For those of us, true business coaching professional, who have invested many years in training and experience creating real results for our clients, it is disheartening to see this current trend where apparently “everyone is a business coach” of one thing or another. We have the full range, from those who have taken a basic business coaching course and now think they are ready to practice (internally or externally) to those who are essentially consultants and trainers, selling canned ideas and models or personal experiences, as seemingly valid concepts. and applicable to all. This of course is not responsible. It is neither ethical nor effective.
This does not mean that these other professionals cannot have useful ideas to offer. It simply means that business coaching, at its core, is something different. This post is dedicated in the hope of offering a bit of insight and clarity to the subject, so if (or when) you decide to hire a business coach for yourself or your organization, know how to make the best choice.
1. What is business Coaching really?
I define it as “creating a safe, comprehensive and rigorous space, with an intelligent, relevant and expert guidance, so that the person or team is able to honestly, thoughtfully and effectively find their own solutions and next steps. ” Coaches are on the same level as their clients (so we are not above you) and we follow the same confidentiality rules as doctors. But the key to understand is that we are not here to “save” you, you always save yourself or advance yourself.
The objective is to accompany you in the process of working with your challenges, as well as being the appropriate sounding board for your ideas and hopes, to reach a realistic, manageable, achievable and measurable progress in fulfilling your unique goals, whether personal or professional.
2. The business Coaching Process
There are purists who believe that a coach should only ask open questions and little else, others are very directive, bordering on the line of being mentors or consultants. The process varies greatly with the particular style of each coach, that of the client and according to the nature of their circumstances and objectives. That said, in my opinion, there are certain principles that are always upheld:
- Your coach is not here to give you advice and he is certainly not here to force you to make changes that you are not prepared to make. We are here to challenge our coachees, guide them to structure and order their businesses and decisions, and sometimes offer useful ideas, but always with respect for their unique goals, priorities and challenges.
- A coach can appropriately share his own experience or that of his clients (while preserving confidentiality), but only when he thinks this will really add value to the coachee and serve to help him unblock himself, strengthen the validity of his own experience or give ideas for possible solutions and next steps.
- Some coaches, like me, may give their clients some “homework” that will be just personal reflections or doable practices to put the concepts discussed in coaching sessions to use. This is to ensure that the business coaching sessions are not just “therapeutic” and conversational, but also lead to significant progress. I can offer suggestions at first, but later, as you gain more clarity and ownership of your process, I will ask you to do it yourself.
- Ultimately, the person responsible for your results is YOU. That doesn’t mean that we don’t take active responsibility for the business coaching process, because we certainly do. But the key to coaching is that you don’t create a dependency on the process or the coach. It is guiding you to move forward as you think best and of course, that you are willing to do the necessary work to reflect, experiment, make the change and take ownership of those results. Your life is yours and no one will understand you better than yourself. Good coaches know that and will be dedicated to helping you do it in the best way.
3. So how do you choose YOUR coach?
As with any professional who will work with you with the intimate details of your life, work and organization, it is important that there is true compatibility, understanding, concern and alignment. But additionally, look for the following:
- Definitely always contact at least 3 coaches for a first consultation. Good coaches usually give one for free or at a reasonable price. Even if you really like one, as with any good hiring process, give yourself the space and opportunity to check out a few more to find out what’s on the market and be able to choose one that really makes you feel good and inspires confidence. the business coaching process to come.
- A good coach should never push you to work with him / her. It is understandable that there is a follow-up after the consultation or a proposal, but you should never feel negatively pressured to choose one or the other.
- Whereas any coach will undoubtedly use the breadth of their experience, training, role models, etc. To provide you with the best guidance possible, your sessions should be fluid and natural. You are not in a course where you have to follow a rigid program. A good coach must be able to flow with you, your team, and your diverse and even unexpected (within reason) circumstances so that each session is truly relevant, meaningful and useful.
- The business coaches must have legitimate customer testimonials, so you can listen in more detail the experience others have had with them. Due to the nature of the job, it may not be possible to call and consult a coach’s previous clients, but if the coach is good, they should have those recommendations available on their website, LinkedIn, or the like.
- A good coach should have their own coach (s) or go through business coaching supervision processes regularly. We are not above the rest. As I always tell my clients, even as a coach, of course, I am still human and if I am truly dedicated to moving forward and doing my best to others, I need to be working regularly on my own challenges and goals. This does not mean that a coach always has to be with his own coach or under supervision, but with sufficient regularity. So ask them about this.
- Trust your instincts. It is an intimate and deep process based on mutual trust, caring and the desire to help you achieve your success. You will know when you locate the correct individual.
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