As a small to medium enterprise business owner you will have no doubt heard of coaching, but you may not have taken the time until now to explore the significant benefits that coaching can bring to you, your team and ultimately your enterprise.
I completely appreciate that coaching may seem like a luxury at first glance, as there is a time commitment required as well as monetary investment. Both of which are precious commodities when you are running your own business. However, here’s my perspective as a Coach on why your investment could ultimately be significantly worthwhile on multiple levels.
Firstly, let’s take a look at coaching in its most commonly associated form, from a sporting perspective. As a business owner, at CEO/ Director level the buck starts and stops with you so let’s look at a solitary sport for now in this example, running.
Are you out for a jog or are you planning a marathon? From a coaching perspective the intent and clarity required to answer this question informs the approach and outcome. You see, in the first instance a jog can take you anywhere, you don’t need an excessive warm up regime, or to plan your breaks or meet a time limit. Your primary goal is on planning to exercise with no specific long term investment in the outcome of that jog or where it might be leading to, you’ll see how it goes. With a marathon however, a lot more is involved, it requires planning, commitment, training and mental preparation as well as having all the necessary gear. Most marathon runners set expectations and have made significant lifestyle choices to meet their goal. With this in mind most invest in a Coach to train with, to raise their awareness, focus their mind-set, shed light on blind spots and develop some fundamentals directed at enhancing their performance and meeting their goal. Same thing in business. High performers have Coaches to raise their game.
Here’s my couple of cents worth, or in fact 7 of them, on the value of working with a Coach at a small to medium enterprise level in business.
A Coach is skilled in creating the space to enable you to get clear on what’s important, to uncovered your core drivers and reminding you of the visions you’ve created, and how your present focus is aligning you purposefully, by asking the hard questions to challenge your perspective, known ability and consequently shed light on any unknown quantities for exploration where deemed appropriate. All the while ensuring you are working towards your required outcome. Your Coach is keeping the focus of the outcome in sight to align your discovery to what you need to achieve.
2. Setting goals and reaching them
Being a visionary and blue sky thinker is greatly required in business, but being able to relate those visions to specific, measurable and timely incremental goals is key to making the vision a reality. A Coach is accustomed to challenging, motivating and driving honest and relatable thinking into this process to support you in setting your strategy for success.
3. Accountability is crucial when working towards something
A Coach is a great partner in creating your strategies, testing your commitment to achieving your goals and checking the practicalities of your assigned actions through powerful questions that challenge your thinking, boundaries and expectations.
4. You can brainstorm and bounce ideas off your Coach
A truly great coach enables a safe, confidential space removing all judgement, preconceived ideas of right and wrong to allow you to open up to truly original, fresh and forward thinking concepts. Things you might have dismissed or resisted due to your personal self-limiting beliefs or fear. Through coaching you get to follow your thoughts through via answering powerful questions and create links, and master a self-awareness that you could have previously overlooked.
5. Provide opportunity for reflection
With a Coach you can explore what you’ve done, and what you’d like to learn from it, replicate or give a wide birth too in the future. Your Coach will hold a mirror up for you to ask the hard questions to get you to see different perspectives, possibilities and opportunities. In this space you can identify and break negative or damaging cycles, expose any self-limiting beliefs, patterns and shine a light on where your focus is needed to achieve more of what you want, and discard that which you don’t.
6. Be real and exposed
Who can you be truly real with about your business, talk about your vulnerabilities, concerns and actually be confident that the person you’re confiding in has only the best intentions for empowering you to develop strategies to build, strengthen, stabilise and grow? It can be hard to carry the fears or concerns single-handedly and will eventually take its toll, but there is no need to struggle alone with this. Once shared with your Coach you’ve given yourself permission to take action and deal accordingly without concern that you’ve impaired your credibility or reputation.
7. Team engagement
Working with a business Coach enables teams to become more efficient in their thinking as a collective. Creating a space for teams to engage in challenges together, devising team led appropriate solutions that everyone is signed up to is the Coaches focus. Allowing the team to recognise evolution, flexibility and adaptability in ever changing circumstances – thus building resilience, compassion, empathy and a collective desire to succeed.
The common theme in working with a Coach is that the Coach is there for you, driven by the outcomes you value, they are not personally or professionally attached to a specific outcome, they are impartial and that is how they are able to ask the hard questions and challenge thinking and beliefs through curiosity not judgement or expectation. It is crucial that there is a co-active collaborative way in which you and your Coach engage to build the level of trust, openness and honesty required for you to benefit fully in all of these aspects.
So the value of coaching resides in the mental toolbox the Coachee learns and develops throughout the coaching relationship, the resource of mental strategies that can be called on and applied in a multitude of different situations. All of which have been designed and developed through personal discovery and insights gained through the coaching process, helping to navigate toward success both personally and professionally. And as I said earlier a professional athlete works with a Coach to bring out their best performance, it’s the same in business!
With Immense Gratitude,
Alison Callan is The Clarity and Success Coach for Aspiring Entrepreneurs, as well as an Internationally Accredited Coach and Mindfulness Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker.
Committed to helping You mindfully align with your mission to create Conscious Business with Purpose, Confidence and Ease. So that you live a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.