There is a reason why high performing athletes have coaches. To reach their highest potential, to improve their performance, and to win. Multiple studies have proven that coaching in business has similar benefits. With the right coach, you will be a better leader and get better results.
But there may be some things you don’t know about business coaches themselves. We asked some of our leading coaches to share some little-known facts about business coaches and coaching.
1. They actually chose to work with you.
Some coaches may take on every client who requests help, but the good ones are picky. They know their ideal client and only say yes to people who fit the bill. Being selective allows them to provide the very best experience. Consider it a privilege if a coach selects you because they have likely turned down many others. You may have thought you hired a coach, truth is, they chose to work with you because they see your true potential (maybe better than you see it yourself).
2. Coaching is not just for sports
Many recognize the difference between trainers, consultants, and mentors. Not many appreciate the different aspects of coaching.
Many athletes have coaches. Golfers have swing coaches, short game coaches, and putting coaches. These coaches tell their clients how to improve their games. They are experts. We’ve all heard of great players who become horrible coaches.
Business coaches, at least in my field, help our clients discover for themselves how to make improvements. We ask powerful questions, we listen, we encourage out of the box thinking, and we help our clients hold themselves accountable. Many of us keep our clients for 5, 10, or more years, seeing them twice a month. It is because we are good at helping them become better, not because we are experts!
3. They walk the talk
Believe it or not, coaches have their own doubts, insecurities, and challenges, just like you. They also have a talent for setting these aside and focusing all of their skill, talent and experience on you, their client.
Coaches are committed to their own growth and to getting ongoing support, so they have a coach too. And that coach pushes them and challenges them to grow into their best selves. More than anything, your coach wants you to be successful, happy and fulfilled and they will go to great lengths to help you get there.
4. They partner with you
As a coach, I think and operate in a way to let go, as opposed to being in control. I willingly share my knowledge and question and inquire to help you develop your own conclusions, versus telling.
I have an open style and am available and I encourage my clients to go beyond what they think they are capable of. I am a partner in my client's success.
5. They burn to boost your business (and you)
During my day to day work with my fellow coaches, not a single one of them does not have a burning desire to boost the business of our business owners from dawn till dusk (and more often than we prefer also at night). Great coaches develop a straight forward approach that addresses the personal vision and needs of the individual business owner they are working with. We have a phrase at TAB which says to our business owners "It's all about them"- and it's true.
6. They have a coach too
Most business coaches have coaches of their own! Business coaches are just like every other independent business owner. They have the same issues and challenges all business owners face, including growing their business, how to keep their employees engaged, how to find good employees, managing their financials, and wanting a sounding board to help bounce ideas off of. I believe that to be a good coach you need to have a coach yourself and I've been with the same coach for 10 years now and counting. It's been money (and time) well spent.
John Mousseau, Owner at TAB Jersey Shore North
7. They will tell you what you need to hear, not want to hear
A great business coach will hold you accountable. They are not there to tell you what you want to hear. They are there to tell you what you need to hear. They will challenge your thinking and they will know your business, your employees, and your family. A rock star coach will become a friend for life. They will teach you things you never imagined and you will learn that you don’t know what you don’t know. You will develop an intimate relationship – your coach will deeply care about you and how you are doing. If that isn’t enough … it is great fun and rewarding to work with a business coach who has your back and whom you know you can count on at any given time.
Blair Koch, CEO at TAB Denver West
8. They will help you find your path, and keep you moving
Coaches help you achieve new levels of success, first by probing into your story and helping you surface ideas that apparently were not accessible to you. Second, once you determine your path, they hold you accountable to fulfill your plan. By helping you identify where you want to go and holding you accountable to get there, the right coach will help you achieve both your Personal and Business Visions.
Joe Farach, Owner at TAB Georgia Northeast
9. They ask and ask again
Good coaches ask questions. They don’t tell.
I often find the business owners expect that their coach will come to tell them what they should do. However, that is not what a coach does. That is what a consultant does. I have to explain to my new clients (and remind my older clients) that there is a difference.
The reason that coaches ask rather than tell, is that it is a coach’s role to bring the best out in their protégé and to help them grow stronger. Simply telling a person what to do doesn’t allow them to learn and grow. Rather, it creates a dependency.
There are occasions in which a protégé runs out of answers and asks the coach for help or guidance. When a good coach answers, he or she frames the answer as an opinion or an option that the protégé can use, alter, or reject.
Doug Kerr, Owner at TAB Etobicoke/Mississauga
10. There’s not a Perfect time to hire a Business Coach
The truth is, a business coach can help you no matter what stage your business is in. Often there is a misconception that the right time to hire a business coach is to resolve or get through a crisis. Successful businesses that realize they can benefit and grow from this relationship hire coaches much like they would an accountant, attorney or other professionals to help fulfill certain roles in the company. Whether that role is helping the owner with accountability, developing processes or personal growth, having a business coach that becomes a trusted advisor is a strategic advantage.