Many people scoff at the idea of business coaching. Why would you go out of your way to be taught by someone when you can learn on the job and be productive at the same time?
The answer is simple. When you learn on the job, you make mistakes, and you learn how to fix them. With a business coach, you learn the mistakes and avoid making them in the first place.
And a business coach does so much more than impart knowledge and aiding the development of an individual. They provide a safe environment for people to make mistakes, ask questions, and deepen their understanding.
When it comes to business coaches, there are two types: internal and external. For this article, I will only look at internal business coaches who train people within their own company.
Why Should You Be a Business Coach
Business coaches accelerate the growth of individuals and subsequently of companies. It is an amazing experience to be part of that process.
If you are experienced, and you have that knowledge, then you can impart it to people who have the talent but don't know how to channel it. You can then help them to self-evaluate and improve further.
But more than this, being a business coach has a secondary purpose. If you are looking to move on or retire, you can train someone up to eventually take your job. This is essential to maintain the growth of a company.
Without this process, companies will take a dip whilst your successor makes mistakes you have already made. If you take the time to teach people about your mistakes, and support them through making their own, then you can avoid this happening.
I am a business coach because I have experienced first hand the difficulties of starting out without one. As a young entrepreneur, I would have really benefited from guidance from someone who was more experienced.
Who Needs a Business Coach?
Anyone who is new to a specific industry or the job would benefit from a business coach. But it is the young entrepreneurs who need business coaches.
Entrepreneurs have all the potential and none of the experience. You should view coaching these people as a valuable investment instead of a luxury.
In the future, they may do work that you originally would have hired a management consultant to do. To keep the costs of your business down, the continual management of your company needs to be internal.
7 Tips for Being a Good Business Coach
But what makes a good business coach? It varies quite a bit from industry to industry, but here are seven ubiquitous qualities of a good business coach.
1) A Business Coach Is Experienced
Number one on the list of essential traits is that a business coach must be experienced. You cannot teach something you don't have experience of.
2) A Business Coach Is Industry Specific
Although there are lots of similarities across every industry, there is only so far you can coach someone in a different industry to yours.
3) A Business Coach Is a Good Listener
The difference between teaching and coaching is that teachers tell whilst coaches listen. The purpose of a coach is the draw answers from their coachee by asking relevant questions and challenging their ideas.
4) A Business Coach Is Non-Judgemental
To foster and open and accepting environment, business coaches must be entirely nonjudgmental. When you provide a safe place where you and your coachee can work through problems together, you will find that you identify resolutions much easier.
5) A Business Coach Understands Limits
Although coaches act more as a fountain of knowledge than a hands-on aid, it is important they understand their coachee's limits. Stepping in at the last minute to prevent major problems is a key role of a business coach.
6) A Business Coach Is Available
A set meeting schedule is great, but business doesn't always run on schedule. By their nature, problems are unpredictable. So, you should be available as often as possible to help your coachee work through these problems.
7) A Business Coach Is Motivational
And finally, above all a business coach should be motivational. The coachee should feel inspired to be innovative and take risks without the fear of making mistakes. If you can only convey one thing to your coachee, it should be how they can and should believe in their skills and decisions.