes, there may be a space for a coach in your business life.
You are looking for a particular skill
Internet marketing has been on your mind for a long time, and you are finally ready to plan that campaign. Or perhaps it’s a rebrand that you are looking to do? Perhaps you are looking for an expert in your industry – you want to discuss a product’s details and how it may sit within a particular market niche. I do not think you are looking for a coach, rather a teacher or a mentor.
You are looking for a golden bullet
Where there are solutions that we can apply instantly, they are quick fixes. I hope to enter a long term relationship with my clients. It’s a partnership, and we are both in this for the long haul. I hope to be with them for years – years of constant growth. I mentioned this before, and I will repeat it here as well – if you need a quick fix, you may need an intervention. Once the situation settles, it may be worth revising the idea of working with a coach long term.
You have no time for this
To get the best value out of a coach, you need to invest. I am not talking about money alone. If it were just a matter of buying this relationship, we would have been in a very different business. Money may consolidate your commitment, but it is time and attention that matters. And not only during coaching sessions. Your meetings with a coach are briefings, brainstorms, discussions, and updates. There is a lot to be done before and after. If you do not have time for this, do not waste the coach’s time as well.
You don’t want anyone to get too close and personal
A relationship with a coach is a professional one and a profoundly personal one. Yes, we discuss your company and yourself as well. As a leader, your personal life is linked to the business, and I find it essential to recognise and understand that association. For this to work, an open mind is necessary.
You’ve talked to dozens of coaches and not found the one
Research is important, and meeting just one coach is not enough to make an educated decision, whether they are the right fit. I encourage research. However, there is investigating, and there is stalling. If no coach is good enough, perhaps you do not want one. And if this relationship is to work, you need to want it.
You want the coach to tell you you’re right
If you are doing everything right, why would you need a coach? Suppose it is the environment, the regulations, the currency exchange rate that are responsible for the current state of affair in your business. In that case, you are not ready for a coach.
You want to do what other businesses are doing
Coaching means looking at you, understanding your business’ context on the market, yes, but looking at how your business operates. It’s an in-depth analysis, a detailed case study to determine the best course of action for you. It’s not an imitation game.
Consider this. And find me when you’re ready.
Falguni Desai, Business Growth Coach
E: [email protected]