Invenio: Coaching and Mentoring May 2016 IIC&M - Page 65

Having been a business coach since 2006, I’m often asked by business owners and potential coaches to define what makes a business coach or a business coaching company great. In my observation and experience, great business coaching that delivers great business results will excel in four characteristics.

1. Business

Business coaches need to understand and love business. Experience in running or managing their own successful business ensures a coach will appreciate your day-to- day factors while addressing the bigger picture. Loving business means they will continue to focus on the business, its vision and its strategy.

This focus on business means that through all the different coaching forms – from whole of business strategy to specific projects, sales coaching or executive coaching – the business’ agenda is paramount.

A great coach will support the specific needs of key individuals within an organisation, and respect any confidentiality. However, they won’t push the individual’s agenda into situations that conflict with the business’s needs.

2. Coaching AND Consulting

“Pure” coaching, in business or other fields like Life Coaching or Executive Coaching, acts on the belief that ALL of the answers lie within the client. I don’t believe that for a second.

Especially in Business Coaching, many successful business owners are great at what they do – but don’t know what they

don’t know about actually growing and running a business. They are best supported by a hybrid model, a combination of Coaching (to transfer skills) and Consulting (to bring new ideas and answers, if required).

Think of it as a golf coach who not only observes and coaches you on the driving range, but also walks the course with you when you play AND steps in to make that bunker shot on the 8th or clutch putt on the 16th.

3. Frameworks

This is me having fun with the Shirlaws Stages Framework, at my team’s office opening in 2007.

Coaching is about more than just the coach, and their experience. Sustainable coaching results means successfully transferring business capability, and this can only be achieved by using business frameworks that define an area of concern and reliably work to address it.

A framework is a business tool, usually shown as a diagram, which rapidly explains options and promotes discussion within a company. It will demonstrate different choices and outcomes, while also

helping align a business or a partnership to a common purpose. A consistent coaching organisation will

use multiple frameworks which can be replicated, educating individuals within a business on how to

apply that framework independently for results over time.

Importantly, frameworks are best tailored to the various areas of a business. Much like many different

tools are required when constructing a house, so too different frameworks are required when building a

business – the same tools won’t necessarily achieve similar successes when applied to areas as varied

as Marketing, Sales, Succession or Valuation.

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Business Support

by Jacob Aldridge

4 CHARACTERISTICS OF GREAT BUSINESS COACHES

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