Coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all relationship. In recent years, coaching has grown in popularity and expanded from the athletic world to the boardroom in the form of executive business coaching. Regardless of the niche, the value of coaching is versatile and powerful. If you’re considering working with a coach, there are several things you should know before committing to the process.
Approach a coaching relationship the same way you would treat remodeling your house. Coaches are like general contractors — they offer a range of capabilities, expertise and connections to specialists. But not every general contractor or coach is going to be a fit for every potential client.
Before you sign a contract or partner with a coach, assess, research and see if your needs align with their skills. It’s important to bring in someone who you’re confident can complete the job. Where you are and where you want to be are only two factors that play into finding the right fit. Ask yourself these six questions to help you choose the right coach.
1. What is your ultimate goal?
What do you want to achieve? Perhaps your business growth has been so healthy that it’s time to step back and analyze your operations and client experience to make sure those important pillars of the business haven’t been neglected. Or maybe you’re focused on growth and want to boost your business development skills to help serve more clients. Whatever your goal is, your coach should have the expertise to help you create an action plan and reach it.
2. Is coaching enough?
Coaching alone is powerful, but you might be looking for more than one partnership to grow your firm. Being the advisor-CEO of a business can be a lonely place sometimes, with only the company of important decisions you have to make.
Do you need more resources, processes, samples and client-facing content? Are you looking for a community of like-minded professionals to connect with? Step back and analyze where you’re lacking and what resources or groups would fill that void. You could benefit from the expertise of partnership with your peers or other organizations.
3. Are you open to change?
If we can guarantee one thing in this industry, it’s change. Some change we don’t have a choice but to accept — outside factors like technology and market performance fall into this category. Other change is within our control — and totally necessary.
A coach will help you navigate the changing tides of the industry and make adjustments yourself. They’ll uncover your blind spots to your potential, provide direct feedback and challenge you to change for the better. “What got you here won’t get you there,” is an important concept a coach helps you realize. You can read more about it in the book of the same name written by leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith.
4. Will you commit to working on the business?
Spoiler alert: Coaches aren’t magicians. Having a regular call with a coach will not get you the desired outcome you want. The magic happens in between calls.