Firstly, not everyone needs a business coach.
Many people (especially business owners) know best – do not engage with a coach!
Only engage if you want an alternative perspective.
When I became Managing Director of Cottage Delight Ltd, the Business owner actively encouraged me to engage with an external sounding board.
I jumped at the opportunity.
I have always wanted to better myself, to improve.
I’ve always had a feeling of potentially missing something obvious.
I wanted to be challenged by somebody I had respect for, somebody who had seen & done it before, somebody who had conviction behind their experience & opinions.
I chose somebody I could engage with on a 1-2-1 basis.
I met with my coach a couple of times before deciding to engage, to work out whether they were somebody I would look forward to meeting & sharing the biggest things on my mind, the things that worried me.
I had to respect them, as a person & their skillset.
It wasn’t important to me what industry they specialised in.
I wanted to engage with somebody who had seen it before & done it.
I wanted somebody who was respectful but direct.
I wanted somebody with a positive mindset.
I wanted somebody who wouldn’t blind me with big company business jargon.
I wanted somebody who I could have a laugh with.
Selecting a business coach is exactly the same as selecting a key member of your team, whether it be somebody who will be on your payroll or somebody who is paid as an external contractor.
This is what I would encourage you to do:
- List the skillsets you want them to have.
- List the experience you would like them to have.
- List the characteristics/behaviours that you want to see (or don’t want to see).
For me fit is every bit as important as skillset, I wasn’t prepared to flex on either.
The next thing I did was talk with people I knew, respected & trusted, to find out if they knew anybody.
I have a close network of contacts that I respect.
That is always the starting point for me, I want to be told by somebody I trust & respect that they know somebody who I need to see.
This is what happened, I chose & worked alongside a Business Coach who I still see now.
Once you have identified somebody, be open minded about changing your mind.
If you start work with them & have some nagging doubts, then it’s probably not right for you. You’ll know within the 1st few meetings.
Something to ask if you are considering working with a coach – ask them who they work with & ask if you can speak with one of their clients about their experience.
You will obviously expect them to say positive things, otherwise they wouldn’t have been given as an option, that said, if you arrange a video call for 20 mins or so & think about the questions you want to ask, you’ll be amazed just how honest people will be.
Finally – I would strongly recommend you meet the coach away from your office & ideally away from your place of work.
I always met my coach in a Peak District village, somewhere that was close but felt a million miles away from the day-to-day challenges.
So in summary:
- If you are reluctant to engage with a coach, then don’t.
- Choose for fit – its every bit as important as skillset.
- Speak to one of their customers to see what they have to say about them.
- Don’t be afraid to bring things to a close after a couple of interactions if it doesn’t feel right.
- Don’t engage with somebody where you have to sign up for long term arrangement. If it’s right for both parties you won’t need a contract for 12 months.
- Finally, make your coach accountable like you should any team member.
After digesting the above, could I be the coach for you? If you’d like to arrange a chat around how I could support your business then please reach out via my contact form and I will be in touch to arrange a convenient time.