From just a simple search, you would have noticed so many business coaches out there. But before choosing one, it’s important you ask: What makes a good business coach?
At the basic level, some coaches work on an as-you-need basis, while others are committed to working with you long-term. There are coaches who come from various backgrounds, such as accounting, law or have been CEO’s of large companies. Others have run multiple small businesses and know how to start and build a business from nothing. Then, you have those who have completed a course, have no practical experience and now call themselves ‘business coaches.’
Whatever the case, it’s important you choose one who you work well with, has a great personality and has helped similar businesses to yours. But before we get into what makes a good business coach, let’s define what a business coach does.
What does a business coach do?
A business coach is someone who knows how to build successful businesses. They understand many facets of a business and due to their experience, they can diagnose, troubleshoot and provide expert advice so business owners can achieve their goals. It’s like having a highly experienced professional in your corner that assists you with setting the right goals, strategies for growth, increasing brand awareness and unlocking ideas you never thought of before.
Now that you know what business coaches do, it’s important to know the traits of a good coach. Remember, great results happen when forming a long-term relationship with your business coach. So, in addition to skill-level, a good coach must have certain characteristics, traits and a personality you get along with. Otherwise, choosing the wrong coach can be a costly mistake.
The characteristics of a great business coach.
1. A good coach takes action and believes in their decisions.
A business coach whose confident in their ability, express themselves with conviction and feels genuine should be on top of your list. Their decisions should be congruent with their beliefs and what they say. After all, if you’re hiring a business coach, they have to believe in you as much as they believe in the information they provide.
2. A good coach should take risks. Most business coaches will ‘hide’ behind their advice.
And if things don’t work out, they blame either the business owner for poor execution or some other outside factor. In some cases, outside factors are beyond the client and coach’s control. A good coach takes responsibility to make things right. They get the promised result by putting in extra time. It’s rare to find this, but a good, caring coach has this trait.
3. A good coach presents challenges to the business owner.
When the business owner’s mindset doesn’t expand or remain positive, then the hard work and knowledge of the coach goes to waste. Great business coaches challenge the business owner to do things outside their comfort zone and perform tasks they wouldn’t have otherwise done on their own. The coach provides support when motivation is needed most.
4. A good coach has the experience you need.
If you need a coach that has helped similar businesses to yours and has worked with like personalities, then the coach should be high on your priority list. However, there have been instances of a client and coach mismatch that worked out well. Sometimes working with opposing coaches is needed for the business owner’s growth potential. Working with someone you ‘get along with’ might impose a comfort hindrance that may stagnate results. This is a trait you have to decide carefully.
What makes a successful business coaching relationship?
An effective coach takes the time to understand the business owners point of view. The business owner improves after each session. A strong relationship is built on building rapport, gaining trust and expressing empathy. An effective client is someone who doesn’t lie, procrastinate or makes excuses for not completing his or her tasks. All coaches know the pattern of lies and excuses business owners make. They don’t like it. And I’ll tell you a secret: Business coaches will go out of their way and help those who help themselves, who don’t lie, who don’t procrastinate and for those who get things done.
A good coaching relationship goes both ways.
What to look for in a good business coach.
- Accessibility: business coaches should provide availability outside their standard coaching sessions.
- Willing to share: The coach should never hold back important information from the business owner.
- Patient: A good coach knows that business owners need adaptation time to the new coaching environment.
- Confidential and trustworthy: You shouldn’t have any doubts sharing confidential information with your business coach.
There you have it. By now, you should have a thorough understanding of what makes a good business coach. Remember, it’s not just about skill. Choose the right coach that matches your needs, is always nearby to answer your questions, is patient and has your best interests in mind.