Whether you are a small business or one that is growing rapidly, business coaching is extremely essential for all kinds of businesses. Business coaching is far more than having a mentor or an advisor. It adds value to your business and this is an asset that every business, whether big or small, need. Business coaches usually have years of experience in the field and can greatly help you and your team create strategies and goals to accomplish what you may have overlooked in the past.
However, like every other industry, this industry is not foreign to myths and misconceptions. What makes it different, anyhow, is the fact that these misconceptions often hinder the business from achieving their goals, planning, analyzing and working effectively. This can adversely impact the business, in ways that may not be pleasant.
Let us then take a look at some of these misconceptions about business coaching:
1. No issues, no coaching
Coaching isn’t only about helping you overcome failure, it is frequently about avoiding it in the very first place. Even if you feel like you aren’t facing any issues, business is often unpredictable, and you might face challenges in the future. Prevention is always better than cure. Coaching will greatly help you build your strengths and use them to your advantage and greatly improve your performance.
2. Coaching is closely related to therapy
This, again, is not always true. Every coach is different. Some people might assume that coaching is where the coach is trying to help you work better by trying to understand the underlying problem or ask questions to guide you to a solution. Some business coaches do take this approach, however, my approach is far more practical. In some circles, I might be considered a ‘consultant’ as I provide solutions, guide, direct and often give you solutions. Business coaching, more or less, focusses on how to improve your performance, the performance of your team and the performance of your business.
3. Coaching is for the poor performers
Well, no. Anyone can slip at any point of time, and to avoid this you need coaching. It is not directed only at the ones who aren’t able to perform well, but even at the ones who perform very well, in fact. There are no limits on who needs guidance. Even if an employee works really well they may need help at some time, and business coaching helps with just that! You may be doing extremely well and would like no-nonsense guidance and support on how to take it all to the next level, in the most effective and efficient and profitable way.
4. You can’t afford it
Many times, small businesses look for business coaches, but they just don’t have the money to invest in it. Well, you need to know one thing, all business coaches are not outside your price range! We find money for websites or SEO and for rent – why not for coaching? Even if you feel like they are expensive, you need to consider the benefits they bring to you in the long run and how much money they can save you or help you make.
5. Coaches need to be tough as nails
This is the image that many business professionals have had of business coaches. They think of business coaches as the ones that constantly badger employees or ‘screw’ the last cent out of a supplier. Yes, at times coaches will help an owner make a tough decision. I’ve worked with owners to get rid of a bad apple. I’ve also guided owners to be better leaders to keep a great employee on board. Your coach should always “shoot from the hip” and be honest and direct with you – but it doesn’t need to be nasty. In fact, I often teach owners how to get more from their staff, contractors or suppliers using means other than a long stick.
6. It’s more like telling others what to do
For most people, telling them what to do never really works unless they really make an effort or discover something themselves. However, discovering something with your coach beside you is very effective. To be able to do something to your full potential is extremely important and this is what the business coaches help individuals to do. They help them to make the right decisions, use ideas in a creative way and make better strategies and plans.
7. Coaching is more for correcting behavior
Coaching is more about building ones’ performance with time and not really fixing their mistakes. If the prime reason behind coaching someone would be in order to correct their behavior, then the purpose of coaching is lost. Coaching is done to help an individual progress – with some correction, but also with support and encouragement.
8. Coaching is time-consuming
Business coaches will actually help to save your time. How, you ask? Well, they will help you achieve things the right way the first time you do it! Effective coaches are usually the ones who keep it short and straight to the point. They give you the important details and expect you to work through them. There is nothing more important than time in a business and a good business coach is never there to waste your time. Yes, initially whilst you put these great systems in place or setup processes more time will be taken. However, long-term, you will look back and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
9. Men get more coaching
Although two out of three men get coaching and that is why they are seen more in managerial and executive positions, this fact has been changing in the last decade. Nowadays, women have been getting just as much coaching and this is the “lesser known fact”. In fact, today, 1 in every 3 women are getting coaching and these numbers are only going to rise in the future. Myself, I work evenly with both genders. I also work with different personalities; some of my clients want “to the point” direct guidance, others need a more nurturing approach. I am not a ‘yes girl’ … if I believe an approach is wrong, I will say so (always politely) and more importantly explain my reasoning and my why.
10. You have to get by someone of the same gender
Business coaching is known to be gender neutral. In fact, getting coached by someone from the opposite gender can be really helpful as it opens up portals to different perspectives. For others, they feel more comfortable talking to someone who has had a similar experience. Some of my female clients approached me because they saw a successful woman and mum (children grown) who had done it myself. One major reason that I have complimentary initial meetings with people is to see if the fit is likely to be right – for both of us.
11. Business coaches just listen to peoples’ problems
The job of being a business coach isn’t a piece of cake like many assume it to be! A great business coach is one that asks you questions that will help them gather information about you to help them suggest better strategies and plans. These questions will also force you to think about what your goals are at present and what they will be in the future. The best way to put forward an effective strategy for you would be to listen to everything you have to say be it about your client or your preferences. This cannot be done without listening.
Unsure who to use? Check out my article “How to Choose the Right Business Coach”.
The thing about business coaches is that their aim isn’t to change or in any way re-invent your business. Coaches just help your business flourish or help you build your expertise by listening, supporting and even promoting your ideas and opinions. Coaches who have business experience and have been working in this field for a long time can help you in ways that you wouldn’t even imagine!